In sports, great defense can be a catalyst for great offense. Can the same idea hold true for surveillance - the defense - in the capital markets? This was a question raised by today's panel of surveillance experts at today's StreamBase webinar (watch the replay).
First, TABB Group's Miranda Mizan assessed the current surveillance market. She described how surveillance is morphing from a defensive obligation to an offensive differentiator, because the markets are changing so dramatically. Mizan argues that the quantity of data, speed of trading, and complexity of instruments have made traditional surveillance techniques insufficient. And since regulation (e.g., MIFID II) is changing so quickly, she argues that firms must re-think their surveillance strategies and technology choices.
Justin Amos joined Miranda. Justin is a former global markets sales and trading executive at JPMorgan, and the MD of Redkite Financial Systems, a UK-based firm whose system called Redeye has been quickly becoming the standard for modern, real-time surveillance systems. Justin described the requirements of today's surveillance systems by describing the motivation for Redeye, which he likened to "anti-virus software for trading."
Together, Justin and Miranda touched on 12 "next generation" surveillance requirements, including:
- Real-time analytics. Surveillance systems must analyze market data at the speed of automated trading.
- Historical "big data" analytics. On-line access to trade-by-trade history for investigation, trending, and discovery.
- Data fusion. Mash-ups of increasingly complex data, including unstructured data.
- Inclusion of new data sources. The ability to integrate live data, static data, and social media data.
- Multi-asset class support. Modern surveillance must work across asset classes.
- Pre-built surveillance algorithms. Standard algorithms like front running, spiking, tailgating, and ramping.
- Adaptive algorithm modification. The ability to adapt algorithms on the fly to reduce false positives.
- Alert algorithm extensibility. The ability to quickly add new algorithms to the system as market dynamics evolve
- Customizable surveillance algorithms. The ability for a firm to tweak an algorithm for their own models.
- Flexible workflow management and case management. Control over the process of alert analysis, resolution, and tracking.
- Accessibility for business analyst. With regulation changing so quickly, more firms want their own control over surveillance behavior.
- Cloud-based or on-premise deployment. The cloud allows more rapid rollout, and may ease global scalability challenges
The panel argued that existing surveillance systems can't handle these requirements. Taken together, the challenge makes what was once traditional "defense," or a compliance function, very new and challenging - a source of differentiation.
Miranda went deeper, with examples of how brokers and the buy side are using modernized surveillance systems: agency brokers are beginning to use surveillance tools to monitor their trading algorithms and optimize their client service and order routing for best execution; the buy side are using surveillance to gain greater control to know that their trading is safe, its orders get to the right places, and that dark pools are working correctly in relation to the rest of the market; sell side institutions are using surveillance tools to institute process and control across the organization, globally, and integrated with automated systems.
Richard Tibbetts, CTO of StreamBase, gave a brief introduction of StreamBase CEP, and why complex event processing is increasingly being used to power surveillance applications; indeed, CEP provides the engine to address many of the 12 modern surveillance requirements set out by the panel.
Simon Townsend, CIO of Redkite, gave a "whistle stop tour" around Redkites' application. He hit on most of the 12 requirements above, and even showed didn't just claim that their algorithms are extensible and dynamic (requirements 6, 8 and 9) - he showed it in StreamBase Studio, and showed how business analysts can extend the Redeye surveillance algorithms.
One of the most exciting times is when a market is transformed by new ideas. In the capital markets, perhaps that innovation is upon us in surveillance, where tools that meet modern trading requirements can turn a defensive obligation into a tool for innovation.