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March 14, 2016

Risk Focus: Please Vote for Us In the FTF Awards

Today I’ve been speaking with Lloyd Altman at Risk Focus about their inclusion in the Financial Technology Forum’s annual awards, in category 10 for Best Derivatives Operations Solution.  Lloyd heads the Report-It.Trade business which contains three micro-services for trade reporting.
 
The award is described like this:

"Derivatives operations have gotten complicated and this award cites the provider that has stood above its competitors in achieving excellence via superior services and solutions that greatly improve operations for processing listed and/or over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.”

I asked Lloyd to explain to me why people should vote for RiskFocus, and tell me the key reasons why his business stands out. 
 
Reason 1: Timing
Trade reporting for OTC products has been a huge impact: gathering the data, transforming it and delivering it is a chain of steps fraught with difficulty.  Risk Focus has not only kept ahead of the regulations, but made available the ability for firms to validate the content of their submissions sometimes up to three months ahead of the UAT release of GTR. This gives firms the most time possible to build their reporting solution, test it, and be ready for the compliance date.
 
Reason 2: Keeping it clean
Validate.Trade can be run in a mode that fully emulates the behavior of the GTR. This has been so successful that even DTCC are using our software to test their own software, to make sure the rules work properly. You can read about this here, as this means a firms submissions to GTR are as close as possible to being fully valid, before reaching the actual GTR in production.  Being able to pre-validate your data actually reduces costs, not just from the effort of fixing rework, but from the time spent diagnosing issues. Our Analyst Workbench that comes with Validate.Trade gives end users a “flattened” view of FpML that can save hours of time trying to pinpoint problems, as well as a clear picture of the rules that have been used to validate each message – not only the ones that failed but also the ones that passed.
 
Reason 3: Being first
 Whilst the CFTC and ESMA have made all the running on trade reporting so far, the SEC is catching up quickly with their requirements to report Security Based Swaps (SBSR). Firms can carry out the usual build and test cycles to meet the SEC requirements, but right now Risk Focus is the only firm able to offer an independant validation service against the SEC SBSR rules, enabling firms to pre-check their systems well ahead of making submissions.
 
Reason 4: Being an industry voice
On behalf of our firm and of our customers, we actively engage regulators to deliver input on the way trade reporting is carried out. Risk Focus has responded to requests for comments for the CTFC, SEC and soon ESMA, and has held direct meetings with the CFTC and the SEC.  As a service provider our voice brings an independant view on regulatory requirements, how they’ve been specified, how they can be implemented, and the struggles firms have to meet them. Whilst many firms provide their own feedback to the regulators, Risk Focus sees a broad range of activity on reporting in the market, and can bring a wider perspective to regulators.
 
Reason 5: Being global
The US and EU aren’t the only jurisdictions who require trade reporting, with Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia all developing their own approach. Risk Focus supports all these jurisdictions and gives firms the ability to build a multi-jurisdiction implementation rather than a silo based approach.   Using our tools, a firm can gather their data and test their submissions, all without hitting an actual reporting repository. Validate.Trade has an extensive rule base that spans all jurisdictions, asset classes, and message types currently supported by the GTR. Given our ability to be ahead of the production releases, including upcoming jurisdictions like SEC and MIFIR., we enable firms to be compliant on time.

Reason 6: Being flexible
The components of our Report-It.Trade business are plug and play – not all vendors work this way. We have tried hard to tackle the three key problems (Validation, Reporting Eligibility, and Submission) into three micro-services which firms can use or not use as they choose.  All three (Validate.Trade, Reportable.Trade, and Load.Trade) work together nicely, but some firms need to connect the pieces they need from us, driven by their internal approach and systems architecture. We support this flexibility as a differentiator over monolithic platform providers.
 
Vote for us please, if you think these reasons resonate with your expectations of a firm which stands out from its competitors, provides an excellent service, and improves derivatives operations for the industry. We’d sure appreciate your support, by voting here: http://www.ftfnews.com/voting?return_to=6655
 
Thanks Lloyd, I will watch out for the results, Bill.
 


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