Structured Finance Solution Provider Data

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Part
01

Structured Finance Solution Providers

While pure services, unpaired from consultancies, are rare in the structured finance market, we have found four services from different companies that serve this niche. Note that examples of "solutions" in the sense of products, software, SaaS, etc. for the European securitization market are extremely rare compared to the number of firms that advertise their consulting services (e.g., Kirklands). We hypothesize that, between the rapidly-changing regulatory environment and stagnant investments in ABS, etc. (as covered in another brief), this area is underserved because of a perceived lack of opportunity and profitability.

Moody's Analytics

  • Global ABS Portal
  • Global ABS Portal enables sponsors and originators to upload data to the European DataWarehouse, publishing "a cash flow model that is necessary to meet certain transparency criteria within the STS disclosure requirements."
  • Moody's had developed a partnership with the European DataWarehouse, according to Moody's Managing Director Marc Levine, as "a part of our ongoing commitment to support structured finance issuers, sponsors, and originators in their funding execution and ongoing administration requirements."
  • Moody's suite of structured finance solutions also includes the Ki platform, which enables "funding optimization and investor reporting, [and] helps issuers of securitizations produce templates required for regulatory reporting."

DealVector


Moody's (formerly Deloitte)

  • ABS Suite; note that Moody's Corporation acquired the platform from Deloitte in October 2019.
  • The platform "provides a customisable data architecture that is easily adjusted to accommodate an unlimited number of asset classes, interfaces, and transactions" and thus provides a flexible solution to high data intensity.
  • In addition, "workflow automation allows processing to run unattended and minimizes precious work hours required to perform multiple tasks," reducing the cost and labor of handling the large volumes of data needed in the securitization market.

OSIS


Part
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Part
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Solution Providers Competitive Landscape 1

While not all criteria for this project were publicly available, below is an analysis of Moody's Analytics Global ABS Portal and DealVector as well as a detailed explanation of our research strategy.

Moody's Analytics Global ABS Portal

  • European DataWarehouse CEO Christian Thun states, "By linking our firm’s reporting platform, EDitor, with cash-flow modeling resources from the Moody’s Analytics Global ABS Portal, we help market participants comply with STS notification requirements in an integrated way. Working with Moody’s Analytics strengthens our ability to evolve with our users’ needs and with changing regulatory requirements."
  • Likewise, a value prop sheet for Ki, a related product, describes the Portal's contribution to the STS Transparency requirement:
    • "Moody’s Global ABS Portal provides a mechanism for Issuers to share not only the data associated with their deals but also the liability side model. "
    • "Moody’s Global ABS Portal provides an established mechanism for organisations to post the information required and make it available to investors."
  • Moody's does not publish a list of their clients, let alone by product line, nor do we find any instances of any Moody's product, including Global ABS Portal and Ki, being mentioned by name by any bank, asset manager, or other financial firm. Consequently, we are unable to provide a "voice of the customer" for this product.
  • We also do not find any public information on plans for the Global ABS Portal in the press release, product page, Structured Finance Sell-Side Solutions page, nor Moody's articles. This may be due to the new partnership being Moody's primary focus regarding this product at present but we hypothesize that they see no benefit in discussing their plans in detail and risking a competitive advantage.

DealVector

  • "DealVector is the first provider of a secure electronic communication network that allows fixed income and illiquid asset investors to directly connect with other participants in their deals on a mutual opt-in basis. By linking people, assets and opportunities, we bring transparency to traditionally opaque asset categories to improve efficiency, market surveillance and returns."
  • The platform protects identities while enabling "participants to easily find, authenticate and communicate with each other," making the securitization market "more transparent and resilient to external shocks as desired by regulators" and the transparency requirements of STS.
  • STS, Solvency II, IFRS 9, Basel III and MiFID II are all either in place or slated to go into effect soon, resulting in calls for more communication from regulators and rating agencies along with investors, trade associations, and other participants. DealVector facilitates this.
  • Kieran Desmon, Global Head of Structured Finance Services at TMF Group, states, "A major obstacle ... is the inability of issuers to quickly locate and communicate with the noteholders in each tranche. We are optimistic that DealVector’s communication platform can successfully address this problem, dramatically improving the transparency, efficiency and flexibility of the asset class as a whole."
  • According to the International Solutions Network, "The premise behind DealVector is that because it is difficult to predict the specific nature of future problems that may arise in any given deal, it is essential that the relevant parties be provided with a mechanism for finding one another to resolve them when they do arise."

Research Strategy

We began our research by reviewing the pages linked in our previous report to determine whether any quantitative results were boasted by the producing company for each of these products on their product splash pages or press releases. We also dug deeper into the company websites, searching for white papers, case studies, blog posts, etc. discussing the product.

When that failed to yield the necessary information, we set about looking for references to the products by asset managers, banks, and other financial institutions like MSCI and Mayer Brown. If located, this would provide both the quotes requested in the criteria and, we hoped, quantitative statements regarding the product's effectiveness. This included, in the case of publicly-traded banks like Citi and Bank of America, scanning their most recent annual and quarterly reports for references to the product in question.

When this strategy also failed, we expanded the criteria to include any quote about the product from any source, conducting a broad-based internet search for news articles (including, but not limited to, financial news sources), official government sources (e.g., the European Parliament, the International Monetary Fund), and industry reports from organizations like Deloitte. While this did not provide any quotes for the Global ABS Portal, it did provide a second, non-customer quote for DealVector.

