BST Awards 2020: Best buy-side market surveillance tool/platform—SteelEye

Buy-Side Technology Awards 2020

Everyone loves a good underdog story.

For the past two years, industry stalwart Nasdaq has clinched the title of best buy-side market surveillance tool/platform, but this year SteelEye, a relative newcomer founded in 2017, has managed to halt the exchange’s march toward a hat trick. 

Matt Smith, CEO at SteelEye, says the vendor offers a platform that is asset class-agnostic and takes a data-first approach. 

“What I think distinguishes us is our ability to work with different types of datasets where I think other firms really focused on the surveillance first, rather than the data first,” he says. “We focus on the data first.”

He says the firm can bring structured and unstructured datasets together, letting clients extract new insights and meaning. An example could be insider trading, where an analyst would need to study a mountain of data such as transactional data, market data, email, and social media, in order to investigate a case successfully.

Smith says a lot of traditional trade surveillance platforms look only at trading activity. 

“What is different about SteelEye is we have the news, market data, market movements, volume, and the communications. We are able to actually bring all those things together to become one thing,” he says.  

The firm’s clients comprise an eclectic mix of asset managers, hedge funds, banks, commodity companies, brokers, and broker-dealers. 

In October, the vendor entered into a partnership with Refinitiv, incorporating the data giant’s market data onto the SteelEye platform and counting it among other source options including IHS Markit and Morningstar. The partnership with Refinitiv provides the vendor with the opportunity to collect real-time market data and have greater global coverage.   

“By having multiple options for our clients in terms of where we get the market data, we feel that we give the most comprehensive capabilities around things like best execution, as an example,” Smith says, adding that the firm does not charge for market data, which is built into the platform.

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