Buy-Side Technology Awards 2014: Best Broker-Supplied Tool/Technology—UBS Delta

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Victor Anderson, Ian Lumb, Christianne Smart, Brian Moore and Lindsey Matthews.

While the buy side can claim tremendous gains furnishing its own technology, and in some cases even commoditizing it in recent years, the sell side remains one of the most important sources of technology for investment managers. This category is a crucial one because it reflects a reality of life, particularly for shops that are small or starting up, which traditionally lean heavily on their brokers. However, an exceptional broker-supplied tool is ultimately defined by its use not just by boutiques that have nowhere else to turn, but also across the wide variety of buy-side organizations in play, including large, well-established firms and institutional investors. For that reason, and for the third time in four years, the winning broker-supplied tool in 2014 is UBS Delta.

It would be an understatement to say UBS has been out in front with beefy, client-facing technology capacity lately. Its multi-asset Neo liquidity aggregation portal was a winner in this summer’s Waters Rankings, and enhancements to UBS Delta’s risk engine, including improved overnight indexed swap (OIS) curves, counterparty analytics, on-demand reporting, multi-asset risk, volatility derivatives, and limited price inflation (LPI) swap calculations all reflect the Swiss bank’s dedication to the platform, backed by 40 developers devoted to its evolution.

Doubtless, much of UBS Delta’s intellectual property can be traced back to the bank’s own technology and experience in the markets. However, it has also done fine work this year finding partners to team up with on specific problems related to counterparty risk. For example, in October came news that UBS Delta would work with specialist consultancy Quaternion Risk Management Limited on credit and debt valuation adjustment (CVA/DVA) analytics and reporting. Quaternion’s risk engine and complex analytics are now live on the platform. A similar deal was struck with Morningstar in April to help asset management clients cope with Solvency II solvency capital requirements (SCRs).

With risk modeling, performance and attribution, and risk reporting functions all now included, UBS Delta successfully onboarded 10 new clients this year, bringing its sum to about 100 firms and 2,000 users. That former number might seem modest, but look closer: It includes the UK’s largest corporate pension plan, one of Europe’s few $40 billion-plus hedge funds, and a prominent family office in the bank’s home country.

While one emerging theme throughout buy-side technology today has been to target the smaller shops—there are more of them, after all—UBS Delta can boast of effectively doing the opposite, and doing it extremely well.

With risk modeling, performance and attribution, and risk reporting functions all now included, UBS Delta successfully onboarded 10 new clients this year, bringing its sum to about 100 firms and 2,000 users.
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