OpenFin Expands Beyond Front Office

Shanny Basar

OpenFin has partnered with risk technology provider Numerix as it looks to become the standard operating system for desktops across capital markets, from the front office through to the middle and back offices.

Numerix will deploy its risk platform Oneview on the OpenFin desktop operating system, similar to the Android or iOS operating platform for mobile phones.

Adam Toms. OpenFin

Adam Toms, chief executive of Europe for OpenFin, told Markets Media: “OpenFin is on a drive to become the default operating system for the financial services industry. We have achieved excellent traction in the front office and risk management is a very important component within capital markets.”

Toms continued that Numerix is an important vendor and use case for workflow interoperability as they cover a range of asset classes and are focused on driving digital transformations for their users.

Steve O’Hanlon, chief executive of Numerix, said in a statement: “Many apps that fit many kinds of workflows is a trader’s reality. What OpenFin accomplishes is getting these workflows working more proactively, focusing on application interoperability.”

In May last year OpenFin gave application developers free access to its operating layer for financial desktop web applications and open sourced its core technology, in a project called Hadouken, giving access to developers from inside and outside the financial industry. Firms who said they will support the open source project include Microsoft, NodeSource, Barclays, Citadel, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, NEX Group, TP ICAP and Trading Technologies.

In addition to partnering with risk management technology providers, Toms said OpenFin aims to cover capital markets from the front office through to the middle and back offices.

“We are working on compliance workflows in order to leverage specialist regtech firms into our FDC3 interop framework,” added Toms.

In March this year OpenFin launched FDC3, the Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium, to address the fragmented software landscape of capital markets through enabling universal connectivity and standards across all desktop applications. The consortium consists of large finance industry players and OpenFin has contributed the open-source code, and is also providing a central app directory.

Jim Adams, managing director, CIB Technology at J.P. Morgan, said at the time: “Our corporate and investment banking staff can use anywhere between 5-15 applications in their daily workflow. Interoperability would allow this workflow to become seamless across applications and platforms, ultimately making our employees more productive and informed when talking to internal and external clients.”

Toms said FDC3 now has nearly 40 members across banks, buyside and vendors and is continuing to make inroads. A report from the Association for Financial Markets in Europe in February this year said harmonized standards are critical for increasing the consistency, interoperability and participation levels of utilities.

“In our members survey, the lack of industry standards was identified as the most critical challenge and barrier for the adoption of utilities,” added AFME. The study continued that utilities for capital markets are a way for participants to pool resources and capabilities and to collaborate in order to achieve benefits of efficiency, scale and cost saving

Toms added there has been a high degree of interest in OpenFin from asset managers in Europe. he said: “We recently hosted an event that attracted 135 attendees, where two major buyside vendors demonstrated how they are using the application interoperability of OpenFin and FDC3 standards to build more powerful workflows to assist with best execution.”

MiFID II, the regulation which went into force in the European Union this year, requires fund managers to provide more evidence of their efforts to achieve best execution.

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