It seems like just the other day that Electra Information Systems pulled off one of the great coups of the last decade at the Buy-Side Technology Awards by unseating SmartStream Technologies, a perennial winner over the years in this increasingly important category. But that was almost two years ago, and, thanks to an astonishingly dominant performance in this year’s Waters Rankings, the New York-based back-office specialist is back in the winners’ circle thanks to Waters’ readers. Such was its showing in this year’s Rankings that in the final analysis no one came close to matching Electra.
Electra, thanks to its flagship Electra Reconciliation platform—which some Waters readers might remember as OpenSTaARS or the Securities Transaction and Asset Reconciliation System—is now surely the de facto leader in the reconciliations space. The platform, which can be delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS), implemented in-house, fully hosted or as a managed service, is designed to allow users to manage trade exceptions based on individually defined parameters and rules.
Trade breaks are displayed with their effect on both cash and security positions in a single view, while the progress of reconciliations is presented in real time for the benefit of back-office staff. In addition to supporting standard custodial reconciliation of positions and transactions for all security types across multiple systems and parties, Electra also supports a variety of additional reconciliation activities such as system-to-system, P&L, collateral, security master, and pricing.
Given that Electra received more than double the number of votes compared to its closest competitor in this year’s Rankings, it comes as no surprise that 2015 was a particularly strong year for the Park Avenue, New York-based vendor, originally founded back in 1998. According to a mid-January press release, the firm increased its client base by over 20 percent during the course of 2015 as “demand for automated post-trade operation and robust data management solutions quickly rose.” According to the press release, all of Electra’s offerings contributed to the firm’s growth, although “particular strength was evident in Electra’s reconciliation solutions and subscriptions to its extensive data network.”
In June, Electra struck a potentially lucrative alliance with Linedata, which saw the pair launch an interface between Electra Reconciliation and Linedata Global Hedge Portfolio Manager, providing hedge fund managers with integration between the two platforms, ensuring what Electra describes as “reliable and continued interoperability.”
Other technology vendors that featured prominently in this category include Thomson Reuters, SmartStream, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. (Omgeo), and the London Stock Exchange Group’s Univista platform.
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