SmartStream Technologies: Sensing the Pulse of Banking Industry

Haytham Kaddoura, CEO Despite joining the conference call after just having landed in London, Haytham Kaddoura sounded full of energy and excitement ready to share his views on the current environment clouding the banking industry, and how SmartStream Technologies is ‘time and again’ proving itself to be the indomitable player in the space. Kaddoura, who possesses more than two decades of experience in investment advisory, asset management, and corporate restructuring, believes that success requires staying close to clients and listening to what they really want. It’s no surprise that he makes these periodic visits to SmartStream’s global offices, a ritual that allows him to achieve the much-needed coherence between evolving challenges faced by banks and the solutions and services offered by SmartStream.

A Step Closer to Clients

Their practice of listening to clients has definitely given SmartStream an edge over its competitors today. “Unlike other vendors that offer ‘made to measure’ solutions in the marketplace, SmartStream has always remained unique in allowing its customers to form and shape the solution according to their requirements,” says Kaddoura. For instance, when Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), an Austrian banking group, decided to take a proactive approach to combat the impact of The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s release—‘Principles for Sound Liquidity Risk Management and Supervision,’ SmartStream was their choice of vendor. The bank chose SmartStream’s cash and liquidity reporting solution, a solution that resulted from the collaboration between SmartStream’s product development team in Vienna and the bank’s treasury domain experts. The solution, Corona Cash and Liquidity, provides best practices for its customers and offers real-time data from external sources.

With this solution, RBI was provided with a centralized view of all cash positions throughout the bank, aiding cash management, forecasting, and trading needs. Also, the solution successfully generated complete reports incorporating central bank deposits—enabling the client to allocate funds and to feed details into these reports.

Specialist Knowledge and Innovative Culture

Specialist knowledge and a culture of innovation support the unprecedented growth of SmartStream, as evidenced by its impressive growth year after year. The global managed services provider has without misstep predicted the challenges some of the world’s top banks will face and built solutions to meet these challenges.

SmartStream has always remained unique in allowing its customers to form and shape the solution according to their requirements

SmartStream understands that as the ecosystem of local and international regulations is constantly changing, banks are striving to adhere to these restrictions while still focusing on optimizing their processes, control their costs, and most importantly, keep their stakeholders satisfied.

SmartStream’s Corona is one of the company’s answers to increasing straight-through processing rates whilst fulfilling reporting and compliance needs. An example would be the Corona family of solutions which are made scalable so they can handle millions of transactions per day, whether the chosen solution is hosted on-premise or managed in the cloud. Additionally, its shorter implementation time ensures minimum disruption of the organization’s daily operations.

A recent proof of Corona’s growing demand is its implementation by “IT Solutions Austria,” the Austrian IT service provider for Erste Group, one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe. The client is confident the solution will help reduce the operational cost since its deployment requires minimal investment, time and effort and is proven to reduce user traffic related costs by as much as 40- 60 percent, depending on the individual organization’s mainframe contracts.

For banks, another way to realize considerable savings is to have an improved understanding, measurement, and optimization of how transaction fees are charged. The awareness around transaction fees and expense management is gaining momentum with SmartStream’s Fees and Expense Management solution which addresses the need to drive savings and enhance profitability. It enables clients to strategically manage their variable expenses by using an end-to-end automated process that computes expenses accurately across high volumes of transactional information and apportioning fees.

RDU: Offering the Much Needed Data Accuracy

A ‘partner of choice’ for some of the major banks across the globe today, SmartStream has traversed a journey of rapid organic growth and made a number of strategic acquisitions as well. Recently, in collaboration with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, SmartStream created the SmartStream Reference Data Utility, originally known as Securities Product Reference Data (SPReD).

The industry has long recognized that one of the primary reasons for transaction failure is faulty reference data.
SmartStream’s Reference Data Utility (RDU) provides capabilities to mutualize operations and technology cost and ensures that firms get a complete, accurate, and timely supply of information to support their business decision making and facilitate regulatory compliance. The clients of this utility benefit from the savings and operational improvements as it enables the consumers of the data to incorporate best practices and individual control.

Established as the first industry utility based on the principles of market commonality, collaboration, and contribution, SmartStream’s RDU is a shared service model. It manages data holistically across legal entity, security, instrument, corporate action, and pricing details, promoting common fixes to data processing across the instrument lifecycle and the events that originate and change data.

"Our approach guarantees that the client’s data is fit-for-purpose and consistent"

The RDU manages the complete data workflow, from sourcing and validation to enrichment and cross-referencing of information. The service utilizes SmartStream’s proven, market-leading data management service and is unique in its ability to offer multi-tenant architecture, full auditing capabilities, and customer-defined sourcing. “Cleansing best practices, which are applied, continually evolve through the network effect of data processing mutualization to achieve the highest possible data quality and timeliness. This approach guarantees that the client’s data is fit-for-purpose and consistent,” says Kaddoura.

This new notion of reference data as a utility substantiates the fact that SmartStream is constantly growing and evolving its solutions to meet the needs of the complex modern financial markets. By facilitating the achievement of processing mutualization, reduction in operational risk, and heightened service quality within the reference data management space, SmartStream’s RDU has truly positioned itself as the frontrunner in the industry. Julie Harris, Managing Director and head of Operations Data Quality Management at Goldman Sachs, expresses, “We are pleased to partner with SmartStream and our industry peers on an innovative product that combines emerging technology with a common utility model. We believe this solution presents great value for our organization and the broader industry.” The utility now operates 24/7 to support its client base from across the globe.

With more than 21 global offices, SmartStream has outpaced its competitors in the financial markets by a wide margin. Their ability to react to client, market, and regulatory changes through innovative solutions has earned SmartStream more than 70 of the world’s top 100 banks alongside the world’s leading asset managers, custodians, and broker dealers. The company is planning to further its investment in technology by expanding its operations in Poland. “I am incredibly proud of all that has been accomplished at SmartStream over the last several years and look forward to continue positioning the company at the forefront of the industry,” added Kaddoura.

SmartStream Technologies

San Jose, CA

Haytham Kaddoura, CEO

Provides volume insensitive, instrument agnostic STP solutions that deliver control to the transaction lifecycle

SmartStream Technologies