Sell-Side Technology Awards 2017: FRTB in the Sell-Side Spotlight

The Sell-Side Technology Awards 2017, held on the evening of April 5 at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, were notable for two reasons: FRTB, or the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book, featured across the number of different categories and in no fewer than a dozen entries, while former US Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug was on hand to present the awards.

The Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB), a revised market risk framework introduced by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) to ensure firms’ “standardized and internal model approaches to market risk deliver credible capital outcomes and promote consistent implementation of the standards across [its] jurisdiction,” seems to be everywhere right now. 

Granted, we have known about FRTB for a while now, given that the BCBS issued its first paper on the overhaul back in late 2013. But it appears as though sell-side firms have moved from a phase of head scratching to one focused on what the changes are likely to mean to them on an organizational level, but most especially to their current risk management frameworks and underlying technology stacks. There is still some time to go before the January 1, 2019, implementation date, but if anything, sell-side interest in FRTB is only going to intensify. 

It’s good to know that the third-party technology community looking after the sell side’s needs appears well-prepared for the challenges ahead. As we have come to expect over the years, there were a number of new faces in this year’s winners’ circle. Synechron, Digital Reasoning, Dealogic and Nex Abide Financial were all first-time winners, while two perennial victors, Nasdaq and IHS Markit, won the final two categories announced on the night—best overall sell-side product of the year and best sell-side technology provider of the year, respectively.

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