SST Awards 2018: Best Sell-Side Middle-Office Platform—UnaVista, London Stock Exchange Group

Katie Godfrey, Roz Savage, and Damien Terry

Once regarded as little more than a reporting platform, UnaVista has become a powerhouse in its own right over recent years, as regulations have continued to force a focus on transparency on pre-trade, at-trade and post-trade levels.

As arguably one of the most comprehensive platforms of its kind, it’s fitting that UnaVista takes home the inaugural prize for the best sell-side middle-office platform. 

The latter half of 2017 and the first quarters of 2018 have been, for want of a better word, hard going for many folks in the middle office. The implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or Mifid II, led to many an anxious evening over the Christmas and New Year breaks, while the final stages of migration to the Target2-Securities (T2S) platform completed a long-running saga in European market structure projects. Meanwhile, in the US, the Consolidated Audit Trail came and went without ever really materializing, missing its November 2017 go-live date, leaving middle-office professionals longing for any kind of concrete guidance to move forward with.

UnaVista has been able to step into the breach for some of the most technically challenging aspects of Mifid II, contained within its accompanying regulation, which have covered reporting. Test environments set up by UnaVista helped end-users enormously in the buildup to January 3, 2018, when the regulation went live, while the power of its parent company, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), has given it extra firepower and the ability to deploy this in a nuanced way.

“The test program gave customers the ability to upload their data sources one-by-one to test the validations and configurations,” says David Ward, global head of product marketing, data and regulatory technology at the LSEG. “This helped many clients be ready well ahead of go-live, including one tier-one investment bank who told us it knocked four months off their preparation time. The program also included access to our leading team of regulatory SMEs and places for their team on our certified training courses. UnaVista will be replicating the Accelerator program for the upcoming Securities Financing Transactions Regulation reporting.”

In many ways, this has actually been the key to UnaVista’s success over the years. The ability to integrate LSEG reference data, from legal entity identifiers through to the Sedol master files—along with third-party feeds—gives users a powerful proposition for their middle-office requirements, while sharing in the LSEG’s national infrastructure security also assuages concerns over cybersecurity that are ever-present in the minds of capital markets participants today. 

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