More formal management of instrument valuation needed, says Xenomorph

London - 4 May 2011

Xenomorph, the analytics and data management solutions provider to global financial institutions, has today released its white paper “Instrument Valuation Management: management of derivative and fixed income valuations in a multi-asset, multi-model, multi-datasource and multi-timeframe environment”.

The white paper expands on the “Rates, Curves and Surfaces – Golden Copy Management of Complex Datasets” white paper Xenomorph published recently and describes how, despite the increasing importance of instrument valuation to investment, trading and risk management decisions, valuation management is not yet formally and fully addressed within data management strategies and remains a big concern for financial institutions.

Too often, says Xenomorph, valuations (and the analytics used to process input and calculate output data) fall between traditional data management providers and pricing model vendors. This leads to the over–use of tactical desktop spreadsheets where data “escapes” the control of the data management system, leading to an increased operational risk.

Whilst instrument valuation is certainly not the primary cause of the recent financial crisis, the lack of high quality, transparent valuations of many complex securities resulted in market uncertainty and in the failure of many risk models fed by untrustworthy valuations.

“A deeper understanding of financial products reduces operational risk and promotes quality, consistency and auditability, ensuring regulatory compliance”, says Brian Sentance, CEO Xenomorph. “Clients’ requirements have evolved and portfolio managers, traders and risk managers recognize that it is no longer sufficient to treat valuation as an external, black-box process offered by pricing service providers”, he adds.

Nowadays, regulators, auditors, clients and investors demand even more drill-down to the underlying details of an instrument’s valuation. It is therefore important to implement an integrated, consistent analytics and data management strategy which cuts across different departments and glues together reference and market data, pricing and analytics models, for transparent, high quality, independent valuation management.

“Our TimeScape solution provides a valuation environment which offers rapid and timely support for even the most complex instruments, allowing our clients to check easily the external valuation numbers, based on their choice of model and data providers”, says Sentance. “Otherwise, what is the point of good data management if the valuations and the analytics used are not based on the same data management infrastructure principles?”

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