Fintech weekly deals and partnerships roundup

ECB picks SIA And Colt for Eurosystem’s payments, securities and collateral infrastructures

SIA, in partnership with Colt Technology Services, was awarded a 10-year license from a tender commissioned by the European Central Bank for the provisioning of connectivity services allowing European central and commercial banks, central depositories, automated clearing houses and other payment service providers to connect directly to Eurosystem market infrastructures through a single access interface (Eurosystem Single Market Infrastructure Gateway – ESMIG).

Starting from November 2021, all the key organizations in the European financial system will be able to access the platform for the settlement of large-value payments TARGET2, the instant payments settlement service TIPS, the securities settlement platform TARGET2-Securities (T2S), the Eurosystem Collateral Management System (ECMS) and possibly other new services and applications.

ESMIG is a fundamental component in the implementation of the TARGET2 and TARGET2-Securities consolidation project, which was one of the key proposals of Eurosystem’s “2020 Vision” strategic plan for the evolution of market infrastructures. This project will entail savings for both financial institutions, who require more secure and reliable functionalities to be made available, and for the Eurosystem itself through a reduction in operating costs.

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Credit Suisse in “advanced discussions” on InvestLab future

In response to speculation about a divestment of Credit Suisse InvestLab, Credit Suisse issued the following statement: “Credit Suisse is in advanced discussions regarding strategic alternatives to support the further development of Credit Suisse InvestLab, although no final decision has been made.”

Swiss media outlet Inside Paradeplatz said Credit Suisse’s fund distribution platform InvestLab is being acquired by Allfunds, which is backed by a private equity house and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund.

National Bank of Canada takes 10% stake in Equilend

National Bank of Canada (NBC) has completed its acquisition of a 10% stake in EquiLend from J.P. Morgan following clearance from EquiLend’s regulators in the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. J.P. Morgan will continue to hold a 10% ownership interest in EquiLend. Brian Lamb, CEO of EquiLend, said in a statement: “NBC has long been a supporter of leading-edge technology and innovation in securities finance, so the firm is a natural fit as an owner of EquiLend.”

The deal was announced in December 2018 and closed in June 2019. J.P. Morgan previously held a 20% stake in EquiLend.
NBC joins nine other global financial institutions as owners and members of the board of EquiLend, a leading global securities finance technology firm. In addition to NBC and J.P. Morgan, EquiLend owners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, State Street and UBS.

EquiLend’s Canadian business has grown considerably in the past decade, with all major domestic securities finance market participants now using EquiLend’s trading, post-trade and market data services. As the world’s second-largest securities finance market by on-loan value (according to DataLend), Canada is a key market for EquiLend.

Algomi ALFA connects to Liquidnet and Trumid for buy-side execution

Algomi, which provides data aggregation technology for the optimization of fixed income liquidity, announced Algomi ALFA will enable orders to be executed on Liquidnet and Trumid. With this new functionality, Algomi ALFA goes beyond aggregating market data and liquidity to allow traders to efficiently navigate the markets and execute trades without duplicating steps across platforms. For actionable liquidity alerts, Algomi ALFA enables order staging and desktop interoperability.

Algomi ALFA allows traders to engage with Liquidnet’s growing corporate bond liquidity on any actionable alert, by populating orders directly from ALFA before sending to Liquidnet via FIX. Liquidnet subsequently launches an active negotiation window to traders from its desktop application. Once the trade is completed, traders can view and export the execution report from ALFA.

For Trumid, traders can engage with all Trumid actionable alerts from within Algomi ALFA, through Algomi’s graphical user interface and using the OpenFin message bus. When a trader engages with an alert in Algomi ALFA, Trumid displays the appropriate dialogue, depending on the current state of the trader’s activity and bond’s activity on Trumid. The trader then engages directly within Trumid.

Scott Eaton the CEO of Algomi said in a statement: “Fund managers can now easily action and execute decisions based on the front-end data aggregation we provide. This is a major step in creating an efficient workflow process that leads to trading with increased speed, improved liquidity and efficiency in the market.”

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AnalytixInsight expands AI-driven research deal with Refinitiv, announces private placement

AnalytixInsight announced that it has expanded its AI-driven research distribution initiative with Refinitiv, and has arranged a non-brokered private placement financing of approximately $1.3 million.

The expansion means the Canadian AI firm will initiate dividend analysis coverage on approximately 3,000 dividend-paying companies in Canada, US, and the UK. The CapitalCube dividend analysis report provides powerful insights, analysis, and scoring regarding a company’s dividend quality, yield, coverage, flexibility, payment history, peer comparisons, and sustainability. CapitalCube is a machine learning financial portal.

