The BST Awards are Upon us Once More

Anthony Malakian, US Editor, WatersTechnology

For the seventh year, entries for the Buy-Side Technology Awards are now open. Anthony explains what the judges are looking for when examining nomination forms.

As you may have noticed, this years' Buy-Side Technology Awards are now open for entry. There are 26 categories (see below), not including the awards for Best Buy-Side Product for 2013 and Best Overall Buy-Side Technology Provider for 2013, which will be announced on November 1 at the Buy-Side Technology Awards 2013 winners' lunch held at the Waldorf Hilton in London.

Entries close on September 20, so you have a full month to get your nominations in. These awards are open to the vendors, brokers and buy sides that have external buy-side firms as clients. If you only cater to the sell side, or if your technology stays internal, then your firm is not eligible.

The key to any top-notch submission is depth and specifics in the space of 500 words. Simply copying and pasting information from your website won't cut it. But rest assured, all company/product details and names of reference clients are strictly confidential and we'll only contact clients in the case of a dead heat.

The quality of your entry counts. Those who go the extra mile to provide specific details into their operations and solutions are given special consideration. We want to know what makes your product different than your competitors. While everyone believes that they have a special snowflake, you have to prove it and not just say it.

Also, we want to know what recent upgrades you've made to your solution; new geographies or types of buy-side firms that you're now targeting; planned enhancements; and client wins, ROI and/or dollar-amount investment.

If you have any questions during the nomination process, please do not hesitate to reach out to either myself ([email protected]) or Victor Anderson ([email protected]). We're happy to help because we want to provide the best awards program possible.

Good luck.

* Best buy-side OMS
Platforms should feature pre-trade (deal time) and post-trade compliance; support for a range of asset classes including derivatives; a trading blotter; FIX-enabled connectivity; and order generation and routing functions.

* Best buy-side EMS
Platforms should feature multi-broker/exchange connectivity; pre-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA); algorithmic trading tools and DMA; and should show strong integration capabilities with OMSs.

* Best buy-side risk/portfolio analytics product
Functions should include risk-based portfolio modeling; 'what if' analysis; stress testing; Monte Carlo simulation; and (ideally) the ability to provide VaR and NAV figures.

* Best buy-side performance measurement and attribution product
Functions should include calculation of returns for portfolio (benchmarks and composites); calculation of attribution effects for equity and fixed-income portfolios; and calculation of ex-post risk, absolute and relative.

* Best buy-side algorithmic/DMA product or service
Functions should include a variety of pre-packaged trading algorithms; ability to test strategies; ability to analyze and interpret market events; ease-of-use and easy to understand GUI (this category covers discrete algorithmic trading products and not EMSs).

* Best buy-side commodities trading platform/service
The panel is looking for a trading platform (or pricing service) developed specifically to support buy-side organizations trading energy, metals and agricultural instruments.

* Best buy-side pricing/valuation service
Services will be judged on broadness of product coverage; contributing pricing partners; methodology; and specificity to the buy side.

* Best buy-side data management product
Functions should include repository management (design, storage, archiving, retrieval, distribution of data); content management (importing and cleansing routines); business intelligence tools designed to allow authorized business users to interrogate data repository; creation of reports and manufacture of data sets.

* Best data provider to the buy side
The panel is looking for the ability to integrate with other systems; also, quality data provision and other functional services.

* Best integrated front-office platform
Functions should include the bulk management of multi-asset portfolios to the same benchmark; OMS and EMS functions; modeling; analytics; compliance; multi-asset class coverage.

* Best portfolio accounting platform
Functions should include the ability to support multiple currencies, transactions, and instruments (asset classes); back-office connectivity; flexibility and scalability.

* Best buy-side client reporting platform
Functions include the ability to customize report formats and the look and feel of reports for different clients and/or portfolios; automated production of reports; and ability to manage source data and to monitor production status.

* Best broker-supplied tool/technology
This category is open to any platform/tool provided by a broker or prime broker to its buy-side clients.

* Best buy-side compliance product
Functions should include pre-and post-trade compliance capabilities, tools to monitor compliance both with internal policies and external mandates and regulations, and the ability to integrate with other front- and middle-office applications. Both stand-alone compliance platforms and modules available as part of larger applications will be considered.

* Best buy-side execution venue (crossing network or dark pool)
This category's award will go to the dark pool/crossing network provider best able to provide investment managers access to non-listed liquidity with minimal information leakage.

* Best fund administrator
This category seeks to acknowledge the industry's best fund administrator (for all types of funds including mutual funds, hedge funds and pension funds) and will be decided on the range of its services and the robustness of its technology, especially relating to the calculation of NAVs and various pricing/valuation functions.

* Best buy-side newcomer (vendor or product)
This category is open to any technology vendor established since June 2012 or any product since June 2012 with at least one live client. Upgrades are not considered to be new products.

* Best product implementation at a buy-side firm
This category seeks to highlight a specific product implementation that has gone live between June 2012 and June 2013. The winning implementation will need to have been completed on time and on budget; the winning entry will need to explain (in detail) why the implementation is deserving of this award.

* Best buy-side risk management initiative over the last 12 months
This category seeks to acknowledge enhancements to an existing risk management platform or the launch of a new risk management tool (unveiled since June 2012), designed to address current risk management challenges across the buy-side.

* Best buy-side CRM (Customer Relationship Management) product/service
The winning entry in this category should include functionality designed specifically to allow buy-side firms to efficiently manage client relationships that are growing both in terms of numbers and complexity.

* Best CEP (Complex-Event Processing) product/service
Most CEP vendors in this space provide similar functionality; therefore, what the panel is looking for, are examples of where the technology has enabled buy-side firms to manage either their high-frequency trading activities or their risk management functions in a close-to-real-time environment.

* Best buy-side reconciliation platform/service
The winning product in this category would need to address the following: exception management, it should provide interfaces to widely-used matching engines, and it should support the automatic reconciliation of a large number of instruments, especially OTC derivatives.

* Best outsourcing provider to the buy side
Entrants (providers) should be able to illustrate their ability to provide valuable, cost-effective and efficient outsourced services to the buy side, primarily across the back office, although appropriate middle- and front-office business processes will also be considered.

* Best cloud provider to the buy side
Entrants should be able to demonstrate the ability to provide managed software, infrastructure, or a platform-as-a-service, or combinations of all three, with rapid implementations, flexible consumer models, and high security standards.

* Best big data technology provider to the buy side
Functions should include complex-event processing (CEP) capabilities; sophisticated data aggregation, storage, and analytics tools; and the ability to visualize data and generate reports on performed queries.

* Best TCA provider to the buy side
The panel is looking for a transaction-cost analysis (TCA) tool or service that supports multiple asset classes, a range of benchmarks in its analysis, the ability to assess venue as well as broker performance, and a granular focus on data and its presentation.

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