Clues... At it's core, this is much of what we are ever doing as a research and advisory operation: Looking for clues. Ideally, we are looking for the kinds of clues that recur as patterns. And then, tell the stories from those clues and patterns. (Better yet, if we can devise a mechanism to systematically discover more clues and more patterns with regularity, then we will have developed something quite valuable. But, I digress...) So, it was with great fascination that we discovered one of the next important clues; some evidence of the nature of transformation in the trading and investment world - and that which is indicative of so many other sympathetic movements in the broader financial industry. This is the falling of dominoes that we often refer to. Here's the gist: Quantitative methods are set to pervade much more of the traditional asset management community and a broader cross-section of the strategy spectrum. Likely more than expected. Reason being: Fee compression renders traditional investment processes too expensive and [...]
The incumbency of incumbents continues... This play has been well-established in the hardware and technical infrastructure arena for banks. And, for students of this game, the drumbeat of clues has been steady in the software solution arena for all types of financial asset-handlers, as well. However, with the $1.45 billion acquisition announcement of Eze Software Group by SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (SSNC) on July 31, 2018 - an event that comes a mere 11 days after State Street (STT) announces its acquisition of Charles River Development (CRD) for $2.6 billion - it is clear that the turf war in what Alphacution calls "Big FinTech" has heated up to a new level of intensity. Here's why: There's a greater chance of controlling the "means of production" - the toolbox for trading and investment workflows - from the middle than from the front or the back. Yes, at-trade solutions like order and execution management systems (O/EMSs) are quite sticky, but these latest maneuvers with CRD and Eze are much more than that. [...]
William Shakespeare wrote: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." It turns out - more so now than ever before - that there is a business equivalent to this famous line from Act 2 Scene 7 of Shakespeare's play, "As You Like It." The difference, however, is that the "stage" in the current context is known as a platform. And, with each passing day, the strength, agility, intelligence and speed requirements of current financial platforms tend to increase. Putting our key points up front, what we are going to emphasize as we make the case for the validity (and urgency) of this opening salvo are the following: The ceaseless march of innovation, competitive forces and exogenous market factors dictate that players in the modern financial services industry evolve from their initial proprietary technology bias to an expanded supply chain strategy, with focus on certain foundational categories of technical functionality. In other words, for a majority of players, their are certain core technical components that [...]
Disclaimer: Opinions and a grain or two of salty language contained herein are solely those of the author. Save your time. Just, pick up the flashlight now. Ok. Here's some bait: Chances are quite high that you are searching for answers in the darkness (amidst the chaos). And the tools that you have at your disposal - typically in the form of 5,000 or 10,000 word salads with few pictures and fewer numbers from a "pedigreed" purveyor of guidance - actually do not emit much light. The good news is that you need not toil in darkness any longer. There is a flashlight at your disposal - and, unlike a normal flashlight, this one is designed to grow in luminosity and enhance your enlightenment at the same time. Now, you can continue to deny that this is your reality - and continue as you are - or, you can check out the flashlight. Still skeptical? Here's more of the pitch: I have been successfully solving complex puzzles for a very long time. The puzzle that fascinates me and tickles my curiosity most right [...]
Everything takes longer than you initially think it will. Never a truer statement made, particularly when it comes to the following: Negotiated, commissioned and subsequently developed - and then re-vamped - for completion on an expedited timeline last spring (2016), our first annual deep-dive study into technology spending patterns among the largest global banks was only recently published by client-partner Thomson Reuters. We have referenced this work and output regularly over the past several months, but there is something special about having a partner bring it to light. We are grateful to finally put this corner-stone credential in place. Access Thomson Reuter's "chapterized" version here or the entire document here: Enjoy. There is much more of this output - and key developments surrounding that output - on the way soon...