BST Awards 2018: Best Buy-Side IBOR (Investment Book of Record) Platform—SimCorp

Martin Bayfield and Allan Copping

Ever since this category was first introduced to the Buy-Side Technology Awards line-up five years ago, Copenhagen-based SimCorp has been the sole winner. Needless to say, to remain at the top of any category in these awards for so long requires a keen awareness of changing technology and regulatory conditions. 

According to Mark Baker, SimCorp’s IBOR product portfolio manager, the concept of an IBOR is fundamental to how the firm’s Dimension platform has been built. “Our IBOR covers multiple asset classes, ranging from simple products such as equities to more complex products like variance swaps,” says Baker. “We have also recently expanded that to include alternative investments as well. So within that single system and book of record, we aim to support core position-keeping, which then underpins front-office systems, which we also have available within Dimension, and the middle-office system in risk and analytics. This is quite different to a number of our competitors,” he says. 

In terms of innovation, SimCorp is looking at the elasticity of use of its services layer, aimed at ensuring that its customers are able to run at an optimal cost within a cloud environment by scaling up and down services on demand. The vendor is also in the early stages of looking at how it can incorporate artificial intelligence into its offerings. “We aim to apply machine learning initially to operational user workflows, whereby we can predict, say, the likelihood of a trade being appropriately confirmed and affirmed,” Baker explains. “Then we’ll look to implement an application programming interface (API) strategy to either place trades into queues so that they can be reviewed by operational users, or alternatively just automatically push them through. That’s putting some business intelligence on top of the analytics, and we’re in the early stages of discussions with two to three clients in that area.”  

In terms of recently introduced regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation and the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II), SimCorp has developed specific programs to support its client who fall under their purview. “Obviously the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation is coming up, and so we have an internal program that will facilitate our customers’ reporting requirements on securities and financial transactions,” he says. “In terms of our delivery, we are looking at a new cloud-based mechanism where we will use an API strategy within the IBOR part of the system to remove the transactions and deliver them to the transactions repository. This is part of our cloud-enablement strategy, and this is just one strand of that.” 

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