CCP Margin Management: Bimal Kadikar Speaks with Peter Lee from Euromoney

Transcend’s CEO, Bimal Kadikar, recently connected with Peter Lee, Editorial Director of Euromoney. The two discussed some of the critical challenges banks face related to increasing margin demands, especially for CCP margin management. Click here to read Peter Lee’s full article summarizing the discussion on Euromoney.

With market volatility, not only does margin increase, but so does the frequency of margin calls. As a result, banks struggle to manage the increased activity in a scalable and efficient way. Furthermore, CCPs are becoming key players with regulators continuing to encourage OTC derivatives; as a result, firms must balance complying with unique and complex CCP eligibility requirements with posting optimal collateral.

“What is clear is that as volatility rises, not only does required margin climb but so too does the frequency of margin increases.”

– BIMAL KADIKAR

As the operational complexity of funding margin requirements grows, technology can help.

Bimal created Transcend in 2013 to help firms increase transparency across businesses with aggregated view of collateral and margin requirements. Earlier this year, Transcend launched CCP Central to help firms aggregate CCP data and automatically pledge optimal collateral. By automating CCP margining, Transcend makes it simple to optimally and efficiently fund cleared derivatives CCPs.

The benefits of leveraging technology to streamline CCP margin management not only helps banks efficiently and scalably meet margin requirements at CCPs, but also creates an opportunity for firms to fold OTC derivatives into a broader optimization strategy.

Click here to learn more about CCP Central.

Transcend raises $10mn Series A round from fintech VC Nyca and a global custodian bank

Transcend, a leader in business optimization for financial firms, has closed its Series A financing, limiting the raise to $10 million after over-subscription by potential investors. The financing round was led by Nyca Partners, a leading fintech venture capital firm, with support from a major global custodian bank. Proceeds will be used to rapidly scale product and sales infrastructure to meet growing demand from Transcend’s client base, which has more than doubled in the past two years to include 10 of the world’s largest banks and brokerage firms.

Transcend’s rapid growth corresponds to a sharp increase in collateralized businesses looking to more efficiently deploy cash and securities across their firms. This is particularly important given a series of recent capital, liquidity and regulatory drivers, such as the uncleared margin rules for bilateral derivatives trading. These changes require significant upgrades in the capabilities and infrastructure of many firms, such as connecting siloed internal platforms and developing critical common capabilities, to remain competitive and compliant.

Access Finadium’s full article

Transcend secures $10m funding to finance EU growth

Transcend Street has raised $10 million in a Series A financing round led by Nyca Partners, a fintech venture capital firm, which will facilitate the US firm’s growth in Europe, as well as new product offerings.
The funding round was also completed with support from an unnamed major global custodian bank.

The collateral optimisation solutions provider says it has allocated the funds to capitalising on its recent growth in clients, headcount and product offerings, as well as further pursuing its ambition to become a key service provider to the buy-side community.

This regional growth includes the opening of Transcend’s first European office in the first half of 2021 and the formation of a local team to service its growing stable of EU-based clients.

Access Securities Lending Times’s full article

Transcend to use fundraising to upscale collateral management services for custodians

New York FinTech Transcend is aiming to significantly upscale its collateral management solutions for custodians and investment banks following a $10 million fund raising round.

The financing round was led by FinTech venture capital firm Nyca Partners, with the support of an undisclosed global custody bank.

Transcend, founded by the former global head of prime finance, futures and OTC clearing technology at Citi, aims to use the new funding to rapidly scale collateral management product and sales infrastructure for custodian banks and prime brokers.

“Our investors and clients share our vision for industry transformation,” said Bimal Kadikar, CEO of Transcend. “As a team, we are not alone in believing that analytics, optimisation and automation can provide a significant competitive advantage for firms’ funding and liquidity challenges. This investment will enable us to accelerate our global ambition and target our solutions across a range of sell-side and buy-side stakeholders.”

Access Global Custodian’s full article

Transcend raises $10 million in first round

Our CEO Bimal Kadikar spoke with Oliver Wade at Global Investor Group about the Company’s recent success:

Transcend has raised $10 million (£7.7 million) in its Series A financing as it looks to meet rising demand from its growing client base, which has more than doubled in the past two years.

The financing round was led by Nyca Capital, a specialist fintech venture capital firm, and was followed by support from a global custodian bank who wished to remain anonymous.

Speaking to Global Investor, Bimal Kadikar, CEO of Transcend, said: “From the outset of our Series A funding, we were primarily looking to find partners that would complement our business. It would have been relatively easy to have raised more money as almost all of the 10 or so venture capital firms we spoke to came back and said they wanted to invest in the business, but there wasn’t enough room in this round.”

Click here to view the full article

Transcend discusses record year and 2021 growth plans with Global Investor

The last 18 months have been a period of tremendous growth and innovation for Transcend. We’ve doubled our client base, launched a sophisticated new optimization framework and made 31 new hires. Transcend also plans to open an EU office in 2021 to meet the increasing demand we’re receiving.

