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IMTC Moves Investment Managers to the Cloud

New technologies such as cloud computing and SaaS have finally become the norm in the investment management industry. Our partnership with Investment Management Technology Corporation (IMTC) is a living proof of this.

 

The challenge

The American technology provider IMTC wanted to help investment advisers, banks and independent investors with a more modern approach to buying and selling bonds. They wanted to be freed from traditional, heavy terminal-based solutions such as Bloomberg.

The goal was a SaaS solution for both small and large investors, with a particular focus on the American market. The product needed to be able to provide analysis, risk monitoring, and automate manual processes which are time-consuming and have a high risk of error, and thereby risk that the investors would miss the most optimal trade in a portfolio. The need was to develop a solution with a focus on security, usability, automation, scalability, and a short time to market.

Facts

The IMTC technology solutions are based on Microsoft Azure and leverage a range of managed PaaS services, including:

  • Azure Data Lake
  • Azure Data Factory
  • Azure Databricks
  • Azure SQL
  • Azure AD
  • Azure AD B2C
  • Azure Key Vault
  • Azure API Manager
  • CosmosDB
  • Azure App Services
  • Azure Functions
  • Azure Durable Functions
  • Azure Service Bus
  • Azure Kubernetes Service
  • Azure Blob Storage
  • Azure DevOps

The solution

cVation (part of Skaylink) helped IMTC solve this challenge by designing and developing the intelligent data and calculation platform on Microsoft Azure. The solution enables IMTC’s customers to gain new and faster insight based on unprecedented amounts of data and calculations in a cloud-based SaaS solution that is cheaper, more automated, and more intelligent than existing products on the market.

 

The solution stands out by automating a number of manual processes, including monitoring compliance with rules, risks, and guidelines for portfolios and bond trades. In addition, the time from identifying the most optimal trades to execution is reduced through automated integration with third-party trading platforms.

The solution also ensures integration with the most widespread ‘Custodian systems’ (such as Clearwater, Fidelity, etc.) in bond trading, securing that investors only perform analyses based on the latest updated data on customers’ portfolios.

Based on cVation’s Accelerator Platform CADD, the development process is iterative and using the principles of Test Driven Development. The solution is built using DevOps methods, including automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery with daily updates of new features in production. The solution is therefore constantly optimized and based on all ‘best practices’ in terms of development and security.

Result

The result of the collaboration between cVation and IMTC is a SaaS solution which is based on Azure PaaS services and thereby ensures a secure and future-proof solution.

The decision-making tool integrates with a wealth of data sources, calculates enormous amounts of data in real-time with advanced analytics, optimizes portfolios with AI, and assesses risks. IMTC takes advantage of the scalability of the cloud and expands its computing power as needed, using features such as App services and Cosmos. Data is stored in Storage accounts, Cosmos, and Azure SQL, depending on the needs of the individual data type. This ensures that costs are kept low while providing the functionality and speed of the solution that is desired.

The solution is based on a microservice architecture, which ensures that development, automated testing, and deployment are optimized for both developer and release speed. Data loading from a range of external custodians and investment funds is handled through the Azure Durable functions orchestrator, which ensures a correct and scalable load of the data. Customers’ access to their own data is ensured as needed with either Azure AD B2C or the customers’ own Azure AD. Additionally, Azure AD Privileged Identity Management is used to ensure restricted access to Azure resources for developers.

The platform currently handles around 1.2 million bonds, in addition to many years of insightful historical data on securities, transactions/trades, and companies. Over 20 billion calculations are performed daily on the platform, and data is handled for about 100,000 daily trades, all of which provide input for users’ investment strategies. IMTC exposes a comprehensive API through Azure API Management, making it easy and secure for customers to automate and integrate their own trading systems directly with the analysis and decisions made by IMTC.

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