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Mark Hepsworth

Mark Hepsworth,
– CEO, Alveo

Welcome to the Spring edition of our bulletin and an update on what is happening at Alveo.

It has been an interesting year to date and a busy time for us.  Many clients have kicked off-market data infrastructure upgrade projects and are focusing on how they handle increasing data volumes and servicing their business users better. Through these projects, we are seeing several trends develop. The pandemic has accelerated clients moving infrastructure to the cloud including their Alveo platforms.  We have made good progress incorporating new open source technologies into Alveo products to facilitate this.  We are also seeing ESG becoming a major new data management requirement for clients. This is primarily on the buy-side but our sell-side clients are also looking at ESG and how they will process it.  We have now incorporated ESG data into Alveo from major data vendors such as Bloomberg, Refinitiv and ICE Data Services and we are pleased to announce our recent collaboration with Factset on ESG and other data types. As part of extending our data model for ESG, we now cover both the regulatory requirements per the EU’s SFDR but also a lot of additional details to enable clients to create their own ratings, to proxy fields or to use in asset selection and more detailed reporting.

Business user self-service continues to be a major focus for our product innovation.  It is a trend that is driven by both business users and IT teams as institutions push to increase productivity.  Our new web UI Ops360 is our key initiative in this area and in the latest version we have added new capabilities for data quality statistics, data lineage and visualization of risk factors.

As well as new ESG sources we have also added new standard interfaces for MSCI and Ultumus in the index and ETF space and added an interface for the Finchina feed.  We also enhanced our corporate actions functionality making it fully ISO15022/20022 compliant with additional business logic. Please see the product update below.

It has been a great period of industry recognition for us.  As well as winning Best Buy-Side Data Management Platform at the end of last year, we have recently won three more awards:

  • Best Sell-Side Data Management Product
  • Best Software Solution for FRTB
  • Best Reference Data Managed Service

We’re also excited to be shortlisted in the FTF Awards for Best Ops Data Management Solution. Thank you to everybody who voted for us, and we really appreciate the recognition.

We continue to expand our managed service offering, PaSS where we offer clients, host, run and change options for the Alveo software. One lasting effect of the pandemic seems to be more attention to operational resilience. The BCBS recently published the Principles for Operational Resilience highlighting the increased dependency on technology infrastructure. The document contains a useful categorization of these operational resilience principles into seven categories: governance; operational risk management; business continuity planning and testing; mapping of interconnections and interdependencies of critical operations; third-party dependency management; incident management; and resilient information and communication technology (ICT), including cybersecurity. This taxonomy closely matches the approach we took when we launched PaSS two years ago.

Finally, I am pleased to welcome a number of new clients who are joining our user community, including from the buy-side, sell-side and market infrastructure segments.

Our main product focus will continue to be; cloud enablement, business user self-service, facilitating easier analytics and enabling clients to reduce market data and operating costs. I hope you find the content below useful and please let us have any questions or feedback.

 

Thank you for your support,

Mark Hepsworth, CEO

Should you require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us by contacting your account manager or directly contacting me at mhepsworth@alveotech.com.

I hope you enjoy the update in this Bulletin.

New Client Highlight

 

Earlier this quarter, we announced that we welcomed Mediolanum International Funds Limited (MIFL) to our customer base. MIFL chose Alveo’s managed services solution PaSS to automate data management and access to data for analytics.

Alveo onboarded MIFL and delivered the transition to PaSS within a few months with no major issues.

The solution for MIFL includes a host and run managed service offering for reference and pricing data, Alveo’s new user experience Ops360 and integration to different third party outside sources as well as internal applications.

Barry Noonan, Chief Information Officer, MIFL, said: “We are pleased to work with Alveo in managing our instrument market and reference data on the PaSS platform. We needed a scalable solution that could tap into different external data sources. As we focus on better returns for our clients, we require better access for our data scientists and need to ensure we are using high-quality financial data”.

Gary Appleby, Head of International Sales, Alveo said: “We are delighted to welcome MIFL to Alveo’s growing customer base. MIFL is an innovative fund group that – like many other firms – faces increased data intensity in its investment operations. Using PaSS for data management allows our clients’ teams to focus on value-added activities such as data analysis and optimization.”

Product Update

 

In product management, we focused on building out the functionality in Ops360. New functionality includes improved transparency of our data lineage and summary dashboards on data quality.

We have built out our interface library adding new loaders for MSCI and Ultumus and onboarding ESG data through some of our existing data vendor relationships including ICE. Alveo’s industry data model now covers the ESG data required for SFDR reporting as well as a lot of additional fields.

