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Global bank chooses Itiviti Managed for trading, execution and risk

Executive summary

A Global Bank operating in the capital markets industry, replaced a number of their systems for trading, market making, execution, risk and smart order routing with superior, managed solutions from Itiviti. The replacement process was gradual, starting with the trading and market making systems. As the bank’s business demands grew, the Itiviti Managed platform enabled them to seamlessly add new systems such as a ‘Smart Order Router’ with minimal effort. Key benefits included reduced costs, better performance and much lower operational risk.

About 

A division of the Global Bank that covers operations for securities, interest, debt and Foreign Exchange (FX). Their offering includes analysis, advisory, execution and trading, all of which are structured around the four main asset classes: equities, fixed income, commodities and FX. The bank operates in Europe, Asia and North America.

Challenges 

Managing a number of internally deployed solutions was both time-consuming and resource-intensive. Morning checks and other system preparation processes were laborious, but critical; staff were required to be on site hours before the start of trading to perform these processes. Problems were difficult to resolve, especially when in-depth product expertise, system and source code access was absent or unavailable. When time became a critical component, practices such as extracting and exchanging log files and system dumps were not particularly effective.

Expected outcome

By migrating their internally deployed solutions into Itiviti Managed, the bank sought to free up internal resources, improve system performance, lower operational risk and minimize business impact caused by system downtime.

How Itiviti helped

The first step was to move the bank’s trading and market making systems from being deployed in-house to being managed by Itiviti. The second step was to expand the platform to include a new ‘Smart Order Router’, also from Itiviti. With the infrastructure in place, time to market for expanding the platform and add another system was significantly reduced. The advantages of managed had become very clear once the first system was moved. By leveraging Itiviti’s expertise in the system, the bank was free to focus on tuning the strategy logic, which it controlled. Itiviti was also able to take a pro-active approach to implement new functionality and resolve any problems before they affected the business.

Itiviti Managed enabled the bank to leverage a shared pool of expertise. Itiviti’s operational staff excel at what they do because managing systems is their core competence. Also, who better to manage a system than the people who designed and built it? With knowledge of every intricate detail and nuance of the platform, along with instant access to hardware and software experts, incidents were now quickly resolved.

The bank found that leveraging economies of scale, and sharing a pool of expertise with others, was much more cost-effective than building and maintaining something similar in-house.

Another advantage was that Itiviti Managed ensured that the bank was always on a current release. The platform was constantly improved and expanded based on Itiviti’s continuous dialogue with customers around the globe. Changes made to satisfy the needs of one customer ultimately came to benefit all, which resulted in reduced operational risk and increased functionality over time.

Itiviti’s dedicated performance team also contributed to this bank’s success. Not only did this team continuously improve the performance of the software; they could also provide guidance on the configuration of the infrastructure hardware. What seemed to be modest changes to configurations at first glance, turned out to have a huge impact on latency and performance. Having access to specially developed enterprise-grade testing and monitoring tools, many of which are sold as separate products, meant that Itiviti’s team could constantly monitor system health and capacity, then respond and provide guidance such as hardware sizing long before a problem was even noticed at the bank.

Headquartered in Europe with operations on three continents, this bank could take full advantage of Itiviti Managed’s global, follow-the-sun support. For instance, system maintenance or patching could be done in the U.S. at the close of the bank’s business day in Europe; the work could then be checked in Asia early in the morning. Maintenance work and any resulting issues could be completed or resolved before the start of the next business day in Europe.

A summary of the bank’s results

  • Reduced operational risk. Controlled deployments and a rigorous change management processes, executed by the people who designed and built the software significantly reduced operational risk.
  • Reduced opportunity risk. Time to market for upgrades and new functionality is drastically reduced as the process is run by experts who know the system inside out.
  • Reduced costs. Access to a shared resource pool of expertise, and a shared infrastructure for hosting, monitoring, and managing the platform.
  • Reduced number of system failures. Sophisticated morning checks and customized testing and monitoring tools enable early detection and prevents failures long before they affect the business. The system is continually improved by upgrades and the customer shares R&D with all other customers.
  • Faster problem solving. When problems do occur, access to dedicated system experts and the system source code significantly speed up the resolution process.

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