Friday, October 17, 2014

IOSCO Consults on Principles regarding the Custody of CIS Assets

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a Consultation Report on Principles regarding the Custody of Collective Investment Schemes’ Assets. The report is aimed at gathering the views of investment managers, custodians, institutional investors and other interested parties on the development of a set of principles for the custody of Collective Investment Schemes’ (CIS) Assets.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Reporting Regime for Precious Stones and Metals Dealers in Singapore

Singapore has announced a cash transaction reporting regime for Precious Stones and Metals Dealers ('PSMDs') with effect from 15 October 2014.

Precious stones and metals are highly valuable items which can be easily traded and in turn, easily exploited by criminals. There are several cases in which funds obtained from illegal activity has been used to buy precious commodities which are then subsequently converted back to cash. The precious commodities could also be used directly to support criminal activities.

The new regime will help to reduce the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing associated with transactions involving such precious commodities. The requirement for PSMDs to report large cash transactions will reduce such risks and facilitate the detection, investigation, and prosecution of money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes. The new reporting regime is also aligned with the international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force ('FATF').

Friday, October 3, 2014

NEW! Training & Development Department

We have recently launched our Training & Development Department.

Why did we do this?

As you may know, we have been around for some time providing financial & compliance services to out clientele in Singapore and within the region. In our conversations with our partners, we realized that there was a need for high level financial training. Not your usual "this is a bond stuff" but more geared toward high level analytical tools.

We conducted several one-off courses and we were encouraged by the response.

Leveraging of our contacts here in Singapore, within the region and overseas, we have built up a pool of talented & experienced practitioners within their own industries. All our practitioners have years of experience working in tier 1 financial institutions in New York & London.

Friday, September 5, 2014

ASEAN Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) Framework

Fund managers based in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand can offer collective investment schemes (‘CIS’) constituted and authorized in their home jurisdiction directly to retail investors in the other two ASEAN countries under a streamlined authorization process under the Memorandum of Understanding on Streamlined Authorization Framework For Cross-border Public Offers of ASEAN Collective Investment Schemes (‘ASEAN CIS framework’).

A CIS operator who intends to offer a CIS in a host jurisdictions under the ASEAN CIS Framework must be approved by its home regulator for offer to the public in the home jurisdiction. The home regulator must also assess the CIS to be suitable to be an ASEAN CIS (a ‘qualifying CIS’). Only after this suitability has been confirmed, can the CIS operator apply to the host regulator for the qualifying CIS to be approved for public offer in the host jurisdiction. Once it is approved, the ASEAN CIS may be sold through local distributors who are local intermediaries licensed in that host jurisdiction.

Friday, August 29, 2014

OTC Derivatives: Clearing, Reporting and Collateral Management Workshop

Maroon's Ben Watson, a highly-regarded expert on OIS in the Asia-Pacific region, recently concluded a well-received presentation on "Managing Capital and Liquidity Impacts on Collateral Management" at the Risk Australia Workshop on OTC Derivatives in Sydney which was held on the 12th and 13th of August. The presentation touched upon the strategies in which banks can maximize capital efficiency and liquidity mobility especially in an ever-changing compliance and market environment as well as the strategies to enhance operational efficiency and to reduce risk through portfolio compression.

For interested parties, the slides from the presentation can be found here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Consultation Paper on Proposals to Enhance Regulatory Safeguards for Investors in Capital Markets

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’) has released a consultation on proposals to enhance regulatory safeguards for investors in capital markets with three major drives. First, MAS proposes to extend the regulatory safeguards to retail investors to non-conventional products that are similar to regulated capital markets products: Buy-back arrangements involving precious metals are proposed to be considered debentures. The scope of collective investment schemes (‘CIS’) is proposed to be extended to products that do not pool contributions but assets are managed as a whole and thus pooled in effect.

Friday, August 1, 2014

MAS Consultation Paper on Proposed Amendments to AML/CFT Notices

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’) has released a consultation paper on proposed amendments to its Notices to Financial Institutions (‘FIs’) on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (‘AML/CFT Notices’).

Adding greater emphasis to a risk-based approach (‘RBA’), capital markets intermediaries (‘CMIs’) will be required to perform a general risk assessment regarding their money laundering and terrorism financing risk. A similar risk assessment must be performed for new products, new business practices and the use of new technologies.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

OIS Discounting and Counterparty Credit Risk Workshops 17/18 Sept 2014

Ben Watson, a well-known and much sought-after subject-matter expert in the Asia-Pacific region, will be conducting workshops on OIS Discounting and Counterparty Credit Risk this September.

Click here for more information and to book your place.

For information on MAS FTS funding and CPD hours, click here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Securities and Futures (Reporting of Derivatives Contracts) (Exemptions) Regulations 2014

Under the Securities and Futures Act and the Securities and Futures (Reporting of Derivatives Contracts) Regulations 2013, banks, finance companies, insurers, holders of a capital markets services (‘CMS’) licence, and approved trustees must report specified information on specified derivatives contracts, currently interest rate derivatives contracts and credit derivatives contracts, that are booked or traded in Singapore to a licensed trade repository within two business days after the execution, termination or a change in the specified data.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Amendments to MAS Notices on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism ('AML/CFT')

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’) has revised the MAS Notices on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (‘MAS AML/CFT Notices’). The amendments clarify financial institutions’ (‘FIs’) obligations under the anti-money laundering (‘AML’) and countering the financing of terrorism (‘CFT’) requirements in relation to the Personal Data Protection Act (‘PDPA’).

Friday, June 27, 2014

High-Frequency Trading

High-frequency trading (‘HFT’) has become a frequently bandied about term in the financial system in recent years. In this technologically-advanced age, the increased use of computers is evident for all to see, and through HFT, the role computers play has become even more profound that ever before. In 2009, HFT orders accounted for more than 50% of exchange volume in the market and as much as two-thirds of all stock trades in the U.S. from 2008 to 2011 were executed by high-frequency firms using sophisticated technology.