Our CEO Bimal Kadikar spoke with Oliver Wade at Global Investor Group about the Company’s recent success: https://bit.ly/3nGRiql

Click here to view the full article

US regulation could leave firms “scrambling”

A US regime that a large number of global market participants are starting to fully assess could leave firms crunched for time to implement a comprehensive end-to-end solution, according to BJ Marcoullier, Transcend’s head of sales.

Qualified Financial Contracts (QFC) recordkeeping, a US regulatory regime that will be in its final and largest phase as of June 2021, is designed to reduce market instability in the case of failure of a major financial institution, as detailed under the Dodd-Frank Act, and is one of the regimes designed to prevent another financial crisis.

Access Global Investor Group’s full report: US regulation could leave firms “scrambling”.

2020 Outlook: Bimal Kadikar, Transcend Street Solutions

What were the key themes for your business in 2019?

At Transcend, we have seen a growing shift in the industry towards firm-wide optimization of collateral, liquidity and funding. Our clients’ goals are to manage their capital more effectively and drive efficiencies across the enterprise, and that requires a coordinated, integrated and automated approach across siloed business lines, systems and processes. It is no small task to connect and harmonize vast sets of data related to collateral – such as agreements, positions and trades – and various workflows, but the returns are quickly realized. The good news is that firms can pursue their optimization strategy widely, or they can choose to focus on a priority area of their business and scale from there.

What are your expectations for 2020?

In 2020, we expect a continued increase in complexity and bottom-line pressures. Firms need to provide differentiated, competitive services to drive profitability, despite potentially operating with legacy technology and processes. Plus, they face growing reporting requirements and regulatory pressures (such as QFC Recordkeeping and SFTR). This is leading more firms to the realization of the need – and benefits – to undertake a centralized optimization strategy to help overcome multiple challenges through a singular solution.

What trends are getting underway that people may not know about but will be important?

Everyone understands that automation in the funding and collateral space is occurring at a fast pace. At Transcend, we believe that in five years, as much as 90% of funding will be done by machines. But what is not fully in focus is that connecting data from disparate sources is the key to this next evolution in the funding markets. Today, most data is fragmented across a firm. To be effective, data needs to flow from the original sources and be readable by each system in a fully automated way. Thus, harmonizing and connecting data needs to be every firm’s priority in order to achieve automation and optimization.

This article was originally published on Markets Media.

Connected Data: The Opportunity for Collateral and Liquidity Optimization

The function and definition of collateral and liquidity optimization has continued to expand from its roots in the early 2000s. Practitioners must now consider the application of connected data on security holders to operationalize the next level of efficiency in balance sheet management. A guest post from Transcend.

The concept of connected data, or metadata, in financial markets can sound like a new age philosophy, but really refers to the description of security holdings and agreements that together deliver an understanding of what collateral must be received and delivered, where it originated and how it must be considered on the balance sheet. This information is not available from simply observing the quantity and price of the security in a portfolio. Rather, connected data is an important wrapper for information that is too complex to show in a simple spreadsheet.

Earlier days of optimization meant ordering best to deliver collateral in a list, or creating algorithms based on Credit Support Annexes and collateral schedules. These were effective tools in their day and were appropriate for the level of balance sheet expertise and technology at hand; some were in fact quite advanced. These techniques enabled banks and buy-side firms to take advantage of best pricing in the marketplace for collateral assets that could be lent to internal or external counterparties. Many of these techniques are still in use today. While they deliver on what they were designed for, they are fast becoming outmoded. Consequently, firms relying on these methodologies struggle to drive further increases in balance sheet efficiency, and in order to maintain financial performance targets may need to charge higher prices. This is not a sustainable strategy.

The next level of collateral optimization considers connected data in collateral calculations. Interest is being driven by better technology that can more precisely track financial performance in real time. A finely tuned understanding of the nature of the individual positions and how they impact the firm can in turn mandate a new kind of collateral optimization methodology that structures cheapest to deliver based on a combination of performance impacting factors and market pricing. This gives a new meaning to “best collateral” for any given margin requirement. This only becomes possible when connected data is integrated into the collateral optimization platform.

As an example of applying connected data, not all equities are the same on a balance sheet. A client position that must be funded has one implication while a firm position has another. Both bring a funding and liquidity cost. A firm long delivered against a customer short is internalization, which has a specific balance sheet impact. Depending on balance sheet liquidity, this impact may need additional capital to maintain. Likewise, an expected tenor of a position will impact liquidity treatments. A decision to retain or host these different assets as collateral can in turn feedback to Liquidity Coverage Ratio, Leverage Ratio and other metrics for internal and external consumption.

