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Interview Corner

Contigo as an EnergyOne Company

Published 31 January 2019

An Interview with Simon Wheeler, Contigo Following EnergyOne’s acquisition of UK-based Contigo, a supplier of ETRM solutions to the western European gas and power markets, ComTech caught up with Mr. Simon Wheeler, CEO of the Contigo unit, to discuss EnergyOne’s strategy for the newly acquired business, potential client impacts and Mr. Wheeler’s outlook for the future of the business and the markets the company serves. ComTech Advisory: Thanks for taking the time to visit with us. First things first perhaps, what is your role going forward with Contigo, your background and your objectives for the business? Simon Wheeler: Thanks, pleasure... continue reading

Disruptive and Enabling Technologies in Commodities

Published 9 January 2019

Interview with Matt Dolton CEO and Co-founder at Kynetix ComTech Advisory: We recently issued our disruptive technologies research report in which we discussed the massive changes taking place in the commodities sector and the new technologies such as blockchain, AI and so on that are already potentially revolutionizing how business is done or will be done. What changes are you seeing in the industry at the moment? Matt Dolton: We’re entering a very exciting time for the commodities sector at the moment. Some of the hype over blockchain is beginning to die down as the proofs-of-concept and trials draw their... continue reading

Regulatory Compliance TRADESPARENT

Published 17 September 2018

An interview with Mr. Alexander Regnault, Director Operations, TRADESPARENT ComTech Advisory: TRADESPARENT now offers a variety of different solutions from risk management to regulatory compliance using the same approach and software, how are you able to do this? Alexander Regnault: TRADESPARENT is an integrated Data & Analytics Solution with its roots in the commodity industry. From the ground up, the design has been geared towards data handling and then applying this data to reporting solution. We ingest, normalize and apply a variety of checks to trade data at the lowest denominator and have adapted the system to deal flexibly with... continue reading

ETRM and PPAs – The View from Down Under

Published 7 August 2018

An interview with Mr. Shaun Ankers, CEO, Energy One ComTech Advisory: Can you give us an update on Energy One? What key initiatives are you involved in? Shaun Ankers: Energy One has had a busy year, consolidating our acquisition of Creative Analytics in our home market. We are now the most popular ETRM vendor in Australasia, with 95+ installations and 1000+ users for our various software products and modules. Approaching 50% of the wholesale energy in Australia is managed using our solutions. We offer a suite of ETRM products and services including: Market analytics Deal capture, risk, settlements (ETRM) for... continue reading

FIS Looks to Leverage Products into Energy & Commodities

Published 26 June 2018

ComTech Advisory: FIS Energy & Commodities is just a part of a larger group of products and business units offering trading and risk products that have some commodity capabilities. Can you tell us more about the products FIS has to offer into commodities? Dr Markus Seiser: Recently, we have combined all Trading and Risk Management assets in one joint group called CATR – Cross Asset Trading & Risk – covering the whole ecosystem from financial markets to energy & commodity markets. Companies of various industries approach the energy & commodity arena for different reasons –we support producers/generators, utilities and asset... continue reading

Brady’s Product Strategy and Direction – Interview with Ms. Libby Koehn, Chief Product Office, Brady PLC

Published 3 April 2018

Ms. Libby Koehn joined Brady PLC recently as Chief Product Officer. We asked her about Brady’s strategy, products and views on market developments. ComTech Advisory: What is the strategy at Brady – we have heard about ‘micro services’ but what does that actually mean? Libby Koehn: For several years, Brady has been developing functionality in components/services where applicable, to allow us to reuse functions more easily within Brady solutions but also to facilitate customers who want to use our services as part of their wider systems infrastructure. Micro services extend this concept to the lowest level, to services that provide... continue reading

