Just before Christmas, I had a demonstration from a company called Beacon. The company was founded in early 2014 by Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, both Technologists with a track record of delivering comprehensive trading technology platforms for banks like JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. Rather than build another platform for another bank, they co-founded Beacon and, along with Michael Kirch, have designed and developed the Beacon Platform, a commercially available, best-in-class financial platform comprising trading, and risk management tools.
The Beacon Platform is the entire architecture required to build and deploy an enterprise risk or portfolio management solution and to deploy data management and trader/risk tools and, it’s all cloud-based too. With a couple of commodity firms already using the platform, Beacon is already some way along developing commodity-specific tools and models.
What immediately struck me about the Beacon Platform is that it is really quite different to anything on the market currently. It truly is a platform and an overall architecture with the tools to manage everything from the infrastructure to developing and deploying the applications themselves. It offers,
The ability to rapidly develop sand boxes, new models, and applications internally, deploy and support them as they evolve with the business,
Access to the source code which can be modified and deployed meaning rapid development and enhancement (the original source code stays intact and a customized version is used),
It is cloud-based and optimized for the cloud providing the ability to manage that environment including deployment of engines for calculations and so on,
Delivered by people who have built and deployed similar proprietary platforms for some of the largest and most complex traders on the planet!
It is still early days for Beacon but I can see it being very attractive to larger Top Tier firms who desire to build internally allowing them to rapidly build and deploy without having to reinvent the wheel each time. Beacon is essentially an integration platform with the ability to create and deploy custom functionality as well as being the data repository of record for both trade and market data. As it is both a development environment and a platform, once it has developed sufficient numbers of risk tools and applications, I can see these being offered as off the shelf applications to the industry where the benefits may well include cost of entry, speed of deployment, seamless upgrades and performance.
ComTech will be tracking Beacon’s progress over the coming months but in my opinion, this type of platform could well be the answer that some commodity firms are looking for.