MonetaGo CEO Jesse Chenard at BG2C FIN / SUM Tokyo 2020

Jesse Chenard - Fintech PR

 

Chatsworth client and MonetaGo chief executive, Jesse Chenard, was a guest panellist at this year’s Blockchain Global Governance Conference, hosted by Nikkei and Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

Jesse joined eminent speakers across the financial services industry for the two-day event, to explore blockchain’s growth and applicability in Japan and beyond.

This year’s conference – held in Tokyo – sought to find solutions to issues confronting new applications for the technology.

The event included a wide range of international participants, including blockchain engineers, researchers, business operators, consumers and regulatory officials.

Jesse Chenard

Jesse’s panel, “Exploring Blockchain’s potentiality through Use Case”, was an important and dynamic discussion looking at the real-life examples of blockchain’s application, in financial services and beyond.

Blockchain technology is no longer limited to the world of finance; it has expanded to other fields such as international trade, supply chains and logistics. This conference showcased examples of these newer applications and examined ongoing efforts to use the technology – and the issues that have arisen in the process – by examining existing and potential business models.

MonetaGo uses blockchain technology to eliminate paper-based processes, so cutting inefficiencies and fighting fraud, across trade finance, invoice financing, and digital workflows. The fintech has a large and growing presence in Asia.

For the panel, Jesse was joined by Leon Scott, MD, Regional head of Asia-Pacific, TradeIX; Orapong Thien-Ngern, CEO, Digital Ventures; and Yoshiharu Akahane, Senior Manager, Business Strategy Section, Financial Segment, NTT Data.

Jesse brought to life the clear need for technology to improve outdated processes across digital workflows, drawing on his long experience in financial services technology to highlight blockchain’s potential to transform the industry.

Click here to watch Jesse’s panel and keep up with more from the conference: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJGSlOyuqZLiBWQajKb8UIA?pbjreload=101


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to build a ‘Blockchain Big Society’

David E. Rutter

Chatsworth client and chief executive of enterprise technology firm R3, David E. Rutter, tells Financial News why a decentralised ledger is the key to self-sovereignty over personal data and the answer to digitising the public sector.

With high profile data breaches still fresh in the minds of the public and confidence in the government at an all-time low, it is unsurprising and not unreasonable that many people have little faith in their data being held by governments.

But, with the government on a quest to digitise the public sector and a potential increase in its guardianship over our data going hand in hand with that digitisation, how can the public sector go digital without governments wielding immense control over our data?

The answer is through a purpose-built enterprise blockchain platform that can tackle this challenge, David writes.

Through such a platform, data can be revealed only to those who have a need – and a right – to know. If deployed by governments, this technology could transform the way that individuals own and control their digital identity.

Read David’s piece here:  https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/the-covid-19-crisis-is-an-opportunity-to-build-a-blockchain-big-society-20200818?fnr=true  


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

Pioneering fintech, Previse, secures £2.5m to help SMEs get paid on time

BCR Previse

Chatsworth fintech client, Previse, has been awarded a £2.5m grant by the Banking Competition Remedies’ Capability and Innovation Fund (BCR).

The money will be used to fund further development of Previse’s industry leading instant payments solution. The grant was won after a competitive application process that saw £20m dispersed to 6 companies, as part of the BCR’s mission to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology relevant to SMEs.

The award will accelerate the market adoption of Previse’s technology that improves the cashflow of SMEs who trade with large corporates and supports the delivery of a SmartData initiative, in partnership with the FSB, aimed at enhancing the availability of trading data used by the instant payment solution.

With the FSB working as a lead delivery partner, the award comes at a critical time for UK businesses. Covid-19 government support is starting to be withdrawn. At the same time the endemic culture of poor business practice around invoice payment has worsened, creating big cashflow challenges for SMEs. This is highlighted by the latest FSB study of more than 4,000 firms, which showed that the majority of small businesses (62%) have been subject to late or frozen payments in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This cripples their ability to pay their own bills, to pay staff, and ultimately to continue to trade in the current climate. Previse believes SMEs should have the option to receive instant payment, whenever they issue an invoice.

Paul Christensen, CEO of Previse said: 

“With the BCR funding and collaboration with the FSB, we will be able to get more SMEs paid instantly: reducing the need to resort to other expensive forms of finance. Our top priority is getting working capital to small businesses, to provide the immediate cashflow support they need.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story

LedgerEdge set to digitise the corporate bond market

David E. Rutter has assembled a team of experts for his latest venture to digitise the corporate bond market.

Cobalt secures investment from Standard Chartered

Cobalt has announced the latest expansion of its bank investors with Standard Chartered Bank as its latest backer.

