An Interview with Michael Kirch CCO of Beacon

An Interview with Michael Kirch CCO of Beacon

An Interview with Michael Kirch CCO of Beacon

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ComTechAdvisory: What is the Beacon platform and what was the impetus for developing it?

Dr. Michael Kirch: Mark Higgins and Kirat Singh founded Beacon in 2014 to create a modern collaborative technology environment in the world of institutional finance. Historically, financial institutions and vendors have built closed proprietary technology to solve specific business problems. At Goldman, JPM and BAML, Mark and Kirat were very successful in building cutting edge trading systems based upon open transparent platforms that can support a very wide range of tasks. Beacon enables the same level of innovation and business agility for our clients and makes it easy for software or data vendors to create and offer third party packages in the Beacon app store.

Latest Publications

New Business Models and Consumer Focused Digital Transformations

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ComTech visits with Amir Soufizadeh, Head of Commodities & Utilities Practice at BJSS. Founded in 1993, BJSS operates across the UK and USA, providing consultancy and services for the delivery of enterprise-scale IT solutions. The company’s clients include some of the world’s largest organisations including investment and retail banks, government departments, retailers and commodity traders.

ComTechAdvisory: How is business for BJSS at the moment and what is driving it?

Amir Soufizadeh: (AS) Business is great! BJSS has grown organically since 1993 but last 12 months have been extremely busy, with rapid growth in each of our four industry verticals - Financial Services, Commodities & Utilities, Public Sector and Retail & Media. Digital transformation has been the key driver, led by Cloud, AI and machine learning initiatives.

Kynetix explains Distributed Ledger Technologies and its future

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ComTechAdvisory: What is Kynetix’ interest in Blockchain technologies?

Scott Riley: There are three primary drivers to Kynetix’s interest in DLT:

1. Our mission at Kynetix is to bring total trust to the commodity markets. Given the claims that DLTs are a 'trust machine' we thought we better explore the assertion. Having been at the forefront of technology in our field for over 20 years, technology is in our DNA. Blockchain or DLT technologies are currently attracting huge interest across financial and physical market players. Our experience has taught us that the best way to understand new technologies is to experiment with them and test their capabilities and functionalities; which is what we’ve been doing with our partners for the last 2 years.

2. Sentinel, our best of breed market infrastructure platform, sits between the physical economy and the financial markets. As such we need to ensure we can interface with any platform in the commodity transaction value chain. We believe DLT will revolutionise aspects of the commodities transaction value chain and therefore we need to continue leading initiatives on this topic.

3. Innovation is a constant in our industry. All our customers, including the likes of LME, ICE, SDiX all demand that we continue to offer them innovative solutions so that they can in turn offer their clients new, market leading services. We are proud of our legacy of collaboration with key clients and we always aim to deliver our clients the latest innovations to help unlock value in the physical markets for their customers.

CTRM as an Architecture

CTRM/CM as an Architecture – An Approach to A 20-year old Conundrum

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Wholesale commodity trading and risk management can encompass any number of business processes and strategies, from brokered trades in which the buyer purchases some quantity of commodity and then immediately resells it at the same point for (hopefully) a profit – to multi-commodity transactions involving global supply chains, transformations, and complex financial hedging strategies. Vendor provided software to service this wide-ranging market, commonly known as Commodity Trading and Risk Management or CTRM software, will similarly vary in possible functional coverage, with some CTRM solutions addressing specific functional components (such as deal capture or risk analysis for a specific commodity), while others will attempt to model and provide wide-ranging functional coverage for all possible commodity classes and the unique physical operations associated with each and every possible combination in between.

Given this, the Commodity Trading and Risk Management (CTRM) software category is very difficult to define except in the broadest of terms. When the term “CTRM” was first coined, it was essentially used to expand the breadth of the software category known as Energy Trading and Risk Management (ETRM). Both terms broadly mean the same thing, with ETRM reflecting software solutions that address the capture, position management and accounting for any wholesale energy trade; and CTRM reflecting a wider reach (including energy in some cases) and encompassing other commodity categories including ags, softs, and metals. In the last few years, CTRM has been increasingly regarded as a component of an even larger software category called Commodity Management (CM), further muddying the classification of the types of software that address the needs of the wholesale commodity marketplace. Commodity Management solutions are most commonly utilized in the mid- and downstream commodity markets, including food processing and packaging companies, agricultural merchants, and manufacturers. Additionally, there are a number of terms used to describe different aspects of Commodity Management such as ‘ERP for Commodities’.

ComTech Analyst Briefing Note – EKA Update 2017

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Eka recently announced their 2016 year end results, providing the opportunity to review the company’s progress in developing and marketing its Commodity Analytics Cloud, a new product announced in 2015. Additionally we will also review the company’s overall performance since our last full update, released in November of 2014.

For a more complete coverage of Eka, see our analyst briefing note released in July 2015 for detailed review of the company’s Commodity Analytics Cloud. Also see our ComTech Analyst Briefing Note released in November 2014, for a complete corporate overview, strategy discussion and products overview by ComTech analysts.