HFT is a type of algorithmic trading which employs the use of powerful computers to transact a large number of orders at very high speeds. It uses complex algorithms to study multiple markets and executes orders based on market conditions. HFT utilises highly sophisticated proprietary trading strategies carried out by computers to allow traders to move in and out of positions within mere seconds. In other words, traders with the fastest execution speeds will be more profitable than their slower counterparts. HFT has brought about a high level of efficiency and efficacy in the trading of stocks, and has become a vital cog in the rapidly moving financial industry.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Model Validation, Control and Governance Workshop

Finance is a Risky Business

While no financial institution can afford to ignore the risks inherent in this industry, Model Risk is still an uncharted territory for many organizations.  Even the regulators, until recently, have not placed much emphasis on this area of risk management.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Data Protection Regime pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Act 2012

The Personal Data Protection Act (‘PDPA’) and subsidiary regulations issued pursuant thereto govern the collection, use, disclosure and care of personal data by organisations. Organisations must notify individuals clearly of the purposes for which their personal data would be collected, used or disclosed on or before such collection, use or disclosure, and obtain consent. They should make reasonable efforts to verify that the personal data they hold is accurate, if they intend to use the personal data to make a decision about the individual, or to disclose the personal data. 

On request, individuals must be provided with their personal data and information about the ways in which such personal data has been or may have been used or disclosed within a year of such request. Any errors or omissions in the personal data must be corrected upon request. Organisations must protect the personal data they hold. They may transfer personal data to another country only according to the prescribed requirements and must cease retention of the personal data when it is no longer necessary for any business or legal purpose.

Monday, June 2, 2014

(Post-Event) Cross-Border Financial Services - Challenges & Solutions

The Cross-Border Financial Services - Challenges & Solutions talk held last month on the 8th of May hosted by Maroon was a rousing success with a packed audience in attendance at the RedDot BrewHouse. Our partners at BRP SA, a worldwide leader in the management of cross-border risk, presented the audience with the challenges financial institutions face in cross-border financial services and how to best manage their associated risks. 

Guests were able to enjoy great food and drinks as well as a fruitful networking session with a great view of the waters of Boat Quay at night. We hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did! Thanks for coming and we hope to see you again in future events. Click here for the photos, courtesy of our friends at G.R.A.C.E. Foundation.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Model Validation Conference 16-18 June 2014 in Singapore

Maroon will be appearing at the Model Validation, Control and Governance conference to be held in Singapore next month. A popular event in London for the past few years, this will be the first time it is coming to Asia.

We will be conducting the half-day Post-Conference Master Class on Wednesday 18th (and are willing to give a sneak peek in exchange for coffee - contact us for details).

Our software partner FINCAD is sponsoring the event to promote the recent launch of their new F3 Platform.

F3 Platform makes pricing and risk of complex derivatives easy. It is ideal for smaller banks, particularly like many of those in Asia, who need modern pricing techniques but lack the in-house quant skills to build or use a sophisticated analytics library.

New features include:

  • An adaptable trade database for storing term sheet details for products that don't fit in your main system;
  • Modern analytics and models capable of pricing, calculating risk and calculating OIS, CVA and more;
  • Distributed, multi-user architecture for consistent prices across front, middle and back office;
  • High performance through the patented Universal Risk Technology as well as a grid-enabled monte-carlo engine; and
  • Flexible interfaces that integrate easily with other trading systems.

Contacts us if you'd like to find out more about F3 Platform.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cross-Border Financial Services

In 2009, UBS paid a fine of USD 780 million and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the US government. Although the charges focussed on tax offences, various aspects were under investigation how UBS provided financial services in the USA and to US clients. A number of other Swiss banks are still facing similar charges.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cross-Border Financial Services - Challenges & Solutions

Businesses and all our lives are becoming increasingly global. In line with it, financial services are increasingly involving multiple jurisdictions: Loans are taken in one country to fund a project in another country, a wealthy individual holds accounts in an offshore jurisdictions, an investment recommendation sent by email to a foreign investor etc.

Financial institutions are obliged in all jurisdictions in which they are considered to be active. With the increasing internationalisation of their services, financial institutions must consider an increasing number of regulations to comply with. Knowing and keeping track of all these regulations is a major challenge for financial institutions.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Securities and Futures (Reporting of Derivatives Contracts) Regulations 2013

Banks and subsidiaries of banks in Singapore, merchant banks, finance companies, insurers licensed in Singapore, approved trustees, any capital markets services (‘CMS’) licence holder, and significant derivatives holders must report specified information on interest rate derivatives contracts and credit derivatives contracts that are booked or traded in Singapore to a licensed trade repository within two business days after the execution, termination or a change in the specified data.

For more information, please read our regulatory update on the Securities and Futures (Reporting of Derivatives Contracts) Regulations 2013.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Technology Risk Management Notices and Guidelines

In June 2013, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ('MAS') has issued Notices and Guidelines on Technology Risk Management ('TRM'). Financial Institutions ('FIs') must review their technology systems and processes and evaluate how to effectively implement adequate technology risk measures in order to protect their IT.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Random Walkers - Thu 3rd April

Singapore's only Quant Finance Social event will convene again this month on Thursday 3rd April.

Join quants from banks, funds and academia to talk about all things quant or not and where the highest levels of liquidity can be found in a pint glass.

We are considering a new venue, so please come along and let us know your thoughts.

Date: Thursday 3rd April 2014

Time: 6:30pm onwards

Place: The Bull and Bear, 33 Pekin Street, Singapore 048671
+65 6557 0879