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

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

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An Interview with Cyrus Dadachanji, Partner, Energy Trading and Risk Management at Infosys Consulting

ComTechAdvisory: Please tell us a little about Infosys Consulting and the team that you are building?

Cyrus Dadachanji: Infosys Consulting’s Commodity Trading & Risk Management (CTRM) practice sits within a broader Commodity Consulting organization, and focuses on all activities in the commodity trading/risk and the logistics value chains. We cover the full range of physical and derivative commodities including the energy complex (oil, gas, power, emissions and LNG), metals (base and precious), and agricultural products, as well as FX and interest rates derivatives. Functionally our service offerings address topics aimed atidentification of value leakages, increasing revenue generation, reducing the cost per trade with a focus on margin uplift, and ensuring necessary governance and control across the commodity trading value chain. Our clients include oil companies, vertically integrated utilities and commodity traders, as well as financial institutions.

Our CTRM practice is a global practice, led from our London headquarters with activity in Europe, Middle East, AsiaPac, North America and Latin America.

We aim to bring advanced and cutting-edge technology concepts such as digitalization, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics to address tomorrow’s CTRM issues. Our professionals combine deep business, functional and technology expertise.

We deliver value to our clients through a global network of consulting, large programme delivery and development/testing professionals.

Supply Chain Challenges: BIOMASS

Supply Chain Challenges: BIOMASS

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Over the last decade, biomass of various kinds has become an increasingly commonly used fuel for electricity generation, particularly in the European Union, which mandated ambitious threshold targets for the share of renewables in total electricity generation.

Wood chips and pellets have taken a large share of biomass production, not just in Europe, but also parts of Asia as well. In fact, according to the US International Trade Commission, production of wood pellets in the US for export to these locations increased 400% between 2008 and 2014 to help meet the increased demand. The US International Trade Commission further states that, “estimates of global wood pellet consumption vary, but are currently in the range of 22 – 25 million metric tons (Mt) annually. This projected to rise to between 50 and 80 million Mt by 2020. At 19 million Mt in 2013, the EU accounted for 85 percent of global consumption of wood pellets.”

This white paper examines some of the challenges around managing and optimizing biomass supply chains and discusses Generation 10’s Commodity Manager as a comprehensive software solution to these challenges.

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.