Alveo has also extended its matching logic for corporate actions covering all event types. Alveo applies a step by step approach to data mastering here:

  • Preparing the source data by determining corporate action matching type. For some corporate actions we match on event type + effective date + underlying, for some others, we use the meeting date or payment date instead of the effective date. The underlying or reference object can be a financial instrument or a legal entity. This matching type is part of the enrichment we apply to data we process from third-party sourcing.
  • Matching logic is executed based on the matching type instructions and the available data sources (ISO formatted feeds from custodians, commercial data feeds etc). Our solution comes with a standard matching configuration.
  • When aggregating data sets, Alveo links between corporate actions, securities and legal entities allowing easy navigation and discovery for users.

Alveo’s corporate actions are part of its standard data model for entities, instruments and market data. Our corporate actions taxonomy and data model is ISO20022 compliant.

Neil Sandle, Head of Product Management

nsandle@alveotech.com

Neil Sandle

Technology Strategy

 

The engineering department continues to focus on integrated data management and analytics and delivering optimal, cloud-based data infrastructure.  Common customer problems include data distribution and easy and scalable access to quality data for analytics use cases.

Data distribution, often described as last-mile integration, typically represents the lion’s share of any new data management initiative and can also be expensive to maintain post-go-live. Through new developments this quarter, we will make it faster to onboard new downstream consuming applications. Users can set up a universe of interest, timing, manner and format of downstream delivery and also set parameters on quality grades of the data. They can for example take all data or only data that has passed certain verification checks. An overview dashboard provides transparency into which data is going where which should help firms maximize the ROI of their data sets. Through our cloud and underlying database architecture, we provide a global market data provisioning service.

 

A common problem in data analytics is the proliferation of different databases and the use of various data standards and unclear quality, usage rights or provenance. Through our Alpha data warehouse, we provide access to cleansed data in our industry data model so that it can be accessed using common identifiers or attributes. Data is stored bitemporally so you can keep track of when a piece of market data like a quote or a proxy occurred and when it entered the system separately. Data quality and provenance information is provided through data lineage and access is permissioned on the data source, class, model and/or data attributes.

On developing best practices for cloud-based data management and the use of open source components, I am pleased that we work with partners such as Capco. Our joint paper The Future of Market Reference Data hopefully helps in the discovery and documentation of best practices and cloud deployment patterns that financial institutions can adopt to overcome data infrastructure challenges.

Mark Hermeling, CTO

MHermeling@alveotech.com

Mark Hermeling

Managed Services Update

 

I have been at Alveo for nearly 12 years and was recently appointed to run Alveo’s Managed Services department. This team services a number of new and existing customers who have adopted our PaSS service and we expect significant growth during 2021.

Managed Services for Alveo comprises a spectrum from hosting and operating the Alveo technology to application and data integration maintenance and other change management.

Primarily, we see customers adopting managed services to save operating costs and to reduce the future costs of change for example in onboarding new data feeds, creating new reports or connecting new downstream applications.

Managed Services helps clients achieve direct cost savings including internal software and data license cost, infrastructure cost and staff cost. Indirect cost is typically the more significant and interesting part but harder to gauge. It includes aspects such as future cost of change, operational risk, and the opportunity cost linked to being marooned on hard-to-change or out-of-date technology infrastructure. Ironically, the more complex these indirect cost improvements are to assess upfront, the stronger the case for managed data services in the first place.

PaSS allows customers to increase efficiency while providing a flexible and scalable data management solution. Alveo’s Managed Services are rooted in deep domain knowledge and experience addressing customers’ data onboarding, integration, and distribution challenges. PaSS can be used to flexibly address data management use-case requirements and specifically focuses on faster implementation timelines and ROI delivery.

 

Jasper Schaap, Head of Managed Services

jschaap@alveotech.com

Services and Support

 

Although our global support teams continue to work remotely, there now seems to be light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. The investment made last year in our support infrastructure has paid dividends. This included improved VOIP connectivity for our staff along with upgraded collaboration tools which benefited both staff and customers.

It’s been positive to see many customers now leaving feedback once their support issue has been closed. It takes 1 minute to complete and gives our teams valuable feedback to improve our service. Last quarter’s average rating was 4.4 (out of 5 maximum) based on 64 customer reviews.

In February we welcomed a new Head of International Customer Support. John Cancio joins us from ITRS and has extensive experience across Support, Professional & Managed Services.

John will be responsible for our European and APAC customers and will also be working closely with our PaSS team. Should you have any questions John can be contacted at jcancio@alveotech.com

Over the next quarter, the focus for our support teams will be the further development of our customer knowledge base and process improvements around issue handling. The knowledge base is available through the customer support portal and we will be adding further content to this which again will benefit our customers and support teams to aid ticket resolution.