AnalytixInsight and Refinitiv have also expanded the scope of CapitalCube’s pre-revenue analysis reports that are currently provided to Refinitiv. Coverage on pre-revenue companies located in Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan will now begin in response to increasing client usage of the North American reports currently in production.

AnalytixInsight also announces a non-brokered private placement financing for gross proceeds of approximately $1,300,000 at a price of $0.40 per unit, with each unit consisting of one common share of the Company and one half of one common share purchase warrant.

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AI and blockchain insurtech raises $630k seed funding

BlockClaim, the first hybrid artificial intelligence and blockchain technology solution developed for the insurance industry, has successfully completed its seed funding round with a £500,000 ($629.1k) investment. Developed at Imperial College London, BlockClaim uses advanced data science techniques to provide insurers with AI-powered fraud filtering and blockchain claim automation.

Insurers can simultaneously detect fraudulent claims and process claims in record time thanks to capabilities such as intelligent claims-routing and self-learning fraud detection.

Features such as an image recognition AI module can be used to automatically detect damage to vehicles in the event of an accident claim and validate whether it’s genuine or fraudulent. The system can also scan phone and email conversations for inconsistencies and irregularities, helping insurers automatically weed out fraudsters, resolve claims faster and offer a better standard of customer service. BlockClaim delivers a cost per claim reduction of 20% along with significantly reduced settlement times.

The seed funding round attracted investment from global technology investor, Amadeus Capital Partners, whose previous investments include Graphcore. Amadeus is known for its focus on AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, healthcare and SaaS. It has invested over $1 billion since 1997 and specializes in taking high-growth companies global. A number of insurance executives and business angels also backed BlockClaim in its seed round.

Niels Thoné, CEO of BlockClaim, said in a statement, “BlockClaim brings the insurance industry into the digital age with state-of-the-art engineering which couples the power of machines and distributed ledger technology with over two decades of industry experience. The rapid advancement of data science allows us to provide unprecedented objectivity and context automatically in areas that were hitherto only subjective. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to pass through the net.”

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Goldman Sachs-backed Symphony raises $165mn for expansion

Symphony Communication Services announced it’s raised $165 million in new capital. Standard Chartered and MUFG Innovation Partners, along with a group of existing and other investors, participated in the round. This brings Symphony’s total capital raised to date to over $460 million.

Symphony will use the new capital to evolve its new Market Solutions business, to accelerate growth in both its current and new markets, and further build out its feature stack to deliver a new wave of innovation to enterprises as they replace traditional collaboration tools.

The investment comes after a year of exceptional growth and momentum for Symphony, including: surpassing 430,000 licensed users from over 60 countries, making the Symphony community the largest global financial digital network to date; and the development of more than 1,000 bots and apps on the Symphony platform by its community of customers and partners.

“Symphony has generated tremendous interest for revolutionizing buy-side and sell-side secure messaging and collaboration in global markets, both in content curation and consumption as well as the workflow across the whole deal life-cycle,” said Yann Gerardin, deputy COO and head of Corporate and Institutional Banking at BNP Paribas.

Darren Cohen, global head of Principal Strategic Investments (PSI), Goldman Sachs, said in a statement: “The rapid proliferation of Symphony bots and application integrations across the trade lifecycle and throughout the enterprise gives us a glimpse into the future. Symphony’s secure infrastructure and diverse ecosystem will enable the industry to unlock significant operational efficiency and meaningfully enhance the client experience.”

“Digital transformation is central to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s future business, and collaboration with fintech companies is a crucial part of that process. Forming agile partnerships with exciting and innovative companies like Symphony helps us remain a partner of choice in a changing world,” said Nobutake Suzuki, President and CEO, MUFG Innovation Partners, in a statement.

“This strategic investment will provide [Standard Chartered] with greater insights into future trends in the enterprise communication and workflow collaboration space. Furthermore, as a leading global bank, Standard Chartered offers Symphony growth opportunities in our footprint markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” said Alex Manson, global head of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered in a statement.

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JSE migrates equity and FX derivatives to LSEG tech

LSEG Technology, part of London Stock Exchange Group, announced that the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has gone live with equity and FX Derivatives on Millennium Exchange and Millennium Surveillance. This project entailed a major upgrade to the existing equity market whilst on-boarding both the Equity Derivatives Market (EDM) and the Foreign Exchange Derivatives Market (FXM).

The new release covers all derivatives asset classes with the ability for JSE to extend to other products in future. The platforms contain features specifically tailored to support the derivatives market, including implied-order trading, a host of multi-legged trading strategies and options theoretical pricing. These are supported by real time cross-asset class monitoring in Millennium Surveillance.

LSEG Technology’s trading and post-trade products are used by over 40 financial market infrastructure and financial services firms, which include London Stock Exchange Group markets (London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, Turquoise), HKEX, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Singapore Exchange, among others.

