02.12.2020
By Shanny Basar

Finance Makes Wholesale Shift To Web Technology

Adam Toms, chief executive of OpenFin Europe, said the financial industry is embracing the move to web technology and more open and collaborative platforms such as the firm’s desktop operating system.

Toms told Markets Media that the firm signed more than 30 new clients last year, including some of the biggest names in finance.

Adam Toms, OpenFin

“These firms are redesigning the journey for flagship applications that exist on tens of thousands of desktops across the industry,” he added. “A wholesale change is underway.”

OpenFin’s operating system is similar to the Android or iOS operating platform for mobile phones but was launched to provide standardisation across capital markets desktops so the industry can deploy new applications more quickly and they are interoperable. The system is used at more than 1,500 unique firms, including the largest investment banks, asset managers and many vendor platforms, across nearly 200,000 desktops in more than 60 countries.

Toms continued that the shift to web technology in the market place continued to become more prominent last year and OpenFin focussed on feature innovation and differentiation for users.

For example, in October last year OpenFin announced that French bank BNP Paribas had built and deployed their single dealer foreign exchange platform, Cortex LIVE, on OpenFin OS.

As a result, Cortex LIVE can be integrated with end-client workflows and other applications.

The following month the firm said Factset was using OpenFin to run their flagship application.

Toms continued that last year OpenFin had significant uptake from asset managers, hedge funds and the largest vendors, who want to change the user experience of their products and make them interoperable.

“Last year we also signed our first clients headquartered in Asia, although we already had users in the region via our global client firms,” he added.

Funding

In December last year OpenFin announced that HSBC had joined its latest financing round, bringing the total amount raised in the Series C round to $22m (€20m) and total funding to date to $45m.

“HSBC has been a user for some time and we are pleased to welcome them as an investor,” said Toms. “They are using OpenFin to power their digital desktop strategy, including internal applications and client-facing technology.”

HSBC joins previous investors who include Bain Capital Ventures, Barclays, CME Ventures, DRW Venture Capital and J.P. Morgan.

Niall Cameron, head of corporate and institutional digital at HSBC, said in a statement: ”Desktop container technology is an important component of our digital transformation strategy across the bank. OpenFin has demonstrated that it is a leader in this space and HSBC is looking forward to working together on shared application infrastructure for the financial industry.”

OpenFin said it will use the latest round of financing to expand its product offering into Asian markets and to fund new product initiatives. Toms added that this year there will be a significant focus on the post-trade landscape, as well as other areas of financial services such as insurance.

“The financial industry is still laden with legacy technology costs and firms need to modernise their technology stacks to achieve greater, longer term cost savings,” he said. “ OpenFin helps clients attack this cost saving opportunity.”

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