Technology vendor of the year: Murex

Asia Risk Technology Awards 2020

To succeed in capital markets technology in Asia-Pacific a vendor must satisfy not only the demands of global operations, but also address the specifics of local regulation and market practices. And it must accommodate institutions across a wide range of technical sophistication and infrastructure.

After more than two decades of engagement in the region, Murex has established itself as the vendor of choice for a growing number of institutions, not only growing its customer base for its MX.3 cross-asset trading and risk platform, but increasing its footprint within existing customers as they adopt more Murex functionality.

“There is very a clear focus among our customers – old and new – on rationalising their trading and risk management operations by streamlining the supporting infrastructure. The MX.3 integrated model offers appealing solutions to that end, for instance consolidating multiple asset classes and activities on a common platform in order to benefit from consistent data representation and analytics across business lines,” says Guy Otayek, CEO Asia-Pacific for capital markets technology vendor Murex.

Over the last 12 months, Murex has gained five new customers.

“In all five projects, the first phase deploys the MX.3 platform front-to-back-to-risk across several asset classes, replacing in the process multiple legacy trading systems from several other vendors,” says Otayek.

Existing Murex customers are extending their asset class and product coverage, as well as implementing new modules and bringing additional business entities onto the platform. “This is all with the clear strategy to optimise operations, facilitate the development of new businesses and consistently adopt enterprise business processes and new regulations,” says Otayek.

Guy Otayek
Guy Otayek

Growth is strongest in Greater China, where the company has signed a number of new institutions in the past year and has eight projects underway at existing customers to add modules for functionality such as collateral management and initial margin and Ibor discontinuation. Otayek puts this success down to the strategy and resources that the company focuses on the area. “We contract directly with Chinese financial institutions without going through any intermediary company. To ensure consistency in the quality of our service at all times, we never fully outsource support or implementation to a third party,” says Otayek.

Murex has worked hard to stay abreast of regulatory and business developments, globally and locally, and build appropriate functionality into its platform, for example for multiple value adjustments to pricing (XVA), as well as initial margin, the fundamental review of the trading book and Ibor replacement.

Murex has also been investing in its underlying technology and implementation and support. It now offers various options for clients to exploit cloud’s performance, flexibility and cost benefits with MX.3, as well as a ‘DevOps’ approach to new functionality. DevOps is a set of practices that combine development and IT operations to shorten the software life cycle and deliver high quality software in continuous increments. “Financial institutions want the instant provisioning assured by the cloud and the high frequency of evolutions enabled through DevOps processes and tools,” says Otayek.

Murex has also been working with banks wanting to digitalise more of the trading services they offer to customers, such as pricing, quoting, data reporting and confirmations, with banks in Malaysia and Thailand in particular moving ahead in this area.

These capabilities proved particularly useful as the Covid-19 turmoil hit the region, with firms having to suddenly adapt to the shutdown of workplaces. “Murex’s earlier investments in digital transformation and agile delivery methods were instrumental in supporting our clients through this process,” says Otayek.

Murex continued to operate at full capacity through lockdown, delivering new developments and projects on schedule and helping customers activate business-continuity plans and remote access to the MX.3 platform.

“Furthermore, as the markets tanked and volatility and trading volumes peaked, our clients confirmed that MX.3 is the right capital markets platform to navigate a crisis of this magnitude,” says Otayek.

MX.3’s tools, analytics and infrastructure across trading, risk management and operations enabled clients to not only weather the storm, but also quickly respond to new business opportunities, such as dealing with increasing volumes of margin calls, trading activity, requests for new products and pricing various value adjustments (XVA) on novations and unwinds, he says.

Murex has always favoured a partnership approach with its customers. “We know that achieving a successful system implementation and enabling client evolution cannot be possible without allowing space to build trust with the client, knowing their business very well, and establishing a rock-solid relationship whereby both parties share the same goals, vision and concerns,” says Otayek.

As a privately held, debt-free company with a strong balance sheet, Murex is able to pursue its long-term strategy without constraints, says Otayek. The company is committed to maintaining the same level of investment in research and development and in its Asia-Pacific support and delivery operations as before the pandemic.

One Asia Risk judge said: “The breadth and broad applicability of Murex’s solution set is impressive. There is evident customer focus and the company is making innovative use of cloud-based solutions for improved performance and cost.”

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