2018 represented an important year for Simplitium as we strengthened our service offerings to continue improving efficiency and transparency across the financial services industry. We reached a series of key milestones across all three business lines: TRADEcho, LBMA-i and ModEx. As the new year quickly approaches, we look back at the clients and partners gained, the industry recognitions received and the product launches that have made 2018 momentous for Simplitium.
2018 kick started with MiFID II coming into force on January 3rd, bringing significant change to the trading landscape across Europe. A new range of transparency requirements on investment firms were introduced, including the obligation to publish post-trade reports of OTC trades in a wide range of asset classes as close to real time as possible via an Approved Publication Arrangement (APA). Firms that opted in to Systematic Internaliser status were required to make public certain pre-trade data. TRADEcho, the joint venture between Simplitium and London Stock Exchange, was ready to support the market when MiFID II went live and has since helped hundreds of firms achieve regulatory compliance. In Q1, TRADEcho worked with other APAs to plug a gap in MiFID II reference data by creating the SI Data Registry that provided information on who was an SI in each instrument. RDU Smartstream took over operation of the SI Data Registry at the end of the first quarter.
In Q1, Simplitium also released the new user interface for ModEx, the catastrophe modelling platform for the insurance and reinsurance industry. This was the first of a series of key ModEx developments during 2018, bringing modern technology to a field which has for long failed to prioritise the user experience. The new user interface provided firms with a centralised source for their catastrophe model requirements via a single access point (modex.simplitium.com).
In the second quarter of the year, Guy Carpenter, one of the leading global reinsurance brokers, signed an agreement to use ModEx for their internal catastrophe modelling. This was a major breakthrough in ModEx’s evolution, proving its viability as a catastrophe modelling platform, and represents the largest deal in Simplitium’s history.
ModEx is changing the game for catastrophe risk modelling globally. With ModEx, Guy Carpenter will benefit from easy and intuitive access to all our catastrophe risk models via a single secure web-app. ModEx will provide us with a more efficient platform, allowing us to focus on interoperable model development and insights to better service our clients.
Mark Weatherhead, Head of Model Development at Guy Carpenter
As we moved through the year, our focus remained on expanding the ModEx platform with further catastrophe models and hazard data products. In June, UCL and Fathom made their hazard data sets available as part of the ModEx service, offering clients additional tools to make more informed portfolio decisions.
Also in Q2, Simplitium signed partnership agreements with BestExHub and IHS Markit to help clients simplify their Best Execution compliance procedures under MiFID II. Simplitium aims to provide clients with a one-stop shop for all their MiFID II transparency obligations. By working with BestExHub and IHS Markit, Simplitium is able to take pressure away from clients by helping them meet their Best Execution requirements.
The momentum didn’t end in Q3 when Simplitium expanded the ModEx platform further with the addition of Impact Forecasting’s Arabian Peninsula earthquake model, Cat Risk Solutions expanded earthquake model, Ambiental’s Australia flood model and a new ModEx client, Chedid Re.
James Lay, ModEx Commercial Director at Simplitium, speaking at the Oasis conference in Zurich
Simplitium also launched Open Exposure Data (OEDTM) for ModEx. Developed in collaboration with the insurance industry, OED delivers the first robust and documented exposure framework for Oasis-based platforms and models. Oasis provides an open source framework for developing, deploying and executing catastrophe models which ModEx operates on. The OED format is fully independent, open-source and model-vendor agnostic, making it easier for firms to switch between or add new models from different vendors.
Simplitium have laid one of the foundation pieces for the next era of catastrophe modelling. If the industry can banish interoperability woes, we all stand to benefit. At Canopius we see this development as an opportunity to further enrich and differentiate our view of catastrophe risk.
Marek Shafer, Chief Digital Officer, Canopius
Q3 also saw the extension of the Systematic Internaliser (SI) regime under MiFID II. For firms that exceed the SI threshold for a given Equity or Bond, this means an obligation to make pre-trade information available to the public in certain cases. This was yet another significant change to the trading landscape that TRADEcho was ready to support with its SI Determination and SI Quoting services. Simplitium’s 10 years of SI quoting experience in the MiFID world enabled the firm to deliver the most complete SI quoting service in the market through TRADEcho.
Finally, Simplitium made the shortlist for the Insurance Post 'Digital & InsurTech Awards 2018' in the ‘Outsourced Partner of the Year Award’ category for ModEx.
In the last quarter of the year, Simplitium reached yet another milestones with the launch of LBMA-i market data. LBMA-i is the trade reporting service for the London Bullion Market Association delivered by Simplitium. The service makes it possible for market participants to gauge the shape and size of the OTC global precious metals market for the first time in history. Simplitium was appointed as LBMA’s trade reporting service provider in 2016 thanks to our extensive experience in delivering market-leading OTC trade reporting services.
Another important development was the implementation of reinsurance capabilities in ModEx, released in November. The release brought highly sought-after functionality to the ModEx platform, enabling firms to develop an even greater understanding of their risks. We also further expanded the ModEx offering with the addition of JBA Hazard data.
Finally, Simplitium received some key industry recognitions in Q4. ModEx received the bronze prize for 'Excellence in Technology - General' by the Insurance Times awards and was shortlisted for Insurance Day’s 'Technology Initiative of the Year' award. TRADEcho's SI quoting service was shortlisted for best regulatory reporting technology product by the FOW International Awards.
2018 has been a busy year and we are proud to have achieved some key client wins, industry recognitions and product developments during this time. This is just the beginning and the future is bright.
John Yonker, CEO of Simplitium