Fintech weekly deals and partnerships round-up

BlackRock to acquire alternative investments software provider eFront

BlackRock announced that it’s agreed to acquire eFront, an end-to-end alternative investment management software and solutions provider from private equity firm Bridgepoint and eFront employees for $1.3 billion in cash. It will combine eFront with Aladdin, BlackRock’s investment operating platform used by more than 225 institutions around the world. A definitive agreement is yet to be reached.

eFront, which serves more than 700 clients in 48 countries, is a technology solution for managing the alternatives investment lifecycle, from due diligence and portfolio planning to performance and risk analysis, across a range of alternative asset classes for private equity, real estate investment, banking, and insurance sectors.

Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink, commented in a statement specifically on eFront’s global presence and particularly its headquarters in Paris, while Rob Goldstein, COO of BlackRock, noted that it will bolster the asset manager in the illiquid investment space with a “whole portfolio” approach.

“There are $9 trillion in alternative assets under management in the industry today and clients are incorporating them into their investment strategies at a record pace,” said Goldstein. “This has created an unprecedented need for risk and investment management capabilities spanning both public and private asset classes.”

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Broadridge integrates SWIFT’s gpi to boost cross-border payment product

Broadridge Financial Solutions announced it’s integrated SWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) for corporate clients and is on-boarding users. The gpi technology can be accessed through the Broadridge’s cloud-based financial messaging application, FinMApp, which is used for transaction monitoring, management, translation and reporting features on international payments by over 100 multinational organizations.

The move follows the successful completion of a SWIFT pilot, which focused on how banks and corporates can use its gpi technology to further streamline cross-border payments, and comes well in advance of the 2020 deadline set out by SWIFT to transfer all cross-border payments onto its gpi platform.

Broadridge’s cloud-based platform FinMApp, will enable corporate and financial institutions to track cross-border payments in real-time, receive status updates and notifications on applicable costs and charges. Through FinMApp, Broadridge clients are now additionally able to deploy a UETR — a unique end-to-end transaction reference — required to identify transactions across national borders or to use the UETR created by any other system linked to FinMApp.

“By adding gpi information to FinMApp, Broadridge clients receive greater visibility into their payments through increased tracking capabilities and can manage risk more efficiently through the payment life cycle,” said Andreas Günther, executive director of SWIFT Services at Broadridge, in a statement.

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SmartStream partners with Cassini Systems for uncleared IM

SmartStream Technologies announced its partnership with Cassini Systems, a provider of pre- and post-trade margin analytics for buy-side derivatives trading, to help financial institutions comply with BCBS-IOSCO margin requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives.

BCBS-IOSCO defines rules for margin requirements on Uncleared Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives known as Uncleared Margin Rules (UMR). ISDA has developed a Standard Initial Margin Model (SIMM) that can be used by market participants to provide a transparent and standardized margin methodology of bi-lateral trades. The rollout of UMR rules has now reached the buy side with phase 4 firms coming into scope in September 2019, and phase 5 firms in September 2020.

SmartStream’s TLM Collateral Management provides firms with automated data management to reduce operational risks associated with collateral management. This partnership will integrate Cassini’s analytics platform to provide complete SIMM calculations on OTC derivatives for clients in scope for phase 4 and 5. This gives TLM clients the ability to reduce counterparty disputes and operational costs, while having transparency over the SIMM components and underlying risk of the portfolio.

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