Are You Being Served?

Single-Dealer Platforms and other enterprise software systems are increasingly being implemented as a set of discrete services, often using a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). In fact, designing an SDP as a set of loosely-coupled services is often more important than for other enterprise software due to a combined demands of business agility and integrations touching many other parts of the enterprise. So let’s look at some of the services that are required for a web-delivered SDP, and while doing so, assess where in the overall e-trading infrastructure they might be best placed.

But, before we do that, let’s recap a typical SDP architecture:

A simple view of a typical layered SDP architecture

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Who were the UX designers behind Morgan Stanley’s Matrix platform?

It’s been nearly three years since Morgan Stanley first launched their ‘game changing’ (in cost, team size and scope) Matrix single dealer platform.

Although Caplin weren’t involved in the project, it’s interesting nonetheless to understand who were the User eXperience (UX) design consultants behind the innovative platforms vision – as distinct from the technical delivery and build team consultants.

From what we can see, Continue reading

UK in talks to sell part of RBS stake to Abu Dhabi

The UK government is in talks to sell a significant stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to Abu Dhabi, the BBC has learned.

The government, which controls 82% of RBS, has for months been negotiating with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds. It could sell up to a third of its stake to Abu Dhabi, one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates.

A deal near current prices could see British taxpayers lose almost half their investment as RBS shares closed at 27.8 pence, compared with the state’s average purchase price of 50 pence.

By contrast, AIG, who were bailed out by the US Government to the tune of $150bln, are looking to produce a profit of up to $10bln for US taxpayers, once they repay the remaining $45bln owed, according to an interview on CNBC with CEO Bob Benmosche

More coverage on RBS: BBC, Daily Telegraph, Reuters

Seeing into the future with Twitter: a brief history, and a new approach

paper just released by the University of California adds to the noise around Twitter as a stock-picking tool. It focuses on analysing the relationship between stock price movements and Twitter metrics on related tweets such as number of hash-tags, number of re-tweets, number of followers for the user that posted the tweet, and so on.

Twitter and other microblogging services provide an efficient way for people to publish their opinions informally in real time. And people tend to tweet ideas very soon after having them. So it’s not surprising that analysts seized on Twitter early on as a possible leading indicator of market sentiment.

Here’s a quick history of this field:

Reflections on Sell Side in 2011

TabbForum has an interesting article, on Investment Bank ‘IB’ focus last year.

Looking across business lines, it bullet points challenges, market share stats, and suggests some strategies for adapting to increased regulation, and shrinking wallet trends, and how IBs can better serve clients.

Much of it makes sense. The author Robert Lyons, was SVP at MF Global. Continue reading

Innovation Takes Creativity (and Commitment)

Over on TabbForum Paul Rowady, a senior analyst at TABB Group talks about the people behind innovation and how a new role – new for capital markets anyway – is emerging. The creative director.

TabbForum – innovation-takes-creativity (requires a TabbForum account)

This is a great development and can only be a good thing… Speaking as a creative within the capital markets 🙂

But based on my experience I would say that the fertile ground for design innovation needs to exist within the organisation already otherwise planting a creative person in a corporate desert will not bear any innovative fruit.

The various planes needed for successful interactive product design. From: Jesse James Garret, The Elements of User Experience (an old book and image but still easy to relate to and understand).

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RBC new single dealer platform DirectExecution (RBCDX)

RBC is rolling out their new single dealer platform, ‘RBC DirectExecution’ (RBCDX), aimed at their corporate and real-money institutional clients.

The platform, commissioned over three years ago has Continue reading