 

Simon Rayfield, Head of Operations

srayfield@alveotech.com

Simon Rayfield

HR Charity Challenge

 

It has been the year that our offices have moved into our homes. We work now on our dinner tables, ‘temporary’ desks setup in our bedrooms or in our home offices. Modern technology lets us talk and see each other whenever needed, and we have coped well in transitioning to working remotely. However, we missed the interaction in the office outside work. Besides, without the daily commute, movement and step counts decreased dramatically, and there have been many colleagues we haven’t talked to in a while. The only person I meet by my coffee maker these days is my husband and he is out working most of the day.

And how about the new starters who joined us this past year? We haven’t met face to face yet because they aren’t in our department or directly involved in our projects and activities.

However, this all changed when Alveo organized a global company challenge. The brief was straightforward. Sign up, join one of the international teams and move until your team reaches 360km (225 miles) to raise money for the teams chosen charity.  Once the group hit their goal distance of 360km, Alveo donated €1,000.00 to the team’s charity. Very ambitious groups could earn their charity a bonus payment of €1,000.00 when reaching 750km (466 miles) and 1,000km (621 miles).

The result was astonishing! A total of 8,346 km (5,186 miles) were run, walked, paddled and cycled. The teams raised €18,000.00 for various charities ranging from big global to great local causes (see below for complete list). Everyone reached their goal of 360km; our winning team clocked up an impressive 1,822km! The most significant contributor to the challenge, not part of the winning team, cycled 651km by all weathers through most of the Netherlands’ north.

However, the biggest gain was us taking a break, being active and healthy, talking to each other in our cross-continental groups, chatting to colleagues we haven’t seen and spoken to in a long while and meeting some of our new colleagues. Let’s keep the momentum going and continue moving and talking to each other more often…. and giving back to our communities.

If you are interested in the causes we supported through this challenge, please see the links below:

Red Cross:  https://www.redcross.org/

Greenpeace: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/

Wipe Away Those Tears: https://www.facebook.com/wipeawaythosetears

Diabetes Fonds: https://www.diabetesfonds.nl/help-mee/doneren

Cure Parkinson’s: https://cureparkinsons.org.uk/

Cancer Center Marburg: https://www.ccc-marburg.de/en/about-us

St. Jude Children Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/

Antje Haberkern, Global Marketing Manager

ahaberkern@alveotech.com

Alveo announces extended ESG data coverage

 

New ESG data functionality includes an extension of Alveo’s standard industry data model. Driven by regulations such as the EU’s SFDR, the data model now incorporates the data fields required to address the SFDR’s indicators applicable to investments in investee companies, sovereigns and supranationals, and real estate assets.

In addition, Alveo’s standard industry data model covers a host of other fields which allows firms to perform more detailed analysis. Alveo’s business rules allow for completing missing data points based on peer group analysis, converting reporting bases and units of measurement and proxying information based on historical records.

Alveo has also extended its standard library of off-the-shelf connectors with financial data feeds. ESG data covered includes that provided by Bloomberg and ICE Data Services. Alveo both added new expert data products and extended the coverage of existing data products. Alveo’s Ops360 user experience includes dashboards showing the sourcing, processing and completion status of data requirements as well as insight into data quality metrics and complete lineage to show the provenance of reported data fields.

We see ESG data requirements come up not only in regulatory and client reporting use cases but across the entire investment management process, from research, asset allocation, portfolio construction to performance analysis as well as external disclosure requirements.

Alveo’s multisource approach to data management is uniquely suited to address ESG data management requirements. With wide dispersion in third-party ESG ratings and the need for granular reporting against the SFDR’s PAIs, firms need to combine different sources as well as their own expertise. In addition, Alveo’s targeted data sourcing and advanced data derivation and distribution capabilities make it the ideal solution to help firms address new ESG requirements.

Stef Nielen, Strategic Business Development, Director

SNielen@alveotech.com

Collaboration Corner

 

FactSet and Alveo have announced a joint effort to address ESG data integration requirements for their respective clients. This effort implies that mutual clients of FactSet and Alveo can have FactSet’s ESG data sets available in Alveo’s data management platform. Alveo’s data mastering and analytics solutions will also be included in the Open: FactSet Marketplace.

“Alveo is our firstto-market data management channel partner with access to the FactSet ESG data,” said Jonathan Reeve, FactSet. “We are pleased to work together with the Alveo team to help our clients address their financial reference data integration and analytics challenges. Solid and scalable ESG data integration has rapidly become a must-have in investment management. Alveo’s strength in data mastering and integration complements FactSet’s offerings.”

 

Edward Bragg, Alliance and Partners, Director

EBragg@alveotech.com

“LIBOR’s end signals fresh start for Data Management in corporation treasuries”

“Upskills partners with Alveo to deliver data quality management across Asia”

“ESG – how this new alternative data set delivers competitive edge”

“Financial sector quants and data analysts held back by lack of automation”

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