Previse raises $11million to help get suppliers paid faster

We look forward to steering Previse’s communications as they expand their technology reach to corporate buyers.

Mosaic Smart Data launches free FX analytics service

Mosaic Smart Data joined forces with CLS and MUFG to create FXLIQUIDITY; a service that would give market participants greater transparency.

Tradeteq calls for government action to improve trade finance distribution

Tradeteq has published a whitepaper titled Trade Finance in 2020: Asset Distribution – A Macro-economic Necessity.

How can the FX industry reap the benefits of smart data?

In JP Morgan’s e-trading survey, 82% stated access to real-time data as the most important factor within data services.

Smart remote working during lockdown

Chatsworth shares how we’re communicating with both employees and clients during this work from home period.

Communicating with employees and clients through a crisis

 

In a crisis, everything should be focused on your people. The future of your firm will be defined by the tone you set.

Technology has given us all the channels we need – it’s what you say and the tone that counts.

Employees and clients make judgments based on how a firm communicates and behaves during challenging times. We saw this in NYC during 9/11 where the most effective firms maintained high levels of visibility.

The Chatsworth team has over 20 years-experience guiding leaders and organisations through benign and challenging market and operating conditions.

We’re all experiencing news and information overload amid the coronavirus outbreak so we’re going to practice what we preach. Here’s a few focused pointers to help guide you in your communications with your colleagues:

  • Internal communication takes absolute precedence
  • Communicate clearly, every day. Be visible whenever possible
  • Speak to and treat your employees like family
  • Be human, positive and supportive
  • Re-energise them with optimism, transparency and shared humanity. That’s real leadership

And finally, if we can give you one take away, it’s this:  People don’t remember everything you said, but they do remember how you made them feel.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

The petrol era in banking is coming to an end and fintech is driving it forward

Barclays

 

We hate labels. What makes a bank, a bank, and a fintech a fintech anyway?

Ok, maybe a banking license and significant capital reserves, or a WeWork pod and wearing sneakers in the office, but bear with us…

The portmanteau of fintech has been around for a good while now – as long as Chatsworth has been working this beat. And the lines have been blurring for some time.

Same say the fintech part is just the stuff under the bonnet, or more derisory, the plumbing.

Well guess what. A ride doesn’t get far without its engine. Thus, it is for the global financial system.

And the era of petrol is coming to an end. The fintech’s are levelling up financial services with faster, smarter technology. This is the e-revolution, analogous to the exponential growth in electric cars overtaking their polluting old rivals.

So it’s heartening to see Barclays agreeing with us, that the era of competition between banks and fintechs over as the two collaborate for mutual benefit.

Banks are increasingly becoming technology firms and the fintech’s are delving deeper and closer into traditional financial service provision.

A new report from Barclays concludes that connectivity between the two worlds is the key to a successful future financial services ecosystem.

From our experience with the fintech community, we wholeheartedly agree.

The bank surveyed over 2000 financial services executives in Europe, Asia and the US about the future state of the fintech sector.

More than two thirds reported identify collaborating and partnering with fintechs for mutual benefit as the preferred approach for traditional banks in the future.

Fintechs will partner with the banks and smaller firms will cooperate to integrate their micro-specialisms with more commercially robust players,

What’s driving this? It’s not just pressure on balance sheets to do stuff smarter, faster and better.

It’s the customers and clients and their personal retail experience – tech making their lives easier and better has set expectations.

They have become accustomed to a seamless, digitally enabled life and they want that from their banks, with their work hats on.

JP Morgan is one of those institutions which is absolutely smashing it in smart fintech development and investment. They have hand-picked and nurtured some genuinely brilliant firms and technology offering real solutions to real problems in financial services and beyond.

Back to the Barclays report and some interesting findings on where this is all going to come from in the future.

Interestingly in the payments space, the Barclays report cites China as likely to see the biggest rise in payment innovation over the next five years.

Nearly half of Asian firms and 40% of European firms rank China as the most likely source of future innovation. India comes in the top three as a future source of payment innovation across all three regions.

The US picks itself as the hotspot for future innovation. Our transatlantic cousins have been smashing it for some time but London will have something to say about that.

Let’s look at the facts. UK fintech attracted £37.4 billion of investment in 2019 according to KPMG with the number of deals in the UK reached a six-year high, defying the amount invested globally where overall fintech fundraising fell just short of 2018’s record at USD 135.7bn.

Across Europe, the UK accounted for half of the top 10 deals and netted more than 80 per cent of the continent’s total.