An Interview with Rich Jefferson, Commodities COO at Beacon

Published 27 March 2018

Comtech recently had the opportunity to visit with Mr. Rich Jefferson, Commodities COO at Beacon to get his thoughts about Beacon Growing Rapidly and Finding Fertile Ground in Commodity Trading ComTech Advisory: Can you give us a quick update on Beacon’s activities in commodities? Rich Jefferson: This is an exciting time for Beacon. We have grown our team and added clients from several sectors – physical energy traders, coal traders, investment banks and hedge funds. We have added back office, downstream and regulatory reporting functionality to our strong analytic framework. We have integrated clients’ own validated and approved pricing models... continue reading

FIS Gear Up to Launch Multiple Product Strategy into Commodities

Published 20 February 2018

Commodity Technology Advisory asks Dr. Markus Seiser, COO, FIS Energy, about FIS’s strategy and plans for Energy & Commodities ComTech Advisory: FIS now markets its solutions for energy and commodities markets under one umbrella. What products and services is FIS selling and to whom? Markus Seiser: Overall, FIS offers several multiple software products for various industry verticals, tailored to each client’s needs. For example: Our classical solutions for energy and commodities markets focus on asset-backed traders, producers and generators, utilities and LDCs, and others. Here, we serve our clients with extended transaction lifecycle management capabilities, starting with market data services... continue reading

Interview with Metafused

Published 1 February 2018

ComTech Advisory: What is Metafused and what does it offer? Madhuban Kumar: Metafused’s platform provides automated AI predictions for financial services and increases their efficiencies by 20%. Its platform comprises of a set of interoperable and reusable microservices with various modules such as time series, natural language understanding, simulation and many others allowing its customers to build rapid AI products across the value chain which is agile and custom. ComTech Advisory: What experience do you have in commodity markets? Madhuban Kumar: Metafused works with large global banks and their commodity desks to make automated informed decisions at scale. It also... continue reading

Capco’s Energy Practice post-FIS – A Conversation with the Leadership Team

Published 4 December 2017

FIS announced their intention to spin-off the company’s Capco consulting business in May of this year. With the transaction completed in August, we recently visited with leadership team of Capco’s Energy Solutions group to gain insights into what a newly independent Capco means for their energy clients, and get their thoughts on a couple of current and pressing industry trends. ComTech Advisory: With the recent announcement that FIS has sold a majority interest in Capco to a fund managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), Capco is now an independent company. Can you tell us about what impacts this transaction... continue reading

Commodity Markets – A Headhunter’s View

Published 8 November 2017

ComTechAdvisory: Given all of the turmoil in commodity markets this last year or so, how has the job market been impacted? James Richmond: The markets have been slow in the past year in the prime locations (London and Geneva in particular). There has been a lot of divestment in the oil majors and energy utilities as well as in the more asset based areas of the multi-commodity traders. I have noticed a lot of growth in the outsourcing market. Whilst the UK and Switzerland has been quieter than usual, most firms tend to hire more globally dispersed teams, which comes... continue reading

Trends in Technology

Published 12 July 2017

ComTechAdvisory: What is Contigo seeing in terms of uptake of the ETRM in cloud and what are the benefits of such an approach? Adrian Bullock: We are seeing strong interest in implementing in the cloud from both small and bigger players. Over 80% of our contracts signed in the last 18 months are implemented in the cloud, we have also migrated a number of our deployed clients to the cloud in the last year. ComTechAdvisory: What does Contigo see as the main pros and cons of a single tenanted versus multi tenanted approach for ETRM software? Adrian Bullock: The flexibility... continue reading

Developments in CEE – An Interview with David Kučera

Published 28 June 2017

An Interview with David Kučera, General Secretary of the Prague Energy Exchange („PXE“) ComTechAdvisory: Tell us a little about PXE – its history and objectives David Kučera: PXE was established as a daughter company of Prague Stock Exchange. The idea came from the largest power market participants who were looking for an independent and transparent venue that would show electricity market prices and that would enable to conclude transparent transactions on the anonymous basis. As we were successful on our local market we wanted to take advantage of our know-how and expand our product offering to other countries. We focused... continue reading

