February 25, 2009

Markit, a financial information services company, announced the launch of the first multi-bank, cross-asset client valuations platform.

Markit Valuations Manager provides a secure, standardized view of over-the-counter (OTC) derivative positions and derivative and cash instrument valuations across counterparties on a single electronic platform, according to the company.

Subscribers to Markit's Portfolio Valuations service will be able to view the bank counterparty valuations alongside Markit's independent valuations.

Markit is launching the platform with six banks - Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and UBS - and expects to add additional participating banks over the coming months.

The new platform incorporates a dispute mechanism and workflow tools with full audit trail to enhance the price challenge process, Markit said.

The platform is integrated with Markit's Trade Processing PortRec service to enable full life cycle support for OTC derivative positions including counterparty position data delivery. "As an active member of several buy-side working groups in Europe, we welcome the ability to access normalized position and valuation data from the banks in a standardized way. Markit has not only delivered the normalization, but it is it is consolidating the information in a single electronic portal across banks. I think this is a great step forward for the industry," Patrick Finn, Head of Operations at BlueCrest Capital Management LLP in London, said in a release.

Markit says a recent survey it conducted of 50 asset managers highlighted the urgent need for an electronic, secure valuations process.

Portfolio managers currently receive numerous statements from their counterparties in multiple formats, requiring many hours of manual consolidation, the company said.

The survey found that 17% of respondents said that a single file delivery of counterparty statements would save them between 50 and 1,000 hours of work a month. On average, respondents estimated time savings of more than 49 hours a month.

The study also revealed that more complete position information and a standard statement format across all counterparties ranked as the most important improvements required, followed by an efficient price challenge mechanism. Overall, 66% of respondents said they received their counterparty statements by email, underlining the potential security risk of misplaced or incorrectly forwarded emails, Markit said in a release.

Over 65% of respondents said they were under pressure to conduct more frequent reconciliation with counterparties and provide more frequent NAV computation to investors.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...