Last week, Patrick and I had an update from Mark Ayzenberg of Beacon Platform who had also just sent over an announcement regarding a new partnership with Gasum. According to that announcement, Gasum had been “looking to expand the range of products they can trade, but were finding it difficult to incorporate new financial instruments and functionality into their existing pricing and risk systems. They chose Beacon Platform as the ideal solution to take their trading systems into the future. Gasum’s quant team plans to automate some of their current workload, freeing up time and resources and enabling them to work on more forward-looking and strategic projects. The team will also be using Beacon’s integrated Quote Tool, part of the Front Office Suite of applications, to price instruments such as futures strips. As they roll out broader functionality across the team, they are also exploring Beacon’s X-Value Adjustment (XVA) tools for deeper and ad-hoc risk analyses.” Mark told us that Beacon Platform had already onboarded Statkraft and EnBW. He was also excited about a couple more opportunities that he felt would close in the near future in the commodities space and that the company had signed a number of commodity and cross asset clients.
Like a number of other vendors we have talked to recently, Mark felt that concerns over business continuity and work from home driven by the COVID19 pandemic had helped Beacon Platform have a record year in 2020 helping drive the trend to the cloud and to more agile solutions. He pointed in particular to the elastic compute aspects of azure, AWS and so on where users could not only spin up and down as required but also utilize different platforms at different locations to obtain the most competitive computing price. Additionally, as the press announcement stated, “Beacon is the only platform to provide source code within an integrated development and quant platform for Python developers/quants. This transparency and flexibility enables commercial developers to easily build, iteratively test, and tweak models, analytics, and end-user applications. Beacon removes the challenge of having to build from scratch or coordinate a complex technology stack.” Beacon Platform is also looking at adding Google shortly as well for even more choice.
Mark is seeing a replacement market develop and in fact, it has recently replaced one of the legacy vendors just, he told us and now has over a dozen commodity customers worldwide. Beacon Platform has big plans for next year, he said, and fully expects to add a number of other logos in 2021 in areas like European and North American Power, LNG, and Commodity Risk Management and Analytics. ComTech will be watching Beacon’s progress carefully.