London has the critical mass, the expertise and the professional services hub to hold that crown.

Chatsworth knows a thing or two about fintech. We were the first PR agency to focus on this sector. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launch, growth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

We’re fortunate to work with larger institutions and fleet of foot fintech start-ups. In the past there has been friction, with the incumbents clearly under existential threat and feeling it.

Now they are learning to play well together. We’re in the era of collaboration between the banks and fintech’s. This is good news for all.

So can I have my Porsche Taycan now? Ah well, if you don’t ask…

LiquidityEdge: from launch onto a $150 million acquisition

LiquidityEdge – steering a fintech brand through launch, growth and onto a $150 million acquisition

Investors splash the cash on British fintech startups

UK fintech investment

The UK remained a leading country for FinTech, ranking second globally only to the US in venture capital investment and Number 1 in Europe.

Already in 2021, over $1 billion of venture investment in FinTech has already been announced, representing a quarter of last year’s total of $4.1 billion of investment.

Investment dipped early in 2020 but has come back with enormous momentum since late summer. The initial shock of going into “lockdown” – installing Zoom, home-schooling, adapting to the new environment – is reflected fairly clearly in the investment figures for 2020.

The first half of 2020 had 2.4x less in investment totals than the latter half of the year – $1.2 billion in H1 versus $2.9 billion in H2 – and this momentum has continued into 2021.

The strong 2021 start is a testament to the UK FinTech talent, that is here to stay and that thinks globally, with many companies raising to expand or further consolidate their international plans.

Read more here.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story. 

Smart data analytics from JP Morgan-backed fintech

Trading activity generates huge quantities of raw transaction and pricing data and banks and funds are all looking to extract the value from this, largely untapped, data asset.

The ability to refine this raw data and distil it into meaningful ‘Smart Data’, where value can be extracted in the form of actionable insights can give them a major competitive advantage.

Enter Mosaic Smart Data, an amazing data analytics company, backed and used by JP Morgan to optimise the productivity and profitability of its global fixed income sales and trading division.

Matt Hodgson and his team at Mosaic have done an extraordinary job building technology to allow financial institutions to unite all of their fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) trading data into one powerful, real time viewpoint.

It means each function – from back office and compliance to traders, sales desks and managers – can see exactly what is going on in the FICC business in real time for the first time and at any level of detail, from the macro to the atomic

Mosaic was the first graduate of ‘In-Residence’, a J.P. Morgan programme created last year for technology start-ups looking to commercialise ideas that solve real-world challenges in financial services.

Chatsworth worked with Mosaic from the start, articulating their story, defining their brand and connecting them to their target audience of potential users and influencers.

Mosaic is now gathering real pace and has been voted one of the Fintech Top 50 in the influential rankings of hot start-ups.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

Blockchain’s five ingredients of interoperability

“There’s also a very special case of cross-blockchain interoperability… the case where the networks at each end of the connection turn out to be running the same platform. Intrachain, if you like.”

Richard Brown is Chief Technology Officer at R3, the enterprise software company supported by hundreds of banks, technology firms, regulators, trade associations and professional services firms. His team builds Corda, the world’s most advanced enterprise blockchain platform. What he doesn’t know about blockchain technology isn’t worth knowing.

Richard has long argued that not all blockchain platforms are alike and that the promise of blockchain technology is real with solutions which can eliminate huge amounts of cost, redundancy, error and needless reconciliation across entire business ecosystems, as well as opening up previously hidden new revenue opportunities.

But not all blockchain platforms are alike: Only some designs will be architecturally suited to the challenge. In his latest thought piece for Forbes, Richard takes his original five ingredients for interoperability and expands them to some real-life, tangible examples including the home buying process.

Read the full article here. As a reminder, here Richard’s five ingredients of blockchain:

  • We need integration with existing systems
  • We need to be able to initiate transactions on other networks
  • We need to be able to transact interchain with solutions on other technologies
  • We need to be able to transact intrachain with solutions on different deployments of the same technology
  • And we need to reduce buyer’s remorse by making it easy to interchange one underlying platform for another

Fintech PR’s original top dog – Chatsworth Communications

Fintech PR

Maybe its something to do with our booming sector, but everyone and their dog is a so-called expert in fintech these days. But is there any bite behind all that bark?

Global into the UK fintech sector doubled last year to USD 48.5bn (£37.4bn) with the number of deals in reaching a six-year high.

Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech.

We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launch, growth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

From global brands like R3, SWIFT, CLS, ICAP and the London Stock Exchange to energetic, game-changing fintech start-ups like Previse, Mosaic and Limeglass, we’ve delivered with our clients.


