Standard Bank to reduce risk by standardising on Thunderhead NOW

13 November 2008

Standard Bank is implementing Thunderhead NOW, the market-leading enterprise communications platform, to reduce operational risk across its derivative trade confirmation process.

Thunderhead NOW will be deployed to both streamline the production of over-the-counter (OTC) derivative trade confirmations and to ensure tighter control over the entire trade confirmation process. Thunderhead’s platform will be used across Standard Bank’s product range, including equity, credit, interest rate, energy and foreign exchange (FX) derivatives.

Thunderhead NOW is a rules-based solution that automates the process for producing trade confirmation documentation, thereby ensuring that it conforms to industry standards, such as ISDA, and greatly reducing the risk of human error. The Thunderhead software also maintains a detailed audit trail of changes to trade confirmations, providing much greater transparency and accountability for every trade.

With the NOW platform, Thunderhead empowers end users to create new trade confirmations and reduces reliance on IT, hence improving time to market.

“Thunderhead NOW is critical to our business growth,” said a representative from Standard Bank. “Even as our trading activity increases, this scaleable platform will ensure the risk of sending out an inaccurate confirmation or falling outside industry or regulatory guidelines is significantly reduced”.

Thunderhead was selected following a competitive process involving other document generation platforms. It will replace a mix of legacy and in-house systems.

“Thunderhead NOW clearly stood out as being the most flexible platform and could be easily adapted to our entire product range,” continued the Standard Bank spokesperson. “It will also put the control of the trade confirmation process back into the hands of the business, enabling us to be more productive and grow our business.”

Thunderhead NOW will be integrated with WSI (Xceptor) technology, a confirmation tracking workflow tool which is also being deployed at Standard Bank. Trades will be fed in real time from front office systems into Xceptor. The Thunderhead NOW platform is then triggered to automatically generate the appropriate confirmation.

Standard Bank further commented, “Both Thunderhead and Xceptor are robust systems with XML-based architectures. This has made the integration of these two solutions, as well as integration with our existing systems, much more straightforward.”

“With increasing attention being paid by various regulatory bodies, establishing full control over the trade confirmation process is absolutely critical,” said Glen Manchester, CEO of Thunderhead. “However, this should not come at the expense of streamlining business processes or the continued growth of the business. With Thunderhead, Standard Bank is implementing our best-in-class technology to ensure it retains tight control over its process whilst, at the same time, accomplishing significant cost savings and supporting its ambitious growth objectives.”

Thunderhead’s technology is being rolled out to users in the UK later this year. Standard Bank expects to implement the NOW software to its international franchise in the future

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