Securities Lending Times announces the launch of Raising Castle.
A new EU fintech firm, Raising Castle (RC), is launching a suite of web-based services that aims to disrupt what it describes as an inefficient and fragmented global securities finance and repo markets.
The firm is the creation of start-up veteran Arnaud Lamour, securities lending and collateral management specialist Bernard Brion, and former-Societe Generale (SG) head of trading, James Wolff.
Lamour has previously founded and run several companies including French consulting firm, ALFI, which he sold in 2015. He now serves as RC’s CEO.
Brion, who is RC’s chief technology officer, has spent the past six years as a managing partner with STEPS PARTNERS. He also brings experience from eight years in the securities finance and collateral management business of Caceis and the six years prior with ALFI, as a manager.
They are joined by Wolff who was a BNP Paribas Securities Services securities lending trader from 1997 to 2005 before moving to SG Securities Services as head of principal and agency trading until April 2019. At RC, he is head of client development.
The trio has come together to create a suite of solutions that will tackle the technology-related inefficiencies and challenges they faced during their careers.
RC’s development pipeline will eventually lead to the launch of three distinct but complementary offerings dubbed the SecFinLab, SecFin Access and SecFin Exchange.
The existing roadmap will see the three main modules released mid-2020, mid-2022 and December 2022 respectively, with a number of other additional functionalities peppered along the way.
Although the suite will be web-based to avoid implementation hurdles, RC will not be cloud-hosted.
According to Wolff, the prospect of being cloud-hosted had raised concerns with prospective clients that had expressed doubts regarding the cybersecurity capabilities of cloud providers and the potential it to cause compliance headaches.
RC aims to bring a change in this activity’s approach by allowing players to focus on their market expectations SecFinLab
SecFinLab is the firm’s initial offering and includes a web-based, fully-customisable dynamic Trading Book dashboard bolstered by machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.
RC will provide generic templates but the dashboard it is meant to be adapted and re-built to best serve each user’s specific needs by filtering by geographic region, asset class or any other metric that a trader might need to see.
SecFinLab will have connectivity to all the market’s service and data provider and allow traders the flexibility to build a unique tool with widgets that bring together all data sources into a single window to track trading activity.
SecFinLab’s other modules will include a trade workflow interconnected with back office and counterparties, a FastPush module for locate screens, mass booking and fast returns. With artificial Intelligence and full connectivity to data providers SFL aims at making trading simpleand intuitive, accelerate transaction processing from pre to post-trade.
With those powerful algorithms and easily scalable screens, SecFinLab aims at bringing collateral management at the heart of trading and regarded as a source of revenues.
“Traders spend about 70 percent of their time looking for information and improving systems and other administrative work which represent a lot of time when they aren’t focused on seeking trading opportunities. We believe traders need to be put upfront to access their full value,” Wolff explains.
To begin, he adds, SecFinLab will first be targeted at buy and sell side securities finance players (banks and agent lenders) then tier-two clients including pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers and smaller banks. SecFinAccess
The second module of RC’s offering is currently scheduled for release beginning 2022 and will offer remote access to a specific dashboard tailored by each market sector.
“If you’re an agent lender with 100 clients and 10 of those are asking for instant trading and collateral modifications, reporting, that’s where we come in,” Wolff says
SecFinAccess will allow those underlying beneficial owners to set up their own dashboards to steer and review their securities lending activity related to their portfolio in real time. Lenders will
also be able to instantly implement or amend restrictions, such as for what collateral is acceptable.
Wolff says this tool will become increasingly attractive to lenders as they become more proactive in their programmes and seek to implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. SecFinExchange
Due in Q4 2022, SecFinExchange will, as the name suggests, turn RC’s network into a peer-to- peer exchange. The Exchange will be aimed at clients that are active every day in the market and will organise a dynamic order book.