Chatsworth was the first communications agency to focus on fintech. We’ve been building fintech reputations for 20 years, steering start-ups through launchgrowth and onto corporate action, and protecting and enhancing established infrastructures.

Looking for intelligent, informed and connected fintech PR which delivers results and value?

Get in touch and let us help build your reputation and tell your story.

 

Sucden Financial to go live on Cobalt’s FX infrastructure

The post-trade infrastructure provider Cobalt, has today announced that Sucden Financial, is the latest institution to join Cobalt’s post-trade technology network for its substantial FX business.

Cobalt’s post-trade infrastructure creates a single trusted set of standardised trade data from which Sucden Financial can utilise Cobalt’s range of middle and back office trade solutions, including its Core Credit module. Sucden Financial is accessing Cobalt’s broad range of services via IHS Markit’s connectivity service.

Post-trade FX processes are currently siloed and unfit for modern markets. This is highlighted within credit management, where processes can be opaque and create high risk of exposure to credit owners alongside problematic pricing.

Cobalt’s Core Credit solution offers a centralised credit management tool for all relationship types, allowing credit owners to control and manage lines using real-time monitoring tools.

Gavin Parker, COO from Sucden Financial, said: “We continually enhance our services, utilising the latest technology to increase efficiencies for clients. Cobalt provides an exciting cutting-edge solution, enabling us to further expand our institutional FX offering.”

Darren Coote, CEO of Cobalt, commented: “Credit management within FX has long been a problematic area for all market participants. With further adoption of Cobalt’s technology across a variety of market participants, we are working towards centralised infrastructure for the future of FX.”

About Sucden Financial 

A leading international derivatives and FX broker, Sucden Financial provides access to a broad range of markets, including exchange and OTC traded products, including foreign exchange and bullion.

The company was formed in 1973 as the London brokerage arm of Sucden, an independent leader in soft commodities trading. Sucden Financial has since evolved into one of the largest brokers for traders, fabricators, producers, consumers, investment houses, hedge funds, commodity firms and retail brokers.

Sucden Financial has been providing a wide variety of foreign exchange services to corporate and institutional clients for over 30 years. Its financial strength, expertise, established infrastructure and tier one direct banking relationships mean it is well positioned to provide superior FX liquidity and a full spectrum of services.

Contour welcomes Citi into trade finance network

Today Contour has announced that Citi will join its trade finance network, increasing the number of banks that have invested in Contour as part of an industry-wide global collaboration effort. This investment through Citi Ventures will help Contour continue to grow as it develops the open network to create seamless trade and digitize the outdated process.

This announcement comes as Contour moved into full commercialisation of its offering last month after 2 years of successful pilots in 14 countries. Established in Singapore, Contour is now operating as a fully independent entity, welcoming banks and corporates into its beta network.

Contour’s network focuses on improving the Letters of Credit (LoCs) process. Traditionally paper based, Contour digitises LoCs to allow banks and corporates improved efficiency and greater transparency by building connectivity and trust between all parties in the transaction. This is achieved by using R3’s Corda blockchain and a growing partner ecosystem.

Carl Wegner, CEO, Contour said: “Seeing greater collaboration from leading financial institutions shows how important revolutionising the trade finance network is. With international trade being of such significant importance for the global economy, with trillions of dollars’ worth of goods in circulation, proper financing is vital for its continued growth. Our network provides trusted information in real-time, digitising the process for all users. To have a major global trade player such as Citi join us is a huge validation of the work we are doing and allows us to continue creating greater efficiency for the industry.”

Luis Valdich, Managing Director of Citi Ventures said: “The Contour team has a trusted background and is partnering with a strong consortium to help digitize Letters of Credit. Citi Ventures is thrilled to support Contour as it pursues its exciting vision.”

Click here to learn more about our other trade finance based clients.

FXCM PRO announces partnership with Your Bourse

FXCM Group, LLC (‘FXCM Group’ or ‘FXCM’), a leading international provider of online foreign exchange and CFD trading, announced that FXCM Pro, the institutional arm of the business, built a partnership with Your Bourse, a technology company providing liquidity aggregation and risk management platform for MT4/MT5 brokers with hosting in Equinix data centres.

Through the combination of FXCM liquidity and Your Bourse technology, this partnership will allow FXCM clients to access FXCM liquidity through Your Bourse’s Liquidity Hub. With the growing demand for improved low-latency solutions and the drive to reduce costs, this partnership will allow FX and CFD brokers to optimise their processes.