If these impacts can be observed in real-time, the firm may find that internalizing the position reduces balance sheet but is sub-optimal compared to borrowing the collateral externally. This of course carries its own funding and capital charges, along with counterparty credit limits and risk weightings in the bilateral market. These could in turn be balanced by repo-ing out the firm position, and by tenor matching collateral liabilities in line with the Liquidity Coverage Ratio and future Net Stable Funding Ratio requirements. Anyone familiar with balance sheet calculations will see that these overlapping and potentially conflicting objectives may result in decisions that increase or decrease costs depending on the outcome. By understanding the connected data of each position, including available assets and what needs to be funded, firms can make the best possible decision in collateral utilization. Importantly, the end result is to reduce slippage, increase efficiency, and ultimately deliver greater revenues and better client pricing based on smarter balance sheet management.

Another way to look at the new view of collateral optimization is as the second derivative. The first derivative was the ordering of lists or observation of collateral schedules. The next generation incorporates connected data across collateral holdings and requirements for a more granular understanding of what collateral needs to be delivered and where, and how this will impact the balance sheet and funding costs. It has taken some time to build the technology and an internal perspective, but firms are now ready to engage in this next level of collateral sophistication.

Implementing technology for connected data in collateral and liquidity

A connected data framework starts with assessing what data is available and what needs to be tagged for informing the next level of information about collateral holdings. This process is achievable only with a scalable technology solution: it is not possible to manage this level of information manually let alone for real time decision making. Building out a technology platform requires careful consideration of the end to end use case. If firms get this part right, they can succeed in building out a connected data ecosystem.

The connected data project also requires access to a wide range of data sources. Advances in technology have allowed data to be captured and presented to traders, regulators, and credit and operations teams. But right now, most data are fragmented, looking more like spaghetti than a coherent picture of activity across the organization. To be effective, data needs to flow from the original sources and be readable by each system in a fully automated way.

Once a usable, tagged data set has been established, it can then be applied to collateral optimization and actionable results. This can include what-if scenarios, algorithmic trading, workflow management, and further to areas like transfer pricing analytics. Assessing and organizing the data, then tagging it appropriately, can yield broad-ranging results.

Building out the collateral mindset

An evolution in the practice of collateral optimization requires a more holistic view of what collateral is supposed to do for the firm and how to get there. This is a complex cultural challenge and is part of an ongoing evolution in capital markets about the role of the firm, digitization and how services are delivered. While difficult to track, market participants can qualitatively point to differences in how they and their peers think about collateral today versus five years ago. The further the past distance, the greater the change, which naturally suggests challenges when looking at a possible future state.

An important element to developing scalable collateral thinking is the application of technology; our observation is that technology and thinking about how the technology can be applied go hand-in-hand. As each new wave of technology is introduced, new possibilities emerge to think about balance sheet efficiency and also how services are delivered both internally and to clients. In solving these challenges for our clients using our technology, it is evident that a new vision is required before a technology roadmap can be designed or implemented.

The application of connected data for the collateral market is one such point of evolution. Before connected data were available on a digitized basis, collateral desks relied either on ordered lists or individual/manual understandings of which positions were available for which purposes. There was no conversation about the balance sheet except in general terms. Now however, standardized connected data means that every trading desk, operations team and balance sheet decision maker can refine options for what collateral to deliver based on the best balance sheet outcome in near real-time. New scenarios can be run that were never possible, and pricing for clients can be obtained in time spans that used to take hours if not a day or more.

Now that collateral optimization based on connected data is available, this requires firms to think about what services they can deliver to clients on an automated basis, and what should be bundled and what should be kept disaggregated. As new competitors loom in both the retail and institutional space, these sorts of conversations driven by technology and collateral become critical to the future of the business. Connected data is leading the way.

This article was originally published on Securities Finance Monitor.

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Collateral management: A path littered with obstacles

As collateral rules have grown in complexity, so has the need for greater optimization – But as Tim Steele [of Funds Europe] discovers, achieving that can be painful.

Collateral has long been used as a tool for mitigating counterparty risk and obtaining credit, but now more than ever, it is the key determinant of an institution’s ability to engage in financial transactions in the cash or derivatives markets….

“If you optimize every pool or silo individually, as a firm you will by design not be optimized,” says Bimal Kadikar.

Read the full article from Funds Europe

Risktech start-ups struggle to clinch big-bank contracts

Start-ups are widely reckoned to have a one in 10 chance of survival. For start-ups in the field of risk management, the odds are probably a little worse: the field has all the withering mortality of the ordinary start-up, plus the special hell of being small, agile and captive to the sluggish metabolism of a big bank.

For now, it’s not stopping them. Hoping for a big payoff, this group of disruptors is looking to upend risk management with their products, addressing things from transaction monitoring and trade reporting, to IFRS 9 and model validation.

Read the full article on Risk.net

An interview with Bimal Kadikar, CEO of Transcend Street Solutions

“Transcend Street Solutions is establishing itself as an innovative player in the collateral and liquidity technology space. We spoke with CEO and founder Bimal Kadikar to learn more about what Transcend is doing and how it sees the evolving market.” – Josh Galper, Securities Finance Monitor

Read the full interview with Securities Finance Monitor