2019 was an exciting year for the RegTech industry, with a lot of innovation and change. We saw several exciting new initiatives, including DiversiTech Hub, which is promoting diversity and inclusion within FinTech, and a number of consolidations, such as RegTek Solutions being acquired by Bloomberg. And whilst regulatory change slowed down compared to 2018, we did see the implementation of PSD2 and SM&CR for all Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) authorised firms.
Looking to MiFID II, 2019 marked the year when the regulation really started bedding in. The FCA also increased their crack down on compliance, particularly around the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and oversight. As a result, we saw more firms making more strategic and long-term decisions about their compliance and investing more in innovation.
For SteelEye, 2019 was a year defined by growth, exciting product launches and significant milestones. Over the course of the year, we grew our client base from 17 to 44 clients. We also grew our team by 55% and reached several other milestones, including opening our first international sales office.
As we enter this new decade, Matt Smith, CEO of SteelEye, looks back at 2019, highlighting some key developments that made it a year to remember.
As we entered 2019, we saw MAR really come into focus, with market participants under increased pressure from the regulator to demonstrate oversight and control.
With many firms struggling to monitor their trades and communications on a consolidated basis, we started the year by launching our integrated trade and communications surveillance solution. To make it as easy as possible for our clients to address these challenges, we built this solution on same data set as our Best Execution package, meaning that clients didn't need to ingest any additional data to use the surveillance module.
“We launched our integrated trade and communications surveillance solution to enable clients to easily monitor their trading and order data alongside their communications.”
One of our main objectives in 2019 was to build out our international partnership programme. As part of these efforts, Helen Bevis joined SteelEye in Q1 2019 to head up our Operations and Strategic Partnerships. With Helen onboard, we solidified the relationships with our existing partners and established a number of new partnerships, which you can view here.
Q2 marked the release of a couple of significant product releases for SteelEye. In June 2019, we launched our MiFID II reporting eligibility tool which helps firms determine which trades and orders need to be reported under the regulation.
Ahead of the implementation of the SMCR in December 2019, we also released a set of SMCR capabilities. To enable firms to comply with SMCR, we offer a centralised data platform for managing Senior Manager Responsibilities and Roles. Further, to help firms comply with the conduct rules, our surveillance solution provides the tools to monitor business activity, respond to suspicious activities and build bespoke reports to notify regulators about any disciplinary actions.
“By normalising and consolidating data on one platform, SteelEye simplifies the otherwise complex process of regulatory conformity. SMCR compliance is therefore simplified and firms also gain access to a wide range additional analytics and insights.”
In July 2019, we joined DiversiTech Hub – a new industry membership focussed on promoting inclusion and diversity within FinTech. We have been big advocates of diversity since our inception and work hard to promote it both within SteelEye and across the industry. We are therefore very proud to have joined this membership. As a testament to our efforts in this space, we were commended as a one of the most diverse FinTech companies in Harrington Starr’s Q4 Financial Technologist magazine.
In Q2 2019, we also received a couple of prestigious industry recognitions, including the Best Transaction Cost Analysis Solution for Best Execution by RegTech Insight and the Best Trade Reconstruction Solution for Best Execution by the TradingTech Insight Awards – North America.
In the third quarter of 2019 we announced a new client, Tavira Securities, who have licensed our record keeping, trade reconstruction, best execution, communications surveillance and market abuse surveillance.
“We were looking for a solution that would allow us to meet our regulatory requirements and consolidate our ever-growing number of supported platforms, communication channels and trade and order systems. SteelEye provided that solution.”
Patrick Fietje, CEO at Tavira Securities
In July, we announced a new SteelEye case study with GKPro (formerly GKFX). Prior to using SteelEye, GKPro needed a solution for RTS27 reporting. SteelEye provided GKPro with the lightweight solution they were looking for, enabling them to meet their obligations with confidence while freeing up time.
“SteelEye stood out by far as having superior regulatory knowledge and superior technical knowledge.”
Compliance Officer, GKPro
In August, we had the pleasure of announcing a second SteelEye case study - with Valbury Capital. With the increased regulatory demands under MiFID II and MAR, Valbury Capital needed a compliance solution tailored to their business. SteelEye provided Valbury with a bespoke platform for record keeping, trade reconstruction, transaction reporting, best execution reporting, and trade and communications surveillance.
“SteelEye has allowed us to meet our specific compliance needs whilst automating large parts of our regulatory processes post MiFID II.”
Mark Hanney, Chief Executive Officer, Valbury
From a partnership perspective, we announced our partnership with Gold-i in August 2019. Through this partnerships, brokers and other financial institutions that use Gold-i can integrate with SteelEye in real-time, significantly reducing the time and effort required to transfer data. As data flows seamlessly from Gold-i into SteelEye, human error is reduced ensuring the highest degree of data integrity for accurate regulatory reporting.
The last quarter of 2019 was a great one for us at SteelEye. In November, we hosted our annual SteelEye Regs&Eggs event in the Houses of Parliament together with partners UnaVista and Baringa. We had a great turn out this year with 60 people from different asset managers, banks, brokerages, consultancies and technology firms. The focus of the event was on STFR, SMCR and managing regulatory change, and we had great speakers from the FCA, Baringa, UnaVista, ING and Cruxy and Co.
We also released our EMIR Reporting solution in November, integrating with CME Group’s Trade Repository in Europe to support firms whose reporting costs and complexity has been increasing year on year. By introducing a cost-effective and largely automated alternative, we provide clients with a welcome relief. By ingesting position data, we also offer valuable analytics, giving our clients value back from their compliance.
Insights was another important product launch in Q4. Insights is our deep data analytics solution that allows firms to generate commercially valuable reports on any data set within the SteelEye platform. Over the past two years, we have helped clients bring together and store a vast amount of data for effortless compliance with MiFID II, MAR, EMIR, Dodd-Frank and other global regulations. With Insights, clients can now fully leverage this data to better understand their trading and performance.
One of the most significant milestones of 2019 was the opening of our new French office. The Paris location allows us to get closer to our clients in southern Europe and support our European sales agenda.
In October, we published another client case study - with Hywin Wealth. Ahead of MiFID II, Hywin Wealth were required to implement their responsibilities for transaction reporting. However, as a multi-custodian business, their reporting requirements were more complex than most. SteelEye provided Hywin with an efficient solution for ingesting their data and reporting their transactions under MiFID II.
“I wanted to get it right the first time and SteelEye enabled us to do that, complementing our team with their regulatory expertise and user-friendly solution. They came across with the right answers and the enthusiasm to deliver what we needed.”
Steven Graves, Chief Operating Officer, Hywin Wealth
Other achievements in Q4 include being selected for the Simmons and Simmons 2019 FinTech fund, getting recognised for the second year running as one of the most innovative RegTech companies on the RegTech100 directory and being listed as one of the Ultimate FinTech Workplaces in 2019 by Harrington Starr.
In 2020, we will focus on further expansion in Europe. We will also be exploring opportunities that can support international expansion beyond Europe.
From a product development perspective, we will continue evolving the technological depth of our RegTech suite, offering services for SFTR and looking to cover other regulatory bodies including IIROC in Canada, SFC in the Hong Kong and ASIC in Australia.
As we grow, we will continue to prioritise price quality support. We recognise that compliance is still one of the highest budget items for firms and we want to provide global financial markets with cost-effective, easy to use and reliable services.
As we enter this new year, we want to thank our clients, partners, friends and family for their continued support!
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