Mario Sanchez, Managing Director & Global Head of FXCM Pro Sales, commented: “Today’s priorities for FX and CFD market participants are focused around cost saving opportunities as well as execution efficiency. Through partnering with Your Bourse, FXCM clients will have one of the latest innovative technologies, able to enjoy greater flexibility while accessing multi-asset liquidity, as well as allowing MT4/MT5 traders to experience a host of low latency solutions at a reduced cost.”

Andrey Vedikhin, Your Bourse CEO, commented on the partnership: “We are excited to add FXCM to our network of liquidity providers and thus allow more brokerages to get access to FXCM multi-asset liquidity at an affordable cost. Clients will also benefit from the low-latency connection with an opportunity to reduce the execution speed even further by utilising a cross-connect between FXCM and Your Bourse infrastructure hubs in Equinix data centres (LD4, LD5, NY4, NY5, CH1, HK1, TY, and FR2).”

Click here to learn more about FXCM Pro.

ACI FMA partners with Axiom Global Advisors

The ACI Financial Markets Association (ACI FMA) has today announced a partnership with Axiom Global Advisors (Axiom) to help Market Participants around the globe implement and adhere to the FX Global Code.

The two partners will collaborate in the delivery of services and tools for Market Participants to embed the principles of the FX Global Code in their daily practices, particularly leveraging their respective education and consultancy offerings. A specific focus will be to raise professional standards in financial markets globally by working together in promoting ethical behaviour and integrity.

ACI FMA and Axiom will also organise events to raise awareness of the Code and offer guidance to support both adoption and implementation.

Kim Winding Larsen, President Delegate of ACI FMA, commented: “Since the inception of the FX Global Code, a priority for ACI FMA has been the further education of market participants on the Code and ensuring its implementation across the market. In fact, our ELAC portal has been recognised by Market Participants as a fundamental tool to assist the objectives of staff ongoing adherence to the Code.

“To support this goal, we are very pleased to be entering into a partnership with Axiom Global Advisors, who share our vision and mission of market wide adoption and education of the FX Global Code.”

Julian Gladwin, Founder of Axiom Global Advisors, said: “We set up Axiom with the mission to help Market Participants understand the FX Global Code and the principles that need to be applied in order to best meet practices, promoting conduct and ethical behaviour. Partnering with ACI FMA will allow us to meet our shared goal of educating the FX industry in the most effective ways of implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of the Code.”

Click here to learn more about our work the ACI FMA.

Trade finance distribution poised to grow to $3tn market for investors

“The distribution of trade finance assets to nonbank investors could to grow to a $3 trillion market in the next seven to 10 years, according to Tradeteq Ltd, a digital trade finance exchange.” – S&P Global discuss banks seeing growth opportunities for their trade finance distribution business and collaboration with the Trade Finance Distribution Initiative. Tradeteq’s co-founder and CEO, Christoph Gugelmann, also comments on the growing interest.

Read the article in S&P Global.

Click here to learn more about our work.

Foreign exchange daily turnover in UK reaches record

“Average daily reported UK foreign exchange turnover was a record $2,881bn (€2,671bn) in the survey, a 2% increase from the previous high in April last year and an 11% increase from October 2018.”

Dan Marcus, chief executive of ParFX, and Curtis Pfeiffer, chief business officer at Pragma, both agreed that the results highlight the importance of London to global FX markets and the long-term trend of sustainable growth.

Read what Dan Marcus has to say about FX swaps and non-deliverable forwards and Pfeiffer on spot trading in Markets Media.

Click here to learn more about our work.

How can ‘document atomisation’ bring benefits to research?

Limeglass, the financial research technology company, founded by Rowland Park and Simon Gregory is alleviating businesses of information overload, helping them to navigate through the mass of financial research and gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject to be able to make clear financial decisions.

Read more about Limeglass’ technology in Traders Magazine.

For more information about some of the great work we do for our clients, click here: https://www.chatsworthcommunications.com/work/

Startup spotlight: Cobalt, reengineering the FX market

Darren Coote, CEO of Cobalt, speaks to Fintech Magazine in their startup spotlight series – click here to read the interview.

Contour launches to digitize and modernize trade finance

Today, a new independent global network to digitise and modernise the USD 18 trillion trade finance market has been launched under the new brand – Contour.

The launch follows a series of ground-breaking live pilots in 14 countries and a global trial with more than 50 banks and corporates, which reduced processing times for Letters of Credit by over 90%, from 5-10 days to under 24 hours.

Contour now moves into full commercialisation of its offering and has established itself in Singapore as a fully independent network and is inviting banks and corporates to join its beta network.

The business is backed by: Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC, HSBC, ING Bank, Standard Chartered, SEB, Bain & Company, CryptoBLK and R3.

