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The Realization Group wrote a new blog post titled Template for change
How corporate initiatives are empowering women smallholder farmers in Malawi Women smallholder farmers form the backbone of Malawi’s agricultural workforce, yet their average productivity per hectare still remains far lower than that of their male counterparts. In this article, Mike O’Hara and Nicola Tavendale of The Realization Group discuss with Hirander Misra of GMEX Group and FinComEco, Kristian Schach Møller of the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE), Saskia Vossenberg of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Alice Kachere, a smallholder farmer in...
Chris Sparrow wrote a new blog post titled Best Execution: Do you get it?
Did I get best execution on my institutional order? This question, while seemingly appropriate, doesn’t make sense. It is the wrong question. Best execution is not an outcome - it is a process. The right question is: was my order executed in accordance with our best execution policies and procedures? One way to think about best execution is as due diligence for trade implementation.   Best execution is not an outcome - it is a process.   Why can’t I know if I got the best possible outcome for my order? We can certainly know if we got the best price available at the...
2 days ago,(2017/05/22)
Matthew Lempriere wrote a new blog post titled Network flexibility and its impact on growth
After almost a decade focused on readjustment, restructuring and regulatory reform, financial institutions are now starting to pay more attention to returns and revenue generation. Optimisation of IT and network infrastructure is a fundamental aspect of this.   A wave of unprecedented technology innovation has reshaped consumer experiences and expectations across many industries in the last ten years or so. However, in the wake of the global financial crisis, financial institutions have been focused on meeting regulatory challenges, often to the detriment of customer-focused...
2 days ago,(2017/05/22)
Mark Hall wrote a new blog post titled Hybrid IT for Financial Services
It’s fair to say that banks and other financial institutions did not take to the cloud with quite the same enthusiasm as firms in other sectors. This is beginning to change for a variety of reasons, but the past preferences of finance sector firms will continue to guide to their present and future priorities. The promise of cloud computing offers the access to a fast-evolving array of IT capabilities and services, typically providing scale, speed and power in the processing, storage and analysis of data on a cost-effective basis. But for the financial services sector, the combination...
9 days ago,(2017/05/15)
Lene Hansen wrote a new blog post titled Power to the People
We are clearly at a crossroads in relation to financial regulation. We are at the end of the ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ road characterised most recently by self-regulation and we are now heading down a very different road, as the recent avalanche of regulation (MiFID, MAR and MAD, I am looking at you) shows. I disagreed with the last road and strongly disagree with the new one; mainly because I don’t believe that either achieves the stated aim i.e. investor protection. But it is myopic to just take aim at regulators missing the point; there are regulators, businesses and...
9 days ago,(2017/05/15)
The Realization Group wrote a new blog post titled The future of trade surveillance
Escalating regulatory obligations demand than financial market participants take a smarter, more proactive approach to spotting abusive trading patterns, with many looking to explore the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate monitoring and anticipate threats. In this article, Mike O’Hara and Chris Hall of The Realization Group hear from Certeco’s Nick Gordon, William Garner from Charles Russell Speechlys, Taras Chaban from Sybenetix, and Nasdaq’s Valerie Bannert-Thurner. While the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to trade...
12 days ago,(2017/05/12)
Kieron O'Brien wrote a new blog post titled Time For Technology To Take The Hard Work Out Of KYC
A tidal wave of new regulations is coming, and it’s keeping KYC compliance officers awake at night.   From the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive being implemented now to MiFID II and GDPR due next year, the regulatory framework we all work in is changing dramatically. And while the focus up to now has been mostly on banks and financial institutions getting their onboarding procedures in order, the new environment of tighter oversight is going to affect their clients just as much.   No longer will firms have the luxury of treating KYC as an intermittent obligation....
13 days ago,(2017/05/11)
Andy Mather wrote a new blog post titled Managed services for an evolving financial sector
The “barbell analogy” is traditionally used to describe investment strategies where half a portfolio is anchored in defensive, low-risk assets and the other half is focused on much more aggressive positions, with nothing in between. In a period of industry consolidation or disruption, it is also used to suggest a hollowing out of the centre ground, where a market becomes increasingly dominated by a handful of major players on one side and a larger number of small niche firms on the other, with very few mid-tier providers in between. Can technology help even things out in financial...
13 days ago,(2017/05/11)
Stef Weegels wrote a new blog post titled Taking the risk out of risk infrastructure
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had many discussions with my colleagues in the banking sector and it’s clear that regulations are continuously driving the need for firms to perform more compressive risk controls. Bank stress testing has become more onerous since the US Federal Reserve introduced the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR). In Europe, MiFID II and MiFIR will increase the number of risk controls that firms across the industry will need to run. And in 2019, the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) will have a profound impact on how banks must...
16 days ago,(2017/05/09)
Matthew Lempriere wrote a new blog post titled Delivering on demand – the key to winning market share for banks
  It’s not just new technology, new business models and a keen understanding of a new generation of consumers that Fintech firms are deploying to win market share from incumbent financial service providers. Fintechs have also embraced new approaches to product release cycles in anticipation of fast-evolving customer demand. How can banks compete? Through agile software development (sometimes dubbed ‘fail fast’) nimble newcomers in the finance sector are pushing out new tools, tweaks and added functionality on an almost continuous basis. If digital feedback flowing...
21 days ago,(2017/05/03)
Hirander Misra wrote a new blog post titled A New Approach: Improving Smallholder Farmers Prospects in Malawi and Beyond in Sub Saharan Africa
By Hirander Misra, CEO of GMEX Group and Deputy Chairman of FinComEco. The backbone of Malawi’s economy remains its agricultural output, with smallholder farmers in turn forming the vast majority of this sector’s workforce. Yet while agricultural production forms some 39% of the nation’s GDP, its smallholder farmer workforce continues to face a number of constraints. From the field to the market and from the bank to the trading floor, smallholders face key limitations to their growth. But I believe that if this vital sector is supported with the development of the right...
21 days ago,(2017/05/03)
Charles Platt wrote a new blog post titled Putting Artificial Intelligence to Profitable Use
It’s crunch time for the Big Data crunchers. Having lavished millions of dollars on data scientists to search for patterns in a deluge of digital information, banks and financial institutions need to start doing something to make that newfound intel pay. The question is, what? Big Data - the bits and bytes of everyday life harvested from our increasingly digital world - has been hailed as the foundation of a new financial architecture. Predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are the mechanisms most commonly touted to realise that vision. But aside from...
28 days ago,(2017/04/26)
AQMetrics wrote a new blog post titled MiFID II: Time to Tackle Transaction Reporting in Detail
By Steve Barnes, VP of Technology, AQMetrics. Following the recent changes to mandatory transaction reporting (TR) being introduced under MiFID II, there are now a number of vital new reporting obligations which the markets must rapidly become familiar with. Yet as was revealed by a recent webinar I took part in on TR data and data management challenges, it was clear that the industry is hungry for additional clarity and detail around the specific changes to these reporting requirements. Scale of the challenge A particularly concerning point for firms, which I covered in the...
30 days ago,(2017/04/25)
Ollie Cadman wrote a new blog post titled Five Ways to Prevent MiFID II Technology Decisions from Going Wrong
The following blog was originally published by Vela Trading Technologies and is reproduced here with permission   On 22 March 2017, Vela hosted an executive roundtable in London on the cross asset challenges of MiFID II. In the first of three event reports, we look at how the participants, who came from across the market, emphasised the need to automate more than ever before, and for greater collaboration between buy-side, sell-side, and technology vendors.   Brokers and investment managers face a short timeframe to resolve big technology issues under MiFID II. The more...
34 days ago,(2017/04/21)