Newcomer, Topaz Technology, has developed a trading and risk analytics platform that is currently used by a large major and several other trading companies CEO, Jon Fox, told me last week that it had expanded its number of users at current customers and was in contract negotiations with others. The pipeline is strong and there is lots of interest, he told me. He sees Topaz’ competitive strengths as being its portfolio management functionality, advanced analytics functionality and its flexible UI that allows it to be a true front end for traders and risk managers. He reiterated that one of its goals is to introduce greater flexibility and visibility into positions and calculations. Indeed, it has done a lot of work in that area “with things like VaR and in dealing with more complex portfolios helping users understand where changes originated.”
Jon then reeled off several areas where Topaz has been hard at work adding and improving its capabilities like Petrochemicals around pricing and derivatives, in risk profiles, LNG and gas structures, and more. Now, the Ukrainian war and increased volatilities seem to have focused the market more on managing risk and properly valuing positions, he told me. Providing analytical tools and models to support this whole area is part of where Topaz has been focused. The vendor has also been working on structured product treatment, contract and other optionality, he said.
Like many others in the market, Topaz has been inundated with requests for demonstrations and he said that they have many opportunities at all stages currently including contract stage. Topaz was also at E-World and saw significant interest there as well.
Topaz has also refined its positioning to help prospects understand what it offers. Rather than talking about CTRM it is presenting itself as a risk analytics and trading platform – something we agree with. “Topaz can help augment legacy CTRM solutions with more modern technology and more rigour in areas like analytics, models, positions, valuation and portfolio management,” he said. “Users can protect their legacy investment and yet gain significant functionality by adopting our platform.” He went on to point out that is a relatively straightforward implementation as well meaning that it’s a lower risk project than replacing a CTRM. “There are still lots of spreadsheets out there for non-vanilla instruments so there is a great deal of potential for Topaz.”
We would agree with that sentiment and as we write up the risk report, the need for platforms like Topaz’s comes across loud and clear.