Delight and anticipation
As 2014 comes to an end, we sense an even more exciting year is about to begin. What can we see, and what do we foresee?
First, this has been a year dominated by forward progress. Our customers have carried out numerous significant launches, including the world’s two largest clearing projects. They have also broken volume records and won prestigious awards. Our customer list has expanded on both the trading and clearing side, and we’ve embarked on an exciting voyage by acquiring BOAT.
We have also engaged ourselves in industry issues that are important for the way forward. Not least when it comes to restoring confidence and quality in the financial industry, which must modernize and further develop its technology in order to avoid the financial meltdowns that have shaken the globe in the last few years.
The dawning of true real-time clearing
The next generation of clearinghouses is emerging. We have entered a new, well-anticipated era of real-time clearing, enhancing the functioning and stability of key financial markets.
For our part, we have been very happy to see global major actors launching our RealTime Clearing solution. In August the world’s largest clearing project came alive when Brazilian BM&FBOVESPA launched the first, derivatives phase of its monumental post-trade integration project. Just a few weeks later, the London Metal Exchange went live with Europe’s most modern clearinghouse, LME Clear. Additional new partnerships with post-trade customers include giants such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and more recently, the pan-European exchange group Euronext.
Another growing area where we acquired new customers is market surveillance. Among others, we were entrusted to assist one of the world’s most well-known financial marketplaces, the New York Stock Exchange, in a major surveillance technology project.
A good measure of praise is due to our exceptional high-achieving partners further east. After theStock Exchange of Thailand and its derivative arm TFEX replaced their entire technology infrastructure for derivatives trading, they experienced a record-setting first day of trading and their second-highest daily number of contracts traded ever. And just recently their daily volumes passed the magic million-trade milestone.
And since the launch of its new trading and clearing platform, the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange has been breaking and re-breaking trading volume records. Based on its exceptional innovation-led growth, DGCX was recently — for the second year in a row — designated Exchange of the Year 2014 in the Middle East and Australia by Futures & Options World.
In July Cinnober acquired the BOAT OTC trade reporting service from Markit. This was pretty much our home turf, since we had created the original technology driving their business. Every single one of their customers chose to follow along with the ownership transition. Aimed at banks and brokers, BOAT Services is the only independent MiFID-compliant reporting platform, and was recently also enhanced with new MMT functionality. These developments support our strategic goal of offering state-of-the-art technology to this segment.
Diversity decisive at every level
Taking the wider view, it is interesting to see how diversity plays a role in growth and capabilities — both at the company and industry levels. Our own customer list is a good example of diversity in terms of geographic dispersion, business area and background. This has proved to be a success factor for an independent technology supplier like us. The breadth of our product portfolio and business experience has made us attractive to customers who increasingly desire complete solutions.
Within our company we have also pursued diversity as a guiding principle, putting great weight on organizational strength through skills and responsibilities, as well as promoting a broad spectrum of over two dozen nationalities and a good balance in age and gender distribution. About a third of our workforce, as well as half of our external Board members, are women. And our ages range from 20 to 60. So we’re certainly not your typical financial technology company. And that is reflected in our innovative, future-proof products!
We have also extended our operations with Cinnober Labs, which gives our staff the possibility of creating and exploring new ideas that can lead to innovative solutions. Creating a culture of encouragement is also a part of our investment in diversity – in ideas, solutions and technologies.
Investment on the rise
We are ending this year in an upbeat, optimistic spirit as we look forward. We see financial actors everywhere increasingly examining their technical capacity, both for trading and clearing. This is positive for us, of course, but also positive for the industry as a whole, which is in need of repairs to its public confidence levels.
Investment intentions are also clearly on their way up. After years of restricting investment to only those functionalities that were absolutely necessary, we are sensing a greater interest in putting innovation to work more broadly in order to grow their businesses.
We are a true believer that technology is an enabler for future success.
On that note — on behalf of the entire Cinnober team — I would like to extend a big thank-you to all our friends and partners for a terrific year, and wish you all a very successful 2015!