Axoni announced that BlackRock has begun using Veris, Axoni’s distributed ledger network for equity swaps, joining Citi, Goldman Sachs, and other counterparties. BlackRock is leveraging Axoni’s software through an integration with the firm’s Aladdin operating system.
The Axoni platform allows for all parties on a trade to match and confirm all trade terms upfront and remain synchronized on post-trade events such as amendments, positions, and cash flows through the lifecycle of the swap.
This milestone comes after years of engagement between BlackRock, Axoni, and other large financial institutions in evaluating the use of a distributed ledger network for the post-trade management of derivatives, beginning with equity swaps. While the market for equity swaps has grown rapidly in recent years, the industry has encountered operational complexities in keeping up with trade volumes. Axoni’s distributed ledger network addresses these challenges by managing the end-to-end lifecycle for equity swaps.
Carl Forsberg, Head of OTC Markets at Axoni, said, “Axoni is excited to add BlackRock to the network. Sell-side participants will benefit immensely from using a shared platform with one of the industry’s most important swap counterparties. BlackRock will bring significant efficiencies to the network by driving adoption of standardized post-trade swap data models and workflows. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with BlackRock and the rest of the industry to innovate and improve the post-trade ecosystem.”
Mark Cox, COO of Global Investment Operations at BlackRock, noted, “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone and the culmination of years of collaborative industry research, design, and development. The Axoni platform will help us build scalability while mitigating risks in the investment life cycle beginning with equity swaps. We see great potential in a distributed ledger network for uncleared derivatives as we continue to prove out this new area of innovation.”
“Citi is excited to see the growth of Axoni’s distributed ledger network for equity swaps. We look forward to our continued collaboration with market participants to drive innovation focused on improving risk management and streamlining post-trade operations,” said Puneet Singhvi, Head of Financial Market Infrastructure and Markets Head of DLT and Digital Assets at Citi.
Brian Steele, Global Head of Market Solutions at Goldman Sachs, said, “BlackRock joining the Axoni network represents an important step in the evolution of market infrastructure and is a direct result of the strategic partnership between our firms. We look forward to continuing these efforts with new and existing network members, working together to digitally standardize trade events and re-architect the derivatives post-trade ecosystem, while leveraging our open source data management platform Legend to create more transparent standards for data governance.”
Veris uses the ISDA Common Domain Model (CDM), an open-source, standardized model for derivative trade processing, to bring consistency to how firms represent derivative events and products in order to reduce costs and risks associated with inconsistencies in trade processing.
BlackRock Investment Operations will use Axoni’s software internally, with the goal of making the capabilities available to Aladdin clients following further integration and development.