What does it take to launch a new clearinghouse platform?

By Cinnober - 2017.12.14

Blog

Launching a new clearinghouse platform for one of the largest stock exchanges in the world is no simple task. In fact, when B3 launched the second phase of their post-trade integration project (IPN) to transfer equities and corporate bonds to their new integrated clearing platform, it required over 600 people, 19 teams, and collaboration on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Now that three months have passed since the transfer of the equities market to the new platform, we decided to sit down with Fabio Silvia, IT Managing Director – Post Trading Systems at B3, to find out more about the project launching IPN phase two.


You can find out more about the history of the project here

What was the scope of phase two?

The scope of phase two was to bring equities operations to the new integrated clearing platform, first launched in 2014. We launched derivatives first, and in phase two we were working to also bring cash equities, derivatives on equities, and securities lending to the platform. Specifically, securities lending was a big challenge because we had many different aspects within the business process, and we needed to have a lot of flexibility to accommodate this in the new platform. During the project, we had 44 new systems developed and a lot of people involved to deal with this complexity.

How was the project organized?

Due to the complexity of the project, it was organized into several sub-teams. In total, we had 19 teams working with the new systems. One of the projects was to implement the RTC (Cinnober’s real-time clearing system), which we called the kernel project, also known as the backbone of the new platform. We had other teams supporting the kernel project in cross-functional tasks that helped everything to be ready on launch day. We had daily meetings with the different teams, including the directors, leaders, and managers in order to make decisions. The teams reported their evolution daily, and we worked with agile methods to help us follow the progress on a daily basis.

What were the biggest challenges in phase two?

We had big challenges during phase two, given the complexity of the project, and we managed those challenges within three fronts. One, involving several teams, dealt with the internal preparations; the readiness of our systems, and everything that needed to be done for the launch. The second front comprised of teams dealing with external preparations; following the participants and their readiness, as we needed to make sure that everyone would be ready for the launch. The third front worked towards our regulators, providing any information to them that they needed to approve. Together, those three fronts reached the point of being ready for the launch.

How was the actual launch?

The launch of phase two was organized by a specific team that dealt with these tasks already from the start. In our opinion, that is a key part of the success because they were thinking about the best way to launch since the beginning of the project, rather than first developing and testing, and after that start discussing the best way to launch. Also, good leadership helped everybody know what he or she needed do on the go-live day.

Did everything go to plan on the day of launch?

The go-live day was very successful. We prepared ourselves to deal with issues; we were prepared for a war let’s say. But, instead of that, we had calm days. Obviously, we dealt with small issues, but after two weeks we were back to business-as-usual with normal operations. That confirms that everything was very well prepared for a successful launch.

6.5 billion in savings

The second phase of IPN went live on August 28, 2017. As an effect of adding further markets to its new clearing platform, that until then had been handled separately form the derivatives markets, USD 6.5 billion could be released back to the market participants.

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