Fintech weekly deals and partnerships roundup

HSBC partners with Canada’s Element AI in GBM division

HSBC has signed a collaboration agreement with artificial intelligence (AI) software company Element AI to help the bank develop the capability to quickly and effectively analyze data from clients of its Global Banking and Markets (GBM) division. This data analysis will help the bank to more efficiently meet global regulatory requirements, such as anti-money laundering rules, as well as allowing it to predict what services and product solutions its clients may need in the future.

The partnership has been signed following a five-month global search process. The bank hopes to sign agreements with one or two more of these companies in the coming months. “Our goal has been to find the best firms engaging in AI research and to be able to learn and partner with these companies which will allow us to co-develop new products for our clients and the broader financial services industry,” said Chuck Teixeira, chief administrative officer and head of Transformation at HSBC’s GBM division.

The partnership with the company will provide a base for joint development of AI-based software and systems which will be tested on HSBC’s global data pool in a secure environment. The Element AI team working on this partnership will be based in HSBC’s new innovation lab in Toronto that was opened last month. “Following the creation of our big data program in 2018 and the recent opening of our global innovation and data labs in London and Toronto, our collaboration with Element AI represents the next step in our AI transformation at HSBC,” said Andre Cronje, chief operating officer for GBM.

Privitar raises $40mn for ethical data use

Data privacy software company Privitar announced it’s closed a $40 million Series B funding round led by global venture capital firm Accel, with participation from existing investors Partech, Salesforce Ventures, 24Haymarket and IQ Capital.

Privitar will use the investment to accelerate the development of its privacy engineering products, providing a comprehensive set of capabilities so that its customers can publish and share valuable data-driven insights in an efficient, trustworthy, and compliant way. Its customers include some of the world’s best-known brands, such as HSBC in financial services.

Following high-profile events like the Equifax breach and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, consumers around the world are increasingly concerned with how enterprises are handling their personal data. Additionally, regulation and consumer rights around data protection are growing, with the European and US regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

Read the full release

DTCC signs on Catena, CSS and Finastra for SFTR service

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced new partnerships with Catena Technologies, Compliance Solutions Strategies (CSS) and Finastra, to further support its mutual clients which will use DTCC’s Global Trade Repository (GTR) service in support of incoming Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) obligations, expected in April 2020.

“DTCC works to advance industry-leading solutions that help secure and shape the future growth and development of the global financial marketplace,” said Marisol Collazo, managing director, Business Development and Head of Strategic Partnerships at DTCC, in a statement. “Our Partner Program supports this mission by actively promoting collaboration with global and regional financial technology providers to help mutual clients to mitigate risk, achieve market efficiencies and reduce costs – and SFTR is, rightly so, front of mind for many right now.”

In 2018, DTCC’s Repository and Derivatives Services (RDS) division established GTR SFTR partnerships with EquiLend, Trax, IHS Markit and Pirum as well as Broadridge, FIS Global, Murex, RegTek.Solutions and SimCorp.

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Google to acquire business data analytics platform Looker for $2.6bn

Google announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Looker, a unified platform for business intelligence, data applications and embedded analytics, in a $2.6 billion all-cash transaction. Upon the close of the acquisition, Looker will join Google Cloud. It’s expected to complete later this year. Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said in a statement: “We remain committed to our multi-cloud strategy and will retain and expand Looker’s capabilities to analyze data across clouds.”

The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will provide customers with a more comprehensive analytics solution — from ingesting and integrating data to gain insights, to embedded analytics and visualizations — enabling enterprises to use the power of analytics, machine learning and AI. This acquisition builds on an existing partnership where the two companies share more than 350 joint customers, such as Buzzfeed, Hearst, King, Sunrun, WPP Essence, and Yahoo!. Google Cloud customers include HSBC, BBVA and BNP Paribas, among others.

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Microsoft and Oracle join up clouds

Microsoft and Oracle announced a cloud interoperability partnership for customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. Enterprises can now connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database. By enabling customers to run one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within the Oracle Cloud, the partnership delivers an optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience.

