RiskTech100 2024 Winner’s Spotlight: Murex

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With deep industry expertise and over three decades of ambitious investment, Murex is widely recognized as the leading provider of enterprise-wide, cross-asset capital markets technology solutions. This year, the firm takes home the Chartis RiskTech100 Trading and Capital Markets industry award for the first time and retains the Integrated Trading and Risk Management solutions award for the fifth year in a row. The firm’s consistent strengths within this sector are also reflected in its overall 8th place ranking.

MX.3: continual investment and development

Murex’s success has been driven by MX.3, its integrated open platform, which underpins all of its business solutions. Well known for its cross-asset and front-to-back-to-risk positioning, the platform supports trading, treasury, risk and post-trade operations. This includes trading solutions for pricing, order management, economic and regulatory capital optimization, and total cost of trading. It also offers risk management solutions for internal market risk, Initial Margin, FRTB (SA and IMA), simulated Monte Carlo PFE, SA-CCR and xVA.

MX.3 now has more than 60,000 daily users in over 60 countries and has a proven track record in supporting all sizes and types of clients, from banking and asset management to commodities and energy firms. These clients are offered a range of deployment options, including on-premises, Cloud, or Murex SaaS. ‘The high diversity of client profiles reflects the flexibility and adaptability of the MX.3 platform,’ says Frank Heanue, Head of Pre-Sales at Murex.

‘From a corporate perspective, another differentiator is our resiliency and ability to invest in the long term, made possible by our highly stable shareholder structure and strong balance sheet. Murex invests around 18% of its revenues in R&D a year, and our MX.3 platform has seen over EUR 1 billion in investment in the last decade,’ he continues.

This investment is reflected in the continual extension of MX.3’s functionalities and coverage. The firm releases a new version every quarter and each quarterly release has over 600 new or enhanced features across asset classes, functional and technical domains.

Engineered to meet evolving challenges and innovate at speed

Murex believes this continual investment and development is critical to meeting the needs of its clients. The challenges facing financial services firms are constantly evolving and accelerating, with companies under intense pressure to keep pace.

‘In addition to meeting regulatory requirements, we observe growing demand from our clients to rationalize and simplify their IT ecosystems, digitalize operations, optimize time to market, improve agility, and at the same time reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and carbon footprints. Our MX.3 platform and services are engineered to meet these ever-evolving challenges,’ says Heanue.

Fast time-to-market and agile methodologies

Fast time-to-market and agile growth are critical for financial services firms to adapt to changing market conditions. ‘MX.3 delivers innovations to end-users in a regular and timely manner,’ says Heanue. ‘One of our main differentiators is our large team of experts that continuously monitor financial markets and regulations to deliver innovative solutions and accompany clients from implementation through to the approval process. Getting to market quickly with innovations at a controlled cost is enabled by Murex’s adoption of agile methodologies,’ he explains.

Enabling digitalization

Digitalizing operations is another key structural demand from financial services firms, and this is at the heart of product development for Murex. ‘There is a growing demand for more upstream and downstream connectivity to access all sorts of data or operational utilities and to exploit with APIs parts of the MX.3 platform to serve businesses that are far from our traditional user base,’ explains Heanue.

Breaking silos

Heanue believes that one of the strongest trends ahead is the redesign of enterprise risk management away from traditional siloed models, delivering productivity gains without jeopardizing the independence of risk functions. As such, the classic cross-asset front-to-back target model is now transforming into a more ambitious target design that integrates enterprise, market and credit risk, funding, and collateral and hedge accounting. ‘MX.3 breaks silos between front, finance, risk and operations, and facilitates collaboration. It delivers, by design, a single source of truth that can be used across departments, eliminating reconciliation burden and providing risk managers with a holistic view of exposures,’ he adds.

Recent developments cement leadership position

More specifically, over the last year, Murex has delivered a series of product, technical and service extensions to MX.3, which have served to further cement its market leading position within capital markets.

Key product and coverage extensions include: introducing innovative products within exotic equity derivatives; offering a low-touch solution for securities finance; increasing coverage within carbon derivatives trading; expanding coverage within digital assets (including crypto ETD futures, options on futures, crypto-based ETFs, and Cryptocurrency NDFs); and making significant investments in curve analytics.

Murex has also made technical extensions to leverage the elasticity, scalability and cost advantages of the cloud. The firm has containerized the architecture of its solution, enabling its platform to provide automatically and just in time hardware resources for market risk calculations. Financial institutions can therefore launch risk calculations at any time, with an automatic provisioning of the necessary computing infrastructure, and pay only for what they are using.

To provide its clients with technical flexibility, Murex has expanded its compatibility to support Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL databases. ‘We also continuously certify new cloud features with AWS and Microsoft Azure to enable our clients to innovate and harness the power of the cloud and we have introduced a comprehensive catalog of REST APIs to support clients in their digitalization journeys,’ adds Heanue.

With regards to service extensions, Murex has launched ‘Upgrade-as-a-Service’ and introduced new Managed Services. ‘Upgrade-as-a-Service’ facilitates release deployment and enables customers to adopt new MX.3 quarterly releases frequently by automating validation activities, while Managed Services help financial institutions maximize their agility without the burden associated with procuring and managing technical layers.

Utilizing managed services to accelerate and optimize the delivery life cycle for innovations is a strategic priority for Murex. ‘Our newly introduced managed services automate the delivery pipeline, enhancing continuous integration and continuous evolution from design through the customization process, testing and into the final deployment phase,’ says Heanue.

‘All of these recent developments and services are designed to empower customers to achieve their digitalization initiatives and ensure regulatory readiness. The cutting edge technologies and packaged market techniques of Murex’s managed services ensure reduced TCO, while hardware optimization and elasticity reduce carbon footprint,’ he summarizes.

Future focus

Looking to the future, one of the firm’s current strategic priorities is strengthening its partnerships approach, which will enable Murex to further extend the capabilities of its platform. It has invested in a dedicated partnerships team and is developing a global network of trusted partners in the capital markets ecosystem.

In parallel with the construction of new managed services, the extension of MX.3’s functionalities and coverage will continue. Over the next 12 months, the long list of developments will include the integration of dynamic initial margin capabilities into the xVA framework and refining the automatic security allocation within collateral management, for calls and substitutions. Staying ahead of the regulatory curve, the team will ensure adherence to the OTC G20 rewrite/refit guidelines. Moreover, in anticipation of the DORA regulation, new dashboards will be launched. These dashboards will offer real-time metrics, indicators, and alerts, enabling operators to continuously monitor and ensure that their mission-critical systems remain operational under all circumstances.

On the technical side, the Murex roadmap includes the delivery of additional REST APIs. ‘With these new generation APIs, financial institutions can access the right data at the right time and in the right place. Customers use such APIs to build new digital channels that can leverage any business process managed by the Murex platform. For instance, through our curve API, clients can leverage all our curve analytics by querying calibrated and interpolated curves figures from MX.3 and integrate them into their own calculations in their applications and spreadsheets for pricing and risk purposes,’ says Heanue.

‘All of these recent and planned developments underscore our commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, and market readiness. As a result, we are well positioned to remain the leading independent provider of cross-asset trading platforms, equipping our clients with the necessary tools and solutions to thrive in an ever-changing financial landscape,’ he concludes.

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