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Refinitiv and Napier team up to use advanced tech against financial crime

Refinitiv has partnered with Napier, an anti-money laundering (AML) and intelligent compliance software provider, to offer a next-generation transaction monitoring solution designed to help corporates and financial institutions tackle money laundering and combat emerging threats in financial crime. The partnership offers Napier’s advanced analytics, automation and transparent artificial intelligence, backed by Refinitiv’s World-Check Risk Intelligence data, to meet an evolving range of AML compliance requirements.

“One of the most important challenges financial services firms face today is protecting themselves from money laundering, external and internal fraud and other financial crime-related activities,” said Phil Cotter, MD of the Risk business at Refinitiv, in a statement. “Together, Refinitiv and Napier will bring significant advancements in technology combined with trusted risk intelligence to help organizations monitor transactions and screen for suspicious financial activity.”

Napier’s AML solution consists of advanced artificial intelligence based products to help customers combat evolving threats in financial crime through transaction monitoring, customer and transaction screening. This allows businesses to review transactions and identify suspicious behavior, perform client and entity screening according to current policies and regulations, and manage the process through standard workflow, analytics and rules-based assessment.

World-Check Risk Intelligence provides users with structured data retrieved from reliable, reputable, public domain sources for risk screening purposes. This information will help firms fulfill their due diligence obligations and identify potential financial and related crime, as well as politically exposed persons, sanctioned entities and other areas of concern.

“The technology we’ve developed at Napier is changing the world of compliance and few firms can claim to have developed their AML solution with integrated AI from the outset to the same degree. We know technology alone isn’t the answer – it’s also about how it is implemented to underpin policy, process and procedure. This approach lets us deliver on outcomes in line with the compliance challenges companies face,” said Julian Dixon, Napier CEO, in a statement.

Using big-data architecture along with artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Napier solution rapidly ingests and processes hundreds of millions of transactions, client records and all reference data. Users can define scenarios by means of an intuitive user interface without the need for complex coding and identify high-risk clients and transactions while minimizing false positives. In addition, it provides a full audit trail on all user-and system-generated actions and accelerates AML processes throughout the workflow.

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QuantHouse to provide market data to Eventus Systems

QuantHouse announced that its QuantFEED has been selected by Eventus Systems to provide high-quality market data for its trade surveillance platform Validus. QuantHouse is an independent global provider of end-to-end systematic trading solutions, market data services, algo trading platform and infrastructure solutions,

Validus gives clients a broad view of risk across their trading operations, with a focus on trade surveillance, risk and position monitoring, reconciliation and operational controls. The Validus platform has two standard implementations: on-premise enterprise and a cloud solution using Amazon AWS. Either implementation can be run in real-time or T+1. QuantFEED provides the T+1 solution with consistent, accurate tick data, a requirement for effective trade surveillance and risk management.

In addition to using QuantFEED, Eventus Systems has also joined the qh API Ecosystem. QuantHouse clients will now be able to take advantage of the Validus platform, which monitors for all types of trade surveillance including market manipulation and has more than 250 surveillance procedures that can be amended per client requirements. These procedures enable the tracking of specific types of manipulation such as spoofing, layering, wash trading and collusion.

It has been developed to meet regulatory obligations for both buy- and sell-side institutions in the US and APAC as well as in EMEA to provide MiFID II and MAR compliance. The consistency of QuantHouse data and timestamping ensures Validus’ calculations are based on an accurate reflection of market activity, while the quality of data normalization across QuantFEED products allows Eventus to quickly and easily onboard new markets without maintaining individual feeds in disparate formats.

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Traydstream launches STP document pilot with SEB, Standard Chartered

Traydstream announced a 10-week pilot partnership with several of its major advising banks — SEB, OP Group, Standard Chartered — and Nokia. Traydstream is a machine learning-based trade rules and compliance-checking platform.

Michael Vrontamitis, head of Trade for Europe and Americas at Standard Chartered Bank, said of the technology: “We are continuously looking at innovation in technology solutions that can be transformational in the trade space. An efficient document-checking solution has been on our radar for a while, and we are delighted to work with Traydstream’s solution to collaboratively crack this challenge of manual document checking.”

Paula da Silva, as SEB’s head of Transaction Services, said in a statement: “This pilot represents a great opportunity and we hope its success will lead to a wider adoption of change within the Trade Finance business area and throughout the supply chain.”

Traydstream’s co-founder and CRO, Uzair Bawany, said in a statement: “..this collaboration is a great example of how not only fintechs can help financial institutions, but also how financial institutions can be supportive of emerging fintechs by putting faith in the value-add they can provide”.

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