Real-time analytics that move from data to actionable information can allow firms to save resources while achieving the desired results, according to Catherine Clay, EVP, Global Head of Data and Access Solutions at Cboe Global Markets.
With data now available globally, firms are looking for new opportunities across asset classes and geographies, she said, adding that to simplify this global workflow, execution platforms “must rise to the challenge”.
Clay said today’s market participants have the appetite and ability to quickly integrate vast amounts of data into their models and workflows.
This new generation, part technologist part quant, will continue to demand proprietary data, including alternative data, at an increasing level, she said.
“However, this information arms race comes with significant cost, and firms are now looking for solutions that simplify complexities and reduce integration time,” she told Traders Magazine.
Clay, who won Excellence in Exchanges Award at the Markets Media Group’s U.S. Women in Finance Awards 2018, leads the Data and Access Solutions (DnA) division at Cboe Global Markets. “Each day is different, with new opportunities and challenges, but my passion for the industry and my drive to remove friction from the markets guides my overarching decision-making process,” she revealed.
According to Clay, widespread digitalization has led to a diverse set of data providers and data sets.
“This data origin diversity poses a challenge for firms that need to acquire, store and access the data in a convenient, normalized format – a challenge DnA helps our clients solve,” she said.
As one of the world’s largest global exchange operators, Cboe provides an incredibly rich menu of data under simplified terms and from convenient access points, Clay explained.
“We simplify vendor complexities and allow firms to focus on their core strengths,” she stressed.
Additionally, with the vast amount of data available – particularly in the equity derivatives space – firms may struggle with the heavy compute required for real-time synthesis and analysis, Clay said.
DnA uses on-premises GPU technology to compute real-time risk and margin analytics so that their customers can trade with more confidence.
As Cboe expands into new markets and geographies, DnA is there to unlock investor potential with their offerings, Clay said.
“From newly minted proprietary data sets to innovative analytics, we listen to our clients and partner with them to meet their information needs. In line with this, we have many exciting initiatives in flight across our broad product portfolio,” she said.
Cboe recently joined the Pyth Network, a decentralized, blockchain-based financial market data distribution platform, and this year they will begin publishing a limited derived data set from one of their U.S. equities exchanges.
Another meaningful initiative has been the launch of the Cboe One Canada Feed, a real-time market data product that provides complete coverage of the Canadian equities market, Clay said.
On the platform side of DnA, Cboe Silexx, a multi-asset execution management system, is being infused with industry-leading risk analytics, Clay said: “With unparalleled expertise in the options space, DnA helps make markets more accessible and safer for participants.”
Clay said that their index business continues to partner with clients on novel derivatives-based indices designed democratize access to complex strategies that were previously reserved for the select few.
“In 2023, we will focus on Europe, bringing our analytics and market data offerings to new Cboe clients. Looking into the future, expect to see new data sets, analytics and indices related to both the crypto and ESG spaces,” she said.
When asked about gender equality, Clay said that looking at the financial services sector as a whole, women remain underrepresented, particularly in senior leadership positions.
That said, the industry is responding to the demand for greater transparency and accountability with regard to equality and opportunity, Clay added.
The creation of DEI-minded recruiting and talent development programs, along with the publication of organizational demographics, has been a positive trend in the sector, Clay said.
She further said that though essential, revamped recruiting efforts alone are not enough to close the gender-parity gap in financial services.
“It ultimately comes down to organizational accountability and a continued commitment to supporting women in the workplace beyond the initial hiring process,” she said.
Cboe has taken an important step to increase the representation of women within the organization by establishing Social Impact goals that are published in their annual ESG report with measurable outcomes.
“At Cboe, we are focused on improving diversity at all levels of the organization – including at the Board level, where nearly one-third of our Directors are female,” Clay said.
Cboe strengthens this commitment through their Diversity Leadership Council, which is comprised of leaders across the company and their Associate Resource Groups, who play a critical role in driving culture.
According to Clay, their HR team is focused on delivering DEI-related results and provides governance and oversight on our diversity efforts.
“We also have the dedicated Cboe Women’s Initiative, which strives to increase representation, strengthen voices, and build a culture of opportunity and advancement for the women of Cboe through mentorship, advocacy, and educational and networking events,” she concluded.