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Published 27 April 2017

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... continue reading

New Business Models and Consumer Focused Digital Transformations

Published 28 March 2017

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 –... continue reading

Kynetix explains Distributed Ledger Technologies and its future

Published 21 March 2017

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... continue reading

An Interview with Michael Kirch CCO of Beacon

Published 19 January 2017

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... continue reading

Commodity Auctions and Exchanges

Published 10 October 2016

Interview with Phil Bird Perfect Channel ComTechAdvisory: Can you tell us a little about Perfect Channel? How did it get started and what are its objectives? Phil Bird: I suspect, like any venture, it’s more about following a trail of crumbs than a eureka moment. I looked at auctions and what they were used for, alongside what level of sophistication, both technical and theoretical, was being brought to bear. It’s an amazing mechanism for balancing supply and demand and has broad application, it just didn’t look like anyone was harnessing its power, so hence Perfect Channel. Broadly our objectives are;... continue reading

The Importance of Modern Technology to Minimise Risk in Energy Trading

Published 1 July 2016

We recently asked Adrian Bullock, CEO at Contigo, what he was seeing in terms of ETRM software in Europe. His take was that having a modern solution on a modern technology platform was paramount to being successful….. Commodity Technology Advisory: European power and gas markets are changing rapidly. What are you seeing and what are the impacts on ETRM software? Adrian Bullock: The energy markets have changed rapidly over recent years, and this change looks set to continue. Organisations are going to have to be flexible and efficient in order to adapt to this change, which in-turn will allow them to benefit... continue reading

ETRM – A Consultant’s View

Published 25 April 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: With the current macroeconomic environment in the commodities sector, what sorts of trends are you seeing there and how has that changed?. David Edwards: There are a number of fundamental drivers in the new energy economy such as the changing generation mix, new technologies such as smart networks and batteries, changing market structures and linkage of wholesale markets, slow economic growth and changing capital sources with an increase in foreign capital. The result of many of these drivers on our clients has been intense balance sheet pressure, often leading to fundamental business restructuring. A number of large... continue reading

OpenLink’s Henry Bonner on the Ags & Softs Market

Published 11 April 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: What do you see as the issues driving procurement in ags and softs right now? Henry Bonner: As many companies watch growth in sales, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs outstrip increases in revenue, controlling expenses has become an even greater priority. As a result, executives are under ever-increasing pressure to deliver productivity improvements, and almost all companies have sought to reduce costs, whether through traditional programs such as outsourcing, offshoring, and strategic sourcing or other one-off cost-reduction events. One of the hottest topics being discussed right now is around Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB). ZBB allows top-level strategic... continue reading

Looking for the ‘Apple’ Moment in Energy

Published 1 April 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: For those not familiar with Utilidex, can you give us a flavor for the company? How it got started and perhaps a history so far? Richard Brys: Utilidex is a technology company, which started trading just over 3 years ago. Our team have been involved in the development of a range of technology solutions from large market leading ETRM systems, to SCADA systems, Customer Billing and Settlements Systems. So we’ve had wide experience building things before moving into the energy sector! What excited us most when we started was that, in our view, energy hadn’t had its... continue reading

Contract Management in Commodities

Published 9 March 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: Firstly, can you provide some background on Chinsay and its track record and area of focus please? Colin Hayward: Chinsay has a 12 year track record of creating value for the maritime and physical commodity industries. We have grown over the years to a point where we now have 270 corporate customers including 23 multinational corporations and commodity traders using our platform every day with more than 3,000 unique users in 40 countries. 3 Billion MT of Dry & Tanker cargoes managed through the system. Our objective is to place world class contract management at the heart... continue reading

