03.20.2020
By Shanny Basar

Data Connectivity Essential For Remote Work

Matthew Cheung, chief executive of ipushpull, said there had been an increase in interest in the company’s ability to provide live data sharing as more staff are working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matthew Cheung, ipushpull

Cheung told Markets Media: “The cloud has a couple of silver linings. As more people are working remotely, firms want the ability to share data in real-time while maintaining their institutional controls over access.”

London-based ipushpull allows users to securely share data in real-time across desktop applications, databases, messaging platforms and cloud services.

Cheung said the technology was originally built for an electronic trading company to facilitate sending data to mobiles and he realised there was a gap in market for a product that allowed a group of people to easily share live data .

Before  joining  ipushpull Cheung co-founded RANsquawk, an online financial news service after previously working as an analyst and trader. ipushpull was also  founded by Dan Eccleston, who built the Eccoware electronic trading software business, and David Jones, chief technology officer, who worked in a number of financial institutions.

Cloud technology

The data-as-a-service platform was launched three years ago and allows data to be easily shared using cloud technology.

“Cloud deployment was a big challenge in capital markets,” Cheung added. “An enormous tanker started slowly turning three years ago at a slow pace and has picked up speed in the last 12 months.”

He predicted there will be an acceleration in deployment of the cloud in the next nine to 12 months, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has caused staff to work from remote locations while still needing access to real-time data.

In capital markets ipushpull has initially focussed on non-exchange traded assets that require manual processes. For example, when dealers make prices for options in Excel spreadsheets and then have to copy and paste the information into emails for distribution. ipushpull has been used by an interdealer-broker to automate this process by uploading the excel data into the cloud so it can  be shared live it in various formats such via chat or an API.

“We make the data interoperable enabling live collaboration,” added Cheung.

NatWest Markets

Another example of how ipushpull has been deployed is NatWest Markets hiring the fintech last October so the bank can share trade axes in real-time with some of its largest buy-side clients.

Instead of dealers manually copying and pasting data from Excel into emails, ipushpull’s automated axe interface supports customization and filtering per counterparty and allows delivery over multiple channels.

Cheung said: “NatWest Markets have been fantastic to work with as they are happy to embrace new technology to digitise their processes.”

NatWest Markets uses ipushpull to automatically distribute axes from Excel into other formats including the Symphony chat app and APIs.

Matthew Harvey, head of fixed income client execution platforms and digital sales at NatWest Markets, said in a statement: “ipushpull’s innovative live data sharing and workflow automation platform enables us to bring an idea to a production application within weeks.”

Harvey and Phil Lloyd, head of market structure & regulatory customer engagement at NatWest Markets, said in a blog that the increase in volumes on electronic venues since the introduction of the MiFID II regulations at the start of 2018 led the bank to investigate new technologies.

“NatWest Markets and other banks have landed new tech on the sales desktop to help with the digitisation of these voice flows in an effort to achieve regulatory compliance,” said the blog. “This tech has also provided the ability to analyse flow in a similar way to what is possible via electronic venues – benefitting the dealer and client when reviewing service levels.”

Phil Lloyd, NatWest Markets

Harvey and Lloyd identified ipushpull amongst the fintechs that increase workflow efficiency, deliver increased controls and minimise the impact of post MiFID II additional process.

“An opportunity has materialized: combining the benefits of dealing directly with a salesperson with the speed, efficiency and regulatory controls provided by electronic flows,” they added. “The extent to which human interaction can be preserved whilst leveraging automation continues to be a key consideration for developing customer propositions. Clients and liquidity providers who adapt will be able to control migration to electronic channels, rather than just act as passengers.”

Euromoney TRADEDATA

This month Euromoney TRADEDATA announced the release of its first reference data application that can be deployed into Symphony in partnership with ipushpull.

The application will provide licensed Symphony users on demand access to Euromoney TRADEDATA’s reference data sets.

Cheung said: “Euromoney TRADEDATA used to send a large file once a day which then had to sliced and diced by banks. Users will now have data on demand.”

Euromoney TRADEDATA is now able to deliver live and on demand data into Symphony, as an app and as a chatbot, and direct into client-side Excel.

Mark Woolfenden, managing director of Euromoney TRADEDATA, said in a statement: “Community messaging solutions are a perfect medium for requesting and retrieving unique data sets as part of rapidly developing workflow technologies. We also look forward to working with ipushpull to develop a clutch of bots, to further enhance our customers’ experience in using our data services.”

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