Commcise, the award-winning provider of integrated commission management solutions for investment management firms, and Convergex’s Westminster Research Associates, are pleased to announce that the two firms will offer a fully integrated, technology-based solution that provides a complete end-to-end solution that allows asset managers to be compliant with the upcoming MiFID II regulations relating to payment for research.
Westminster is an industry-leading broker-dealer specializing in providing full-service custodial aggregation solutions and access to an extensive network of independent research to the institutional investment community. Convergex is an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider.
Due to come into effect on 3 January 2018, the MiFID II regulations will require investment managers to be far more rigorous in the way they manage their research spend. In just over nine months from now, asset managers in Europe must be able to demonstrate, at a minimum:
- All trade commissions are fully unbundled, such that no payments for research are being made alongside a trade (unless via a CSA arrangement);
- CSA balances are being promptly swept into one or more ring-fenced Research Payment Accounts (RPAs);
- They have a clearly defined research budget, not linked to historic trading volumes, either at desk/strategy level or by fund;
- Research funding is tracked against the research budget;
- A defensible research valuation model demonstrates that only substantive research has been paid for; and
- An end-to-end audit trail which clearly documents the entire process.
At the same time, to improve efficiencies and reduce operational costs, buy-side firms are looking for a single integrated solution that can handle all key aspects of commission sharing agreements (CSA) and research payment accounts (RPA). This includes trade reconciliation, invoice management, research budgeting, research evaluation, consumption tracking, payment processing, cash management, MiFID reporting and due diligence support. The joint solution approach will allow buy-side and sell-side firms alike to benefit from a turn-key MiFID II-compliant system.
Amrish Ganatra, MD at Commcise said “We are pleased to be working with Westminster Research Associates, which has a long pedigree of pioneering research aggregation services and a strong research network that will complement Commcise's offering. We believe asset managers are looking for a single integrated solution. By integrating our technology, technical and business expertise and experience, we will be able to offer clients a wider range of options.”
Chris Tiscornia, CEO of Westminster Research Associates, commented “Commcise is an award-winning provider in this field, and we are delighted that Westminster can now offer clients extensive functionality for managing research payments. We expect this will open up many new opportunities for us, particularly in Europe, as we continue to prepare for the implementation of MiFID II."
Commcise offers independent, fully-integrated commission management solutions to the buy-side, sell-side and research providers. Commcise Buy, our award-winning cloud-based commission management platform is designed from the ground up to meet the specific needs of investment managers. Commcise Buy is the market-leading software solution helping asset managers to evidence end-to-end compliance with the latest MiFID II regulatory requirements. Commcise Buy provides automated trade reconciliation, algorithmic rules engine, invoice management, research evaluation / broker vote, consumption tracking (including an automated research valuation engine), commission budgeting, research accounting and reporting in a single fully-audited solution.
Built on the same technology stack as our award-winning buy-side platform, Commcise Sell is a cloud-based commission management platform for the sell-side. Commcise Sell allows executing brokers to transparently manage research commissions on behalf of their buy-side customers in a regulatory compliant manner. Whilst fully supporting the management of CSAs, Commcise additionally supports management of research payment accounts (RPAs) funded by transactions or by the accounting model. By providing a fully-audited and controlled platform that includes our industry-leading algorithmic rules engine, invoice management, research accounting and reporting in addition to white-labelled portal, Commcise Sell can allow brokers, research providers, custodians, fund accountants or any RPA administrator to manage commissions in any level of granularity and as demanded by their customers.
Commcise was founded by buy side industry professionals, with founding members including the partners of a leading Investment Technology consulting firm who have in-depth experience of implementing complex global technology solutions for asset management firms. With over 200 buy-side and sell-side clients globally, Commcise’s clients include some of the largest institutional asset managers, hedge funds and brokers in the world.
Convergex is an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider that takes on the industry’s toughest challenges, from complicated trades to complex businesses. With clients’ interests as the top priority, Convergex delivers comprehensive solutions that span global high-touch and electronic trading, prime brokerage, clearing, commission management and beyond. Headquartered in New York with a presence in several other locations including Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, San Francisco and London, the company serves nearly 3,000 clients accessing over 100 global market centers.
Westminster Research Associates is a single purpose broker-dealer, founded in 1993, that provides an agnostic, anonymous trading framework which allows money managers to aggregate CSA credit balances and simplify the process of obtaining investment research on a trading basis. Westminster’s “multiple trading” business structure provides money managers with the flexibility to seek best execution through a network of over 250 executing broker-dealers while crediting the research portion of their trade to a centralized account, helping money managers streamline their CSA administration and management. Through Westminster Research Associates, Convergex offers its customers access to a comprehensive suite of trading strategies – including global algorithms, crossing networks, DMA platforms, full-service and agency trading desks – in over 100 markets worldwide.