IT’s Moment to Shine

Waters Magazine
1 January 2010

Some people start the year with a burst of energy and it’s no different here. At Waters, we have a special New Year’s tradition: Every January we announce the winners of the coveted American Financial Technology Awards (AFTAs) in the pages of Waters. The AFTAs are Waters magazine’s accolades for the men and women and the IT initiatives that kept investment banks up and running and on the cutting edge.

Last month, Waters hosted our fifth AFTAs at an awards ceremony that followed a stellar all-day Waters USA conference and exhibition. The event was attended by hundreds of industry representatives-from high-level CIOs to the senior technology managers inside the leading investment banks. After a wonderful dinner, we handed out the awards to celebrate the best people and most ambitious projects in the world of financial IT and it has one aim: to honor excellence in a challenging year.

Simply put, AFTAs winners are leaders, but don’t take our word for it. The judges on our panel hail from some of the world’s top investment firms. They picked the winners based on their vision, technical brilliance and dedication to breaking new ground in this hard-charging industry. The awards for Best CIO and IT Team, in particular, single out the IT leaders who move mountains to keep their firms on the cutting edge.

I would like to thank everyone who attended a successful Waters USA Congress and AFTAs ceremony. We congratulate every finalist and wish all of our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010.

Warm regards,

Farrell McManus
Publisher, Waters

Judging Panel

Chairman: Phil Albinus, Editor, Waters

Victor Anderson, Editor, Buy Side Technology

Rick Berk, CTO, Brown Brothers Harriman

Peter Cherasia, Head of Global Technology and Operations, JPMorgan

Rob Daly, Editor, Dealing with Technology

Steven Rubinow, CIO, NYSE Euronext

Best Global Deployment

Best Risk Analytics Initiative
BNY ConvergEx Group

Best Counterparty Risk Initiative
Pershing, The Bank of New York Mellon

Best Cross-Asset Trading Initiative
State Street

Best Data Management Initiative
NYSE Euronext; 
Credit Suisse (Highly Commended)

It is a quandary: Firms are drowning in data and yet they often don’t have access to the right data at the right time. How does one bring order to this veritable flood of information that could unlock tomorrow’s cutting-edge trading strategy?

These investment firms took on the waves of data with ambitious programs that kept their heads above water: CME Group, which turned to complex event processing to get a handle on its data; Credit Suisse’s Clustered Agora Initiative; and NYSE Euronext, which has heavily invested in a next-generation financial trading network that will deliver the fastest trading environment to its customers worldwide.

NYSE Euronext took home the 2009 AFTA for Best Data Management Initiative. Scheduled for 2010, the new network will provide NYSE Euronext with internal latency of 50 microseconds roundtrip-down from 150 microseconds today. The network includes 17 of the world’s 20 largest securities firms.

The judges also decided to bestow Credit Suisse with the honor of Highly Commended for its efforts.

“It was a big effort from our team,” says Dmitry Zaslavsky, a director at Credit Suisse. “This project was driven by the need to increase our capacity and throughput with our management business. In a very short time we succeeded in improving our performance by three times and then another five times. So we actually overachieved on what we had planned.”

Andrew Bach, Cheryl Esposito and Steve Rubinow collected the award for NYSE Euronext.

Representatives from Credit Suisse accepted their award.

Most Cutting-Edge IT Initiative
Credit Suisse CrossFinder

Best Infrastructure Initiative
Barclays Captial; TD Ameritrade (Tie)

Best Green IT Initiative
State Street

Best IT Integration (Merger) Initiative

Best CIO
Anthony McCarthy, Deutsche Bank

Best IT Team
Credit Suisse