IHS Markit Teams with Cobalt to Re-engineer FX Post-Trade

MarkitSERV network brings FX community to innovative Cobalt platform

London, 30 January 2019

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, today announced that MarkitSERV and Cobalt are collaborating to accelerate the delivery of new, innovative post-trade processing services for foreign exchange (FX) markets.  As part of its alliance with Cobalt, IHS Markit also made a strategic investment in the firm and will partner with Cobalt to sell and deliver the solution.

In working together, MarkitSERV and Cobalt will offer a shared post-trade infrastructure designed to replace legacy technology and manual processes, bringing increased efficiency and reduced operational risk to the FX market.

The alliance unites MarkitSERV’s global network of over 800 FX counterparties and venues with Cobalt’s advanced back and middle office platform which uses an innovative combination of shared ledger and low latency technology. It delivers a single, shared, immutable record for each trade which frees up back and middle office resources from multiple layers of reconciliation.

The integration between MarkitSERV and Cobalt is already complete, with trade data flowing from customers and trading venues via MarkitSERV into the Cobalt platform.

“This collaboration marks the start of a major transformation in FX infrastructure,” said Chris Leaver, managing director and head of FX at MarkitSERV.  “The majority of the FX industry is already integrated with the MarkitSERV network and we now offer the community turn-key access to the Cobalt platform and the opportunity to radically streamline post-trade workflows. This partnership is a natural extension of MarkitSERV’s core strategy of centralizing and normalizing post-trade processing across all asset classes.”

“Joining forces with IHS Markit will allow us to rapidly scale our solution and deliver a state of the art shared middle and back office infrastructure to the global FX community, dramatically improving efficiency across the board,” said Adrian Patten, co-founder and chairman, at Cobalt. “For too long, FX has been burdened by an aging, inefficient post-trade environment. Our high performance technology has been designed to replace legacy infrastructure and inefficient processes, as well as significantly slash cost and risk for this five trillion dollar a day market.”

Post-trade processing costs the FX industry billions of dollars per year, increasingly affecting margins as spreads continue to come under pressure. Having already worked with MarkitSERV to streamline post-trade infrastructure for interest rate swaps and other asset classes, now banks, buy side firms and other industry participants are seeking similar efficiency for their FX operations.

MarkitSERV is an integrated, multi asset class service for the management of trade confirmation, clearing, allocation of block trades and regulatory reporting. In FX, MarkitSERV provides comprehensive network and STP services and an eFX platform to manage pricing, execution and hedging workflows.  MarkitSERV connectivity and standardized workflow also facilitate clearing of over 130,000 non-deliverable forwards and options trades per month.