Kynetix – Commodity Exchange software supplier

Published 9 February 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: Can you give us a little background on Kynetix and what the company does? Guillaume Kendall: Kynetix was founded in the mid-90s to develop software solutions within the financial services industry. We soon created a niche within the commodity markets and our “big break” came when LIFFE asked us to build a new inventory, physical delivery and warrant management system which is now known as Guardian (acquired by ICE). At around the same time, we were also approached by the LME and won a tender to build out their physical delivery platform known as LMEsword which supports... continue reading

New Technology For CTRM Solutions

Published 14 January 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: AGIBLOCKS is based on new technology and cloud-based. Can you describe that technology and what the advantages of that technology model are? Jan van den Brom: AGIBLOCKS is based on the .net 4.5 platform with C# as the main development language and it is browser based. The combination of these newer technologies has multiple advantages, among them are: Client installation is not necessary anymore. Preventing maintenance work, one update for all and especially convenient in a situations with scattered offices around the globe. The ‘lightweight’ data traffic allows one server for all worldwide geographical areas. Usability on mobile and... continue reading

The Journey To Big Data

Published 7 January 2016

Commodity Technology Advisory: What are the latest developments at DataGenic? Richard Quigley: As you know, providing enabling technology for our clients is at the core of what we do. However, the technology choice for enablement is now becoming a very relevant subject in all our product designs. There is no doubt that the Cloud has entered our personal and business lives as well as the ubiquity of mobiles and mobile apps. As such, although we will continue to offer on-premise and ASP models to our clients, we are developing new products and re-architecting the existing products for the Cloud. As... continue reading

Stick or Twist

Published 5 January 2016

In the weeks prior to the holidays, Brady PLC issued an advisory to the market as a public company, regarding revenue expectations. I had a call with CEO, Gavin Lavelle later that day to find out more about what this meant. This took the form of a Q&A session as follows. Commodity Technology Advisory: Recently Brady PLC issued an advisory to the market regarding revenue expectations and a more difficult market, could you comment on how you see the market right now? Gavin Lavelle: Generally, the market is split between producers, traders & brokers and industrial companies. With many commodity... continue reading

An Interview with Mr. Vincent van Os, Marketing & Sales Director at TRADESPARENT

Published 16 October 2015

Commodity Technology Advisory: It has been some time now since TRADESPARENT was launched. Where are you with the product and adoption of the product in the industry? TRADESPARENT – Vincent van Os: We have been working on the development of TRADESPARENT for the last 5 years. The product is based on the team’s strong track records and hands-on experience in commodity trading, risk management and IT development. We have explicitly chosen not to walk the CTRM path but strongly focus on the Risk Management reporting side of commodity trading and processing. As a result TRADESPARENT has become a very powerful... continue reading

An Interview with Mr. Tim Rogers, Head of Sales and Business Development at Trayport Contigo

Published 5 October 2015

Commodity Technology Advisory: The European power and gas market seems to be going through some significant changes in terms of generation mix and the retail model. What are you seeing and what do you think the important trends are these days? Mr. Rogers: I suspect the change will continue. Commodity prices are under pressure with significant supply in the market against current demand. It’s no secret that the generation mix has gone through serious changes and will continue to do so. We may see the emergence of electricity storage technology but it will be some years before this has impact... continue reading

An Interview with Mr. Arnt Sollie, VP, Smart Energy with Powel AS

Published 24 July 2015

In 2013, Swiss vendor, Delta Energy, was acquired by Powel AS. Powel wasn’t widely known in traditional trading and/or logistics software markets at that time, but had a track record of delivering optimisation and other solutions to the utilities sector in Scandinavia and elsewhere. Since then, Powel has worked hard to integrate the Delta offerings into its portfolio of products and position itself in the broader European power and gas markets with what promises to be a rather interesting value proposition. We recently issued a white paper (European Power Markets in Transition) discussing its value proposition and took the opportunity... continue reading

