National Financial has added more tools to its Streetscape platform for client broker-dealers, this time a soup-to-nuts Risk & Compliance Hub, a big part of which is from SunGard Data Systems Inc.
The Hub has been built to operate as a single centralized compliance and surveillance system for monitoring transactional and operational activity within a broker-dealer firm.
In large measure, the compliance components are composed of SunGard's Protegent suite of post-trade tools and social media applications.
These have been integrated with National Financial Services LLC's Streetscape broker workstation used by that firm's 300 correspondent clearing broker-dealer clients.
A key piece of the hub is its social media surveillance features, which firms will use to monitor and archive any activity that has been enabled on the major social networks, including content posted to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Brokers will submit postings for pre-review through Streetscape and the Protegent components loaded onto the platform where compliance managers will in turn sign off on and then distribute the content to the social networks.
“This should help in terms of growth among our correspondent clients,” said Richard N. Hart III, senior vice president and head of platform solutions at National Financial, in an interview with InvestmentNews.
“The compliance aspect of the business has become much more time-consuming for advisers and they have told us they are worried about that only increasing — they already tell us they spend more time on compliance issues than they do growing their business,” he said.
Other key components include a pre-trade rules engine for evaluating orders and a post-trade sales practice review module. The latter helps a firm review client trade activity and compare it against regulatory guidelines. Both are meant to assist with risk mitigation and add increased levels of automation to the trade monitoring and review process.
There is much more including security and fraud protection features as well as an anti-money laundering module which analyzes transactions looking for patterns and suspicious activity.
There is a cost for the service but it on a sliding scale based on a number of factors including a broker-dealer's level of relationship with National Financial, size and other factors.
“We approached this as a relationship model and there are parts of the hub that will be free and we did make it so that for those smaller firms it would be less than them going to SunGard directly,” said Mr. Hart.
“A major aspect of this is that we host it [the Hub and its Protegent components] and manage it so that our clients do not have to,” he said.
I went on to ask about any customizations to the Sungard Protegent side of the equation and Mr. Hart said the most important pieces were around integrating workflows unique to National Financial's way of doing business and integrating alerts with Streetscape's existing alert manager.
National Financial rolled out an iPad version of Streetscape in September. Because of the way the Hub has been architected activities carried out on the app are in turn routed through the respective components of National Financial's compliance Hub. That includes social media as well as the other features.
For example, a trade order entered on the iPad will be governed by the same pre-trade rules as an order from the desktop workstation.
Advisers and compliance managers can look forward to additional training on the new features, both through webcasts and other online options as well as in-person training for larger firms.