Case study

Case Study: Collateral Automation

Client type: Major global energy firm
Regulatory impact: UMR Phase 5

 

The introduction of global uncleared margin rules (UMR) drove the need to address technology requirements for both Variation (VM) and Initial Margin (IM) and to establish a more strategic solution with high levels of automation. With a mixture of solutions in place previously, the goal was to adopt industry standards while ensuring scalability for future business growth and expansion.

 

Challenges

Each entity managed VM separately using their own tools and processes, with limited interaction and oversight at a global level. Tools used included Excel, Treasury applications, and in-house systems. OSTTRA triResolve was used to manage portfolio reconciliation for some, but not all, portfolios.

The effort required to support VM was high, requiring teams in three locations, with manual processing of the entire margin process, from margin call calculation to settlement. With margin calls exchanged via email, users noted long delays to agree and complete calls, particularly when disputes occurred. With a fragmented approach to VM management and portfolio reconciliation, there was no single view of disputes and resolution of breaks was resource intensive.

Driven by a requirement to calculate IM under UMR, the firm feared the existing setup lacked automation and was not sufficient to support a growth in margin requirements. Combined with this, they wanted to achieve a global view of IM at the group level.

 

Our Solution

With different tools in place – and different internal priorities – each entity made initial decisions based on their most pressing requirements. For one entity, this meant selecting OSTTRA triResolve Margin to manage their VM requirements several years before their IM compliance deadline. The goal was to leverage their existing use of OSTTRA triResolve and combine with a fully integrated VM workflow. This allowed them to retire their manual processes quickly.

Moving to OSTTRA triResolve Margin has provided them with a state-of-the-art collateral management system ‒ including automated data capture, electronic margin call exchange with counterparties, and a single consolidated view of both margin calls and disputes. By leveraging the unique ability to combine reconciliation and margin data via OSTTRA triResolve and OSTTRA triResolve Margin, they can identify issues driving disputes in real time.

Moving from an internal tool to a robust workflow driven solution provides oversight and operational efficiencies.  By leveraging workflow automation options, they are able to process margin calls automatically, including distribution of calls to counterparties, agreeing to incoming margin requests & booking of collateral. On a typical business day, approximately 90% of all margin calls are processed automatically without the need for any manual user intervention. This approach reduces time and allows users to focus their time and attention where most required, namely to resolve disputes.

Ahead of their IM compliance date, each of the other entities followed suit and onboarded OSTTRA triResolve Margin.  First for VM, and then for IM. This approach allows all entities to benefit from the same high levels of automation, plus provides a single shared platform from which they can manage their IM requirements.

With each firm submitting their trades independently to the OSTTRA SIMM calculator, OSTTRA triCalculate, the IM results for each entity are automatically combined for monitoring at the group level via OSTTRA triResolve Margin. Not only does this allow them to manage their IM alongside existing VM workflows, but it provides an automated alert should an IM tolerance limit be breached.

Looking holistically at the entire margin process, all key tasks are now automated:

  • Data capture
  • Margin calculation
  • Margin call workflow
  • Collateral selection
  • Collateral booking and settlement
  • Dispute management

As firms consider their future collateral state, the key objective shouldn’t simply be replacement of a legacy process, but the strategic adoption of high levels of automation & integrated dispute resolution.

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