Contour is built on R3’s Corda blockchain and retains the support and expertise of the R3 team. It is led by Carl Wegner, a trade finance veteran who joins following a successful tenure building R3’s presence across Asia.

The network is focusing initially on Letters of Credit (LoCs), which are issued between banks, typically across country borders. They serve as a guarantee for payments between two companies or entities who want to trade goods or services with each other.

The 400-year-old process for agreeing, issuing and tracking LoCs is largely manual, inefficient and costly. Each party must keep and verifying its own separate paper records, creating duplication and discrepancies.  Contour digitises LoCs on blockchain, helping banks and corporates save time and money by reducing old fashioned, duplicative processes.

While historically recognised as an excellent risk-mitigation mechanism, research by Contour reveals that 86% of participants consider traditional LoCs as over-reliant on paper, takes too long and is becoming ‘intolerable’ for both corporates and banks.

Carl Wegner, CEO, Contour said: “The opportunity cost in trade finance is huge. Trillions of dollars in commodities, products and services are transacted daily, but the sector is still characterised by slow, duplicative and expensive processes. Contour delivers a network where trusted information is shared in real-time, effectively digitising Letters of Credit across all users in the transaction.

“We are indebted to the community of banks and corporates who have collaborated with us to validate our solution which delivers genuine, measurable value as well as process improvement around Letters of Credit. With the launch, Contour is now available to provide a full commercial service to organisations looking to enhance their trade finance practices.

“We are now focusing on scaling the network with more banks, corporates and partners, and look forward to continuing to collaborate with our growing community.”

Click here to learn more about our blockchain-based clients.

David E. Rutter on CNBC’s Squawk Box

Great to see David E. Rutter, founder and CEO of R3, on CNBC’s Squawk Box this week, discussing his predictions for blockchain in 2020 and beyond.

Click here to watch the interview

For more information about some of the great work we do for our clients, click here: https://www.chatsworthcommunications.com/work/

Tradeteq and Pragma win American Financial Technology Awards

We’re delighted that two of our clients, Tradeteq and Pragma, have been recognised in this year’s American Financial Technology Awards, run by Waters Technology.

Tradeteq, the electronic trading platform for institutional trade finance, picked up the award for the ‘Best Collaboration Initiative’. The accolade recognises their efforts to work with over 20 banks, financial institutions and trade associations to close the $1.5tn trade finance gap through the Trade Finance Distribution Initiative (TFD Initiative), for which it is the distribution technology provider.

Additionally, Pragma has won the ‘Best Front-Office Initiative’ accolade for its innovative multi-asset, broker-neutral algorithmic execution platform, Pragma360. The platform enables front-office professionals to create a unique algorithmic trading suite under their own corporate brand.

Christoph Gugelmann, CEO of Tradeteq, commented: “Winning this award recognises the transformative change Tradeteq is bringing to the trade finance market. By partnering with some of the leading trade finance banks, we hope to transform this market into one that is operationally efficient, scalable and easily distributable. Through the use of our credit scoring AI and electronic trading platform, the TFD Initiative’s members can boost trade finance distribution and contribute to closing the trade finance gap.”

David Mechner, CEO of Pragma, was extremely pleased to win the award, stating: “In recent years, the front-office has focused on regulators’ calls for more transparency around execution quality and market impact. Winning this award is recognition of Pragma’s efforts to help front office professionals respond to this mandate using the most-advanced trading and execution tools.”

For more information about some of the great work we do for our clients, click here: https://www.chatsworthcommunications.com/work/

Tradition brokers AUD/USD swap trade using LCH SwapAgent

Tradition, one of the world’s largest interdealer brokers in over-the-counter commodity and financial products, has facilitated the first, brokered AUD/USD cross-currency swap trade using LCH SwapAgent.

The AUD/USD trade was executed between Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and another counterparty on 20 November 2019. Tradition’s global presence, market knowledge and connectivity ensured it was the ideal partner to facilitate this trade.

SwapAgent is a service designed to simplify the processing, margining and settlement of non-cleared derivatives. It benefits from LCH’s expertise in serving and managing risk for the cleared Rates and FX derivatives market.

Nathan Ondyak, Global Head of LCH SwapAgent, comments: “Since launching in 2017, customers trading non-cleared derivatives have utilised SwapAgent to gain many of the efficiencies that they have become accustomed to in the cleared market. We are delighted to welcome MUFG as one of our newest members to the service. The completion of the first brokered AUD/USD trade between bilateral counterparties using SwapAgent is an important milestone for participants trading cross-currency swaps.”

