With a slew of awards including Industry Platform of the Year, Best Data Product, Data Vendor of the Year, and Best Data Service, Markit meets the needs for information to the financial services industry. Continually innovating to address market needs and gaps, Markit developed Markit MSA, an online market share and performance ranking tool for banks.
Markit MSA provides a comprehensive, trusted view into market share for cash and synthetic equity trades executed on traditional exchanges, MTFs (multilateral trading facilities) and OTC markets. This information is then consolidated to provide users with an aggregated view of market activity. The service ranks brokers on each European trading venue, stock or index according to the volume and value of their trades.
For buy-side institutions, the Markit MSA service identifies pools of liquidity, helping those seeking to execute trades select a broker. Sell-side institutions use the service to ascertain their market share for marketing and business development purposes. Corporations are able to rely on an independent source for strategic decision-making. And, regulators can use Markit MSA to monitor liquidity patterns and trading trends to spot potential unsupportable volatility. All of the data is available via feeds, so users can simply insert Markit MSA into their desktop – and workflow.
Developing a Backbone for the Service
Markit began with a blank slate when designing the Markit MSA service. The requirements, as compiled with 11 partner banks, were clear. The route to delivery less so. Markit’s innovative IT team, with a record of time-to-market achievements, knew strict selection criteria were key to ultimate success. The requirements were straight-forward: technology that could deliver speed and concurrent user needs, adapt to and accommodate future business requirements, vendor after-sale support and responsiveness, and finally, a reasonable price point to allow profitability of the solution.
Setting the stage for the technology requirements, Will Meldrum, Managing Director - Equities Data, Markit profiles the expectations. “Given the vast amounts of data that are inherent in the equity exchanges, we knew we needed a robust database. We also knew we needed to scale to accommodate large numbers of concurrent users. These were key drivers in our decision-making.” With that, the evaluation process began. Five vendors were selected to compete for the business, with a rigorous and representative set of tests. Over a four week period, and many cycles of testing representing five years’ worth of data, Sybase RAP – The Trading Edition emerged as the clear winner. It met the strict processing criteria and it addressed Markit’s future development expectations and support responsiveness. “The Sybase solution clearly illustrated technological superiority, and we were assured exemplary assistance from the nearby Sybase offices. It really was a clear decision for us,” says Meldrum.
Consolidating current equity trade data from multiple sources is only one element of the solution. Markit MSA also combines that current data with historical data to provide a complete and robust picture of any given dealer at any point in time. Decision-makers looking to find the best performing broker for any particular trade are equipped with on-demand information for T+1 trades. These massive data sets are supported by Sybase RAP – The Trading Edition’s ability to amass broad data sets from archival loads while simultaneously adding real-time tick data. The resulting Markit MSA solution provides decision-ready information in seconds, allowing clients to rely on objective standards and view trading activity volume or value across single stocks, venues, sectors, indices or user-defined portfolios.
What Comes After the Sale?
One of Markit’s key selection criteria was the vendor post-sale support. Too often, software customers are left to their own devices once the licenses are signed. For Will Meldrum, this support was tantamount to success, “Our team is exceptionally talented and skilled in a number of databases, but I knew we would need to have access to support teams once we began the development effort. Sybase lived up to our expectations, and provided excellent support and timely responsiveness.”
From concept to launch in one year, the Markit MSA team succeeded in delivering high value to its banking constituents as well as to external customers. “We really started from ground zero with the project. We needed to meet the requirements from multiple stakeholders and deliver a solid solution. With our team’s skills, the innovative environment at Markit, and the foundation of Sybase RAP – The Trading Edition, we went from a blank slate to success in a year,” says Meldrum.
The True Measure of Success
For companies operating in the information services arena, simply delivering a unique product on time and on budget is only the first step to success. Market adoption of the solution provides the most telling validation. The service offered via Markit MSA has been very favorably accepted. With a timely release during a time of exceptional market volatility, the service has been embraced by over 30 contributing brokers. And true to any service or software release, a key indicator of use is the list of requested enhancements. Says Meldrum, “We now have a long list of enhancements to the Markit MSA service. Our user base is very active, and continually ask for more features. That’s the true measure of usefulness.”
With this kind of success, Markit is now looking to leverage Sybase across other initiatives, and will continually develop Markit MSA to meet ongoing needs. Eventually, success will be defined as coverage for all geographical areas and becoming the standard in the market. With Markit’s strengths in innovation, the ability to deliver key information services to the financial sector, and a solid Sybase foundation, many more awards await.