An Interview with Mr. Gavin Lavelle, CEO of Brady PLC

Published 27 May 2015

Brady PLC reported its 2014 results recently. The company posted revenue and profitability growth. We asked CEO, Mr. Gavin Lavelle about how Brady is faring, what the future might hold for the company and what trends might impact the software category. Commodity Technology Advisory: What kind of year was 2014 for CTRM and ETRM software generally and what was driving or disrupting the markets? Mr. Lavelle: I would say very mixed. Some software companies really struggled, one or two (including Brady) found good growth Commodity Technology Advisory: How did Brady PLC fare in such a market? Mr. Lavelle: Brady had... continue reading

An Interview with Dr. Markus Seiser, Global Head of Services and Managing Director of SunGard Energy

Published 19 May 2015

Commodity Technology advisory recently visited Dr. Markus Seiser in Vienna to find out more about SunGard Energy’s acquisition of Energeya and also about the company’s European strategy. Despite writing a short blog article about the visit (SunGard Energy Targets Europe), we felt that a more formal interview was also in order and we left Dr. Markus Seiser with a set of questions to answer. He has provided quite detailed answers and we thank him for his cooperation. Commodity Technology Advisory: You have already had a long and successful career as an executive in the energy and broader software arena. Given... continue reading

New MD of the IRM Division of OpenLink discusses optimization and trading with ComTech

Published 20 April 2015

A couple of months ago, we met up with Mr. Roland Jones at E-World in Essen. He had recently been appointed MD of the Vienna-based IRM Division of OpenLink. We were keen to find out a bit more about him and also about IRM in general. In particular, we were interested in the IRM product set and how it complimented that of OpenLink, where were the synergies and so on. We were also interested and intrigued by his thinking and strategy around analytics – something that ComTech deems to be a very critical aspect of CTRM now and into the... continue reading

An Interview with Richard Williamson, CEO, G10

Published 13 April 2015

Recently, we asked Richard Williamson, CEO of G10 to answer a few questions about his company, the market and CTRM. Given Mr. Williamson’s status of an long-time veteran of the Ags CTRM market, his answers provide an honest and insightful assessment of the market and the trends that influence it. It makes very interesting reading and we thank Mr. Williamson for his time. – CTA: G10 has made a couple of key hires in the last several months in sales and marketing, does that reflect on the readiness of the product for the market? – Richard Williamson: Readiness for new... continue reading

An Interview with Richard Quigley, CEO of DataGenic

Published 2 March 2015

A few months ago, you talked about the new product Genic DataiQ in a video interview that we did with you, can you tell us a bit more about the status of the product? Genic DataiQ is one of the most exciting new products in our portfolio that helps to showcase our underlying state-of-the-art technology through an intelligent, real-time and data agnostic front-end. Genic DataiQ is currently on trial with a number of clients within the Commercial & Industrial sector, a key target market for DataGenic with a formal release date of 1 April 2015. The planned date for general... continue reading

An Interview with Bart Kroon, CEO of AGIBOO

Published 11 December 2014

Commodity Technology Advisory has been following new entrant AGIBOO more or less from its inception. The company has now developed its Agiblocks product and is moving from a focus on initial product development to more of a sales and marketing mode. It is also growing and has a number of customers now using its CTRM software primarily in the ags and softs space. As a the company matures and begins a slight shift in focus from developing the product in the first instance to selling, delivering and supporting it, as well as to help manage its growth, AGIBOO recently appointed... continue reading

Peter Armstrong, Triple Point’s former CEO, is joining Eka’s Board of Directors – A ComTech Interview

Published 30 July 2014

Commodity Technology Advisory (ComTech) was recently informed that Peter Armstrong, founder and former CEO of Triple Point Technology, has joined Eka’s Board of Directors. In light of this news, Patrick Reames, Managing Partner of ComTech, took opportunity to visit with both Peter and Manav Garg, Eka’s CEO and founder, to learn more about what drew Peter to the company and what this addition to the Board means for Eka. Patrick: It’s very interesting news, and I’m sure exciting for Eka, that Peter is joining the company’s Board. What brought about this addition to the Board? Peter:Thanks, Patrick. As you know,... continue reading