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Credit Suisse partners with Privé Technologies to help asset managers

Credit Suisse announced a collaboration with Privé Technologies (Privé), a Hong Kong-based digital wealth management solutions platform provider for financial institutions, to provide External Asset Managers (EAMs) access to better wealth management technology solutions. The collaboration with Credit Suisse will enable Privé to further enhance their wealth management platform for EAMs including content generation, risk profiling and suitability, order management and execution capabilities.

Sascha Zehnter, head of EAMs, Private Banking Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, said in a statement: “In Asia Pacific, the industry has been growing rapidly, with current assets under management estimated at over $90 billion in Hong Kong and Singapore. In this evolving business environment, process automation and technology solutions will become increasingly important for EAMs to better serve their clients, to increase operational efficiency and improve risk management controls. Through our collaboration with Privé, we are reaffirming our commitment to EAMs in the region by helping to develop the next generation of EAM wealth management technology solutions including automated portfolio management and reporting, order management and execution, risk profiling and suitability, as well as content generation capabilities.”

Credit Suisse launched the first digital private banking solution in the region in 2015, and partnered with the fintech company Canopy in 2017 to make accessible to its clients an automated account aggregation platform and reporting solution. Recently, the bank launched Credit Suisse Chat, a proprietary in-house chat platform which allows its relationship managers to communicate with their clients through their preferred messaging channels in a secure and compliant environment.

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Citco’s partnership with S3 opens up a new door for a fund administrator to provide securities lending analytics to hedge fund clients, reports our sister site Securities Finance Monitor. It’s a cross-sell for S3 that may also include FIS data, which makes it a bit complicated as well. According to the press release, “The agreement between Citco and S3 allows Citco clients to get the benefit of BLACKLIGHT’s Financing Trade Cost Analytics (FinTCA) tools to maximize trade, margin and collateral exposures and efficiencies. The platform will be rolled out via Citco’s Æxeo Treasury platform.” It’s another example of the many ways that securities lending data and analytics is seeping into the market.

Liquidnet acquires AI analytics provider Prattle

Liquidnet is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) investment analytics platform with the acquisition of Prattle, a provider of automated investment research solutions for portfolio managers, research analysts, and other financial professionals.

Prattle developed a proprietary natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) system to produce analytics that measure sentiment and predict the market impact of publicly available content including central bank and corporate communications, such as company earnings calls and press releases. Asset managers can use these analytics to: understand and anticipate relevant market movement, strengthen investment theses, and inform trading strategies.

The announcement follows Liquidnet’s recent acquisition of RSRCHXchange, a marketplace and aggregator for asset managers to consume, discover, and purchase investment research, and the 2017 acquisition of OTAS Technologies. With Prattle’s NLP and data science technology, OTAS’s AI-driven analytics, and RSRCHXchange’s technology enhanced distribution platform, Liquidnet’s global network of asset managers will have access to a set of powerful investment analytics leveraging AI methodologies across both structured and unstructured data.

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Itarle expands to US, colocates in CME’s data center 

Itarle, a provider of high-performance best execution services to banks, is colocating within CME’s group data center in Aurora, Illinois and hiring staff in New York. The moves will complete its global data center presence. Switzerland-headquartered Itarle also has offices in London and Hong Kong

The opening of a New York City office in Q2 2019 reflects the growing need for transparency and accountability from sell-side firms when trading assets. This comes as a natural response to RTS 28 under MiFID 2 that currently only requires banks to disclose the top five venues where they trade; this enables them to bypass the lit book to avoid exchange fees.

“Our expansion mirrors the consensus in the market – especially from large, global banks – that performance and cost benefits of outsourcing high-quality best execution services outweigh any gains from proprietary, in-house development,” said Paul Lynch, CEO of Itarle, in a statement. Itarle’s suite of multi-asset class services covers a broad range of products, from the illiquid, such as Rouch Rice and Coca, to the most active contracts, such as 10-year bonds and S&P Minis.

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