Amit Kantaria, Director in the Rates Trading Group at MUFG, EMEA, added: “MUFG is pleased to have been able to participate in the first brokered AUD/USD cross currency swap through SwapAgent. We believe that this is the first step towards an exciting future, and look forward to this evolution of the uncleared derivatives market.”

Mike Hayter, Manager of the cross-currencies broking desk at Tradition, comments: “Tradition is delighted to facilitate the first, brokered bilateral AUD/USD swap trade using LCH SwapAgent. This is a crucial service that improves standardisation, introduces efficiency and reduces operational and credit risk counterparties in the non-cleared derivatives market.”

Limeglass announces new investment from J.P. Morgan

Limeglass Investment

Limeglass, the financial research innovation company, today announced that J.P. Morgan has invested in the company. Limeglass’s technology automatically analyses the paragraphs in research documents in real-time, taking into account the underlining context and structure. The Limeglass ‘Research Atomisation’ solution uses proprietary rich Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI, machine learning and their comprehensive cross-asset and macro taxonomy to smart-tag each paragraph in context.

Limeglass recently completed J.P. Morgan’s In-Residence Program, which incubates emerging technology companies to develop production-ready solutions solving for critical wholesale banking problems. Limeglass’s technology enables banks to personalise their research product for both internal and external audiences, maximising the value for users and ensuring that the correct research reaches the correct audiences.

Rowland Park, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Limeglass, said: “The volume of financial research, and the lack of innovation in how it is delivered, mean that market participants can spend hours searching through their email to find information on the trades they are considering. It is all too easy to miss vital information buried deep in large documents, wasting time and valuable research insights. Limeglass cuts through the noise, providing users with only the relevant paragraphs in their financial research with a simple search.”

Hussein Malik, Head of Transformation & Implementation across Sales & Research at J.P. Morgan, said: “The insights our Research teams produce daily are a huge source of value to our clients. We are continuously investing in technology to help deliver industry-leading content and to help us and our clients further mine that value.”

Simon Gregory, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Limeglass, said: “Having worked in research for all my life, I was always surprised at how much research was being missed by users.  We looked at the research consumption and distribution workflows from first principles and realised that the document centric approach was limiting access to the content.  Using cutting edge technology to analyse the unstructured data in research documents, we’ve created a whole new way for market participants to engage with financial research.”

Wematch strengthens team with Chairman

Wematch, the global multi-asset-class, web-based matching and negotiation platform, has appointed Jack Jeffery as Chairman of its Board.

With more than 35 years’ experience in financial markets, Jack was previously CEO at electronic fixed income platform MTS and also at EBS, the spot FX electronic broking platform. Jack served 11 years at Citigroup, where he was Global Head of FX options.

Jack has previously served on the Bank of England and US Federal Reserve Foreign Exchange committees and hisappointment follows Wematch’s recent funding round, which saw banking titans J.P. Morgan and Société Générale – both users of Wematch – invest in the fintech. There are now 40 banks and more than 750 traders using Wematch’s platform, with more currently onboarding.

Wematch provides technology to transform how traders match, negotiate and manage trades. This brings the audit and control benefits of electronic tools to trading, delivered as web-based software-as-a-service technology. This significantly cuts costs and, enhances the orderly execution of processes for traders, enabling seamless settlement.

Despite the growth and benefits of e-trading, in some markets institutional investors still conduct most of this activity over the phone, or through interdealer brokers. It is estimated that more than 80% of structured products and 80% of FX derivatives are still transacted by voice. To put it into context, the interest rate swaps market is worth $2.1 trillion a day, with more than 70% of that business handled by phone negotiation.

Jack Jeffery, Chairman of Wematch, said: “The Wematch platform represents an extraordinarily significant step forward in the world of inter-bank trading. Its proprietary architecture enables enhanced efficiencies, providing enormous cost benefits as well as improving regulatory compliance. As a neutral platform that is constantly developing to the markets’ needs, Wematch is reshaping the trading market. It is the right product at the right time.

“Having built my career bringing electronic innovation to the capital markets, I am thrilled to be part of a team that is leading such a profound transformation in the market.”

Joseph Seroussi, co-CEO of Wematch, said: “The voice market remains robust and an integral part of the trading process – its continued usage is a demonstration of its fundamental importance to participants’ business. But it is time that traders have the best technological tools to facilitate optimal trading with confidence. Jack Jeffery’s experience will be invaluable to Wematch as we work to bring the benefits of electronic trading’s auditing and transparency to traders across capital markets.”

Gregory Mimoun, co-CEO of Wematch, said: “Jack has an impeccable track record of steering technical innovation across multiple asset classes which have benefited those markets enormously.

