The Buy-Side Technology Awards 2021 features 35 categories (see below). The winners will be announced virtually in the Buy-Side Technology Awards 2021 video, published at 15.00 (BST) on November 5, 2021.
Best buy-side corporate actions processing platform
Products entered into this category should include event diaries, real-time processing of the entire event lifecycle, and support for a wide range of events and messaging standards.
Best buy-side algorithmic/DMA product or service
Functions should include a variety of pre-packaged trading algorithms; ability to test strategies; ability to analyze and interpret market events; ease-of-use and easy to understand GUI (this category covers discrete algorithmic trading products and not EMSs).
Best buy-side compliance product — KYC
Judges are looking for details regarding the product's transparency, granularity, ease-of-use, and its market and geographic reach to ensure that user-firms' KYC obligations are fully supported.
Best buy-side compliance product — regulatory reporting
Judges are looking for the specific regulations supported by entrants products/services, what they believe sets them apart from others similar offerings, and their ease-of-use/intuitiveness from a client's perspective.
Best integrated middle-office platform
Products entered into this category should include a mix of market and credit risk support, performance and attribution, P&L, collateral management and post-trade processing functions, all within a suite or on a single platform.
Best buy-side data management product
Functions should include repository management (design, storage, archiving, retrieval, distribution of data); content management (importing and cleansing routines); business intelligence tools designed to allow authorized business users to interrogate data repository; creation of reports and manufacture of data sets.
Best buy-side execution venue
This category's award will go to the dark pool/crossing network provider best able to provide investment managers access to non-listed liquidity with minimal information leakage.
Best buy-side market surveillance tool/platform
This category focuses on the platforms or tools that allow buy-side firms to monitor their traders' activities in real time to ensure they comply with regulatory and client mandates.
Best buy-side OMS
Platforms should feature pre-trade (deal time) and post-trade compliance; support for a range of asset classes including derivatives; a trading blotter; FIX-enabled connectivity; and order generation and routing functions.
Best buy-side pricing/valuation service
Services will be judged on broadness of product coverage; contributing pricing partners; methodology; and specificity to the buy side.
Best buy-side risk management initiative over the last 12 months
This category seeks to acknowledge enhancements to an existing risk management platform or the launch of a new risk management tool (unveiled since June 2018), designed to address current risk management challenges across the buy-side.
Best buy-side TCA (transaction-cost analysis) tool
The panel is looking for a transaction-cost analysis (TCA) tool or service that supports multiple asset classes, a range of benchmarks in its analysis, the ability to assess venue as well as broker performance, and a granular focus on data and its presentation.
Best cloud provider to the buy side
Entrants should be able to demonstrate the ability to provide managed software, infrastructure, or a platform-as-a-service, or combinations of all three, with rapid implementations, flexible consumer models, and high security standards.
Best implementation at a buy-side firm
This category seeks to highlight a specific product implementation that has gone live between June 2018 and June 2019. The winning implementation will need to have been completed on time and on budget; the winning entry will need to explain (in detail) why the implementation is deserving of this award.
Best low-latency trading network
This category focuses on the underlying trading architecture/network as opposed to the applications running in that environment. Entries should illustrate the broadness of their connectivity, their proximity to market centers and exchanges, and their ability to manage large data/trade volumes without adding unnecessary latency.
Best portfolio accounting platform
Functions should include the ability to support multiple currencies, transactions, and instruments (asset classes); back-office connectivity; flexibility and scalability.
Best buy-side managed data service
Judges are looking for details of the managed data service, including responsiveness to client requests, customisability and the various ancillary data management functions that underpin such services.
Best alternative data provider to the buy side
Judges are looking for details regarding the various types of alternative data, transparency around the sourcing of that data, and how easily it can be introduced to incumbent portfolio management workflows.
Best buy-side portfolio analysis tool
The winning entry in this category must support buy-side firms’ transparency/analysis functions with respect to the variables/factors that drive portfolio/manager performance.
Best buy-side AI (artificial intelligence) platform or tool
The winning entry must explain how the AI technology enhances business processes across the buy side and must provide examples of specific use-cases within buy-side firms.
Best buy-side client reporting platform
Functions include the ability to customize report formats and the look and feel of reports for different clients and/or portfolios; automated production of reports; and ability to manage source data and to monitor production status.
Best buy-side compliance product – trading
Judges are looking for details regarding how entrants' products help buy-side firms comply with regulatory mandates and specific client requirements, while offering auditabilty, transparancy and ease-of use.
Best buy-side CRM (customer relationship management) platform
The winning entry in this category should include functionality designed specifically to allow buy-side firms to efficiently manage client relationships that are growing both in terms of numbers and complexity.
Best buy-side data analytics tool
Tools must be able to interrogate large data volumes (both structured and unstructured), and produce actionable analysis based on that information discovery, illustrating the business benefits to buy-side user-firms.
Best buy-side EMS
Platforms should feature multi-broker/exchange connectivity; pre-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA); algorithmic trading tools and DMA; and should show strong integration capabilities with OMSs.
Best IBOR (investment book of record) platform/service
Entrants should demonstrate how their investment book of record (IBOR) platform satisfies commonly accepted IBOR criteria/functionality, the tangible business benefits offered by such a platform, and interoperability with existing/legacy systems.
Best buy-side newcomer (vendor or product)
This category is open to any technology vendor established since June 2018 or any product since June 2018 with at least one live client. Upgrades of existing applications are not considered to be new products.
Best buy-side performance measurement and attribution product
Functions should include calculation of returns for portfolio (benchmarks and composites); calculation of attribution effects for equity and fixed-income portfolios; and calculation of ex-post risk, absolute and relative.
Best buy-side reconciliation platform/service
The winning product in this category would need to address the following: exception management, it should provide interfaces to widely-used matching engines, and it should support the automatic reconciliation of a large number of instruments, especially OTC derivatives.
Best buy-side risk management product
Functions should include risk-based portfolio modelling; 'what if' analysis; stress testing; Monte Carlo simulation; and (ideally) the ability to provide VaR and NAV figures.
Best data provider to the buy side
The panel is looking for the ability to integrate with other systems; also, quality data provision and other functional services.
Best integrated back-office platform
Products entered into this category should feature reconciliations, corporate actions processing, accounting, collateral management and cash and liquidity management functions, all within a suite or on a single platform.
Best integrated front-office platform
Functions should include the bulk management of multi-asset portfolios to the same benchmark; OMS and EMS functions; modeling; analytics; compliance; multi-asset class coverage.
Best outsourcing provider to the buy side
Entrants (providers) should be able to illustrate their ability to provide valuable, cost-effective and efficient outsourced services to the buy side, primarily across the back office, although appropriate middle- and front-office business processes will also be considered.
Best use of the Agile methodology
The winning entry in this category must illustrate the extent to which the firm operates in an agile manner through regular sprints, frequent software releases, and close, ongoing collaboration with clients.
Best ESG data provider to the buy side
Judges are looking for details regarding entrants' ESG datasets, including data quality, granularity, and especially ease-of-use with respect to including such datasets within incumbent portfolio management workflows.