by Patrick Chambeau, Director of Marketing, IPC Systems
Arriving in London during a heat wave in Europe, Brexit discussions and economic uncertainty, made me appreciate this moment – of cool and calm individuals focusing on financial markets’ business challenges with industry professionals and peers at the Financial Information Services Association (FISD) conference – even more.
Approximately 300 people attended the FISD conference – most being very senior representatives of our whole community. I saw some buy-side firms, asset managers, hedge funds, institutional investors, sell-side firms, large investment banks, liquidity venues, exchanges, technology vendors, market data providers…gathering to learn, experiment and benchmark themselves. Some people may have different views, different organizational matrixes, regional-global decision making processes and fragmented regulatory requirements or pressures, but they came to London with the same ambition – to solve problems, issues and generate value.
I saw different types of firms with different trading needs, but fast access to a connected community – or ecosystem – is at the heart of their business concerns. And this is certainly why IPC is well positioned to empower the financial community.
Most interesting among the sessions was a panel with senior Heads of Market Data sharing their operational challenges:
- Keeping track of data inventory
- Liaising with ‘the business’
- Understanding end user requirements
- Making sense of numerous complex policies and contracts
- Enforcing and tracking compliance with those policies
All against a backdrop of reduced headcount and the seemingly never-ending drive to reduce costs.
What are the 10 key issues they are dealing with right now?
To deliver best execution, transaction reporting and meet many other challenges faced on a day-to-day basis, industry professionals see technology as a facilitator to the business, not the contrary.
Here are 10 key data-related challenges that industry executives appear to be most focused on today:
- Data Management (Collection, Monetization, Analytics) : “Data as a strategic asset”Real-time data as a service: the challenge is to deliver real-time data to the business
- Regulation as a driver for change: Regulatory pressure and MIFID II is at the centre of challenges – some have dedicated MIFID II teams – a vast majority seem keen to learn more here from vendors or consultancy firms about MIFID II. A common thought I heard was to use in a smart manner. Regulation as a driver for change, not only a mandatory passive-reactive approach. This is exactly where Compliance Analytics can bring value.
- Automation: eliminate manual work to focus on added Value tasks
- Costs: Do less with more – Frugal strategy and approach
- Analytics: as an enabler to make more informed decisions
- Technology: as a facilitator to the business
- Proactive approach: they think they are too reactive at the moment
- End-to-end approach: a real value from vendors like IPC, uniquely positioned.
- Profiling: dynamic profiling of the users on the desks are important to really evaluate what the business, traders, sales and others need – the right tools (such as Bloomberg)
- Robotics and AI: most participants are eager to learn more from the market to prepare for the future. Learn from innovators, start-ups, entrepreneur and boutique small-tech firms to provide feedback to their management and get budget – investments/headcounts/value – added.
For sure, most firms appear to want to maintain constant market access and liquidity, stay ahead of competition, control costs and improve return on equity. Improvements in operations, productivity and efficiency are also key challenges in this age of greater speed and digital transformation.
In discussing IPC’s value with attendees, most recognize that helping counterparties to connect, exchange information, mitigate risks and leveraging the Cloud through a one-stop-shop like IPC, is unique. For example, an insurance firm with the need to source liquidity may find immediate value in having access to diverse community of 6000 market participants, in 700 cities in 60 countries on IPC’s network.
This was the right forum for thought leaders and the financial community to discuss, think ahead and initiate problem solving. Firms that anticipate and ask us, as well to our partners, the questions about how to respond to the new challenges generated by data requirements – and other business needs – should find themselves gaining a competitive advantage.