“His appointment is a significant vote of confidence in our technology and our business. We are delighted to welcome him to Wematch as we move to the next exciting chapter in our vision to transform trading markets.”

CordaCon 2019 – London event is packed out

  • R3 momentum increases as ecosystem swells to over 350 firms
  • Annual conference attracts over 1,100 attendees
  • CEO predicts traditional business models and technology must change or face extinction

Traditional business models remain under threat across the full value chain as enterprise blockchain continues to gain momentum, according to R3 CEO & Founder, David E Rutter

His comments came during R3’s annual CordaCon event, attended by over 1,100 developers, business leaders and industry experts in the heart of London’s financial district. The event drew a significant increase on previous years.

Since inception four years ago, R3 has risen to become a key player in blockchain-inspired technology to enhance a range of business processes including trade finance, insurance and financial services. R3’s global blockchain ecosystem has now grown to over 350 companies.

Among the announcements at CordaCon included a strategic partnership with Accenture and SAP, for R3’s Corda platform to enable two of the tech industry’s major players to provide a real-time gross settlement token-based exchange, with instantaneous settlements to reduce friction throughout the transaction chain.

Mr Rutter added: “Traditional business models are under threat across the full value chain. We will see the continued convergence of traditional Financial Market Infrastructure and broker businesses such as SIX, NY Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq with the crypto exchange world, such as Coinbase and Binance. We’ll also see new players emerge and the nimblest will win.”

Many of R3’s early adopters were at the event to talk about the work they are doing on Corda—such as TradeIX with Marco Polo, CryptoBLK with project Voltron, The Institutes Risk Alliance, SDX, B3i and ABI Lab to name a few.

Mr Rutter is a financial services veteran, having served as CEO of ICAP’s electronic broking division, before forming R3 and US treasuries platform LiquidityEdge, in the process of being acquired by MarketAxess in a USD 150 million deal

Mr Rutter added: “Corda’s longer term product strategy includes delivering capability on settlement and value transfer because we fundamentally believe we are embarking upon the beginning of a ‘tokenization of everything’ era. Digital Assets or tokens will reimagine how value is moved and managed and will fundamentally change the nature of business.

“Security tokens are squarely now under the purview of the regulators and will fall under global securities regulation. I believe long-term success and sustainability of tokens must rely on compliance with key principles pushed by the maturing regulatory framework. We will need a strong, well balanced ecosystem, regulatory framework, innovative mindset, and know-how from existing market infrastructure, as well as the right enterprise technology.

“We expect to see further enterprise blockchain consolidation. A year or two ago there were dozens maybe more platforms aspiring to be enterprise blockchains and we are already down to two real contenders in Corda and Fabric, with many other still trying to make Ethereum work at scale with proper privacy protections.

“On Interoperability, as applications go into production the need for seamless interoperability becomes more evident, so the surviving platforms need a rock solid interoperability story. I believe what we call “business network operators” the solution providers and of course their customers know that there won’t be just one solution for say Trade Finance so being able to send obligations to other customers on other BNO becomes an absolute necessity.

“The second order of this would be interoperability between blockchains and I think I was first asked about this over four years ago and the story for me is the same. While I think that may be important over a longer time frame it’s not a next year crucial deliverable.  And for us anyway we are just looking to further solidify our interoperability story and I am pleased we have been focused on this for some time now.”

FXCM launches basket of five cryptos for retail investors

Foreign exchange trading platform FXCM Group has launched CryptoMajor – a basket of five cryptocurrencies aimed at retail investors.

Dubbed CryptoMajor, the basket product includes bitcoin (BTC), XRP, litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and ethereum (ETH), which are equally weighted to protect against market volatility, the firm said in an announcement Monday. The five cryptos are already traded on its platform.

Speaking on launch, CEO Brendan Callan said the product simplifies crypto investment for retail users:

“Trading a basket of cryptocurrencies means our users are freed from the hassle of constantly monitoring the markets. CryptoMajor therefore streamlines the trading process and protects our customers from unanticipated and adverse market movements.”

The product is targeted at customers seeking to enter the nascent crypto market, Callan said, but who “don’t want to risk too much overexposure.”

Under its previous owner, Global Brokerage, Inc, FXCM notably lost its license with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in addition to receiving a $7 million fine, for trading against its own customers in 2017, according to the Financial Times.

After two of the company’s founders were banned from the U.S. financial industry, the London-based company exited the U.S. market. It’s now majority owned by Leucadia Investments, part of the Jefferies Financial Group, according to the FXCM website.


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