Having exhausted the possible avenues, we concluded our research.
Part
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Part
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Solution Providers Competitive Landscape 2

While not all criteria for this product were publicly available, below is an analysis of ABS Suite and OSIS's suite of products as well as a detailed explanation of our research strategy.

ABS Suite

  • ABS Suite claims to be the "solution of choice for asset-backed issuers, servicers, and trustees around the world... a powerful and comprehensive structured finance and covered bond programme administration system."
  • The platform "provides a customisable data architecture that is easily adjusted to accommodate an unlimited number of asset classes, interfaces, and transactions" and thus provides a flexible solution to high data intensity.
  • In addition, "workflow automation allows processing to run unattended and minimizes precious work hours required to perform multiple tasks," reducing the cost and labor of handling the large volumes of data needed in the securitization market.
  • Though the press release of the Moody's acquisition notes, "The platform’s global customer base includes five of the top eight credit card issuers, five of the top ten auto finance issuers, and many of the largest issuers of telecom and mortgage receivable securitizations," we were unable to locate a list of these clients, including on Deloitte's most recent annual report, nor locate any statements from them about the product.
  • In explaining why Moody's acquired the platform, President Mark Almeida said, "Adding the expertise and experience of the ABS Suite team to our already formidable capabilities enables us to provide more and better solutions that improve funding decisions, increase operational efficiency and promote transparency and efficiency in the securitization financial markets."
  • Apart from the above quote, Moody's has made no public statement of their intentions for the platform.

OSIS LoanCracker and LoanPilot

  • "Investors need to focus on the underlying collateral with loan-level data analysis. LoanCracker has been built specifically for this purpose... Investors need to stress test cash flows and collateral values. LoanPilot is the OSIS solution which runs credit models at [the] loan level."
  • With the wealth of data that the two products produce in tandem, OSIS claims that investors "can meet the due diligence criteria, do more in-depth analysis than Credit Agencies normally conduct and run ongoing risk surveillance in an easy and cost-efficient way."
  • LoanCracker is particularly effective at Big Data analysis, instantly aggregating data "across millions of rows," reducing processing time and thus reducing the cost and lost man-hours.
  • An extensive search finds no customer testimonials regarding OSIS's products.
  • However, Allen Taylor, writing in the Lending Times, writes that OSIS "has a portfolio optimization platform that provides essential insights to the database to help the company achieve credit rating due diligence. It also monitors data quality through LoanQualifier and provides services for validation of credit data, credit risk modeling in compliance with Basel II and Solvency II, loan-level data check, loan market analysis, stress testing techniques, and evaluation of ABS securitization deals."
  • OSIS has not discussed its plans for the above solutions (or any other) in its news section or social media, nor did we locate any information in the public domain.

Research Strategy

We began our research by reviewing the pages linked in our previous report to determine whether any quantitative results were boasted by the producing company for each of these products on their product splash pages or press releases. We also dug deeper into the company websites, searching for white papers, case studies, blog posts, etc. discussing the product.

When that failed to yield the necessary information, we set about looking for references to the products by asset managers, banks, and other financial institutions like MSCI and Mayer Brown. If located, this would provide both the quotes requested in the criteria and, we hoped, quantitative statements regarding the product's effectiveness. This included, in the case of publicly-traded banks like Citi and Bank of America, scanning their most recent annual and quarterly reports for references to the product in question.

When this strategy also failed, we expanded the criteria to include any quote about the product from any source, conducting a broad-based internet search for news articles (including, but not limited to, financial news sources), official government sources (e.g., the European Parliament, the International Monetary Fund), and industry reports from organizations like Deloitte. This led to some few quotes which, while not coming directly from clients, nevertheless provided the perspectives of outside parties to partially fulfill the research criteria.
Part
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Part
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Structured Finance Solution Trends

Based on an analysis of our previous briefs in this series, we studied similarities in the available structured finance solutions, we have noted the following patterns.

Principles in Structured Finance Solutions

  • Few solutions are marketed as stand-alone software, SaaS, etc. solutions; far more often, solutions come from consulting firms like Bloomberg, which may or may not offer software as part of their solution, but only as part of a larger consultant role.
  • In addition, customer testimonials — or even solution providers revealing their clients — are rare, though not completely absent, suggesting that most stakeholders in structured finance are cautious about revealing what tools they use, possibly to avoid giving away a competitive advantage.
  • The fundamental balancing act for solutions is balancing the transparency demanded by Europe's regulatory regime (most recently, the STS requirements) with the need to have clear communication between parties, perform the due diligence also required by law, and provide stakeholders with the information they need to properly evaluate the structured finance deal.
  • However, while having similar goals, the solutions, though few, show a remarkable diversity, ranging from an interface that enables data uploads that comply with EU regulations to a proprietary database, which enables stakeholders to communicate without compromising privacy, to a complete ABS suite to Big Data analysis tools.
  • Even so, most solutions are also promoted as saving man-hours (and, therefore, cost) by quickly processing the massive amount of data needed for structured finance.
  • A major driver of structured finance solutions in Europe is the rapidly-changing regulatory landscape; i.e., STS, Solvency II, IFRS 9, Basel III and MiFID II are all either in place or slated to go into effect soon, resulting in calls for more communication from regulators and rating agencies along with investors, trade associations, and other participants.
  • Though not mentioned by all parties, there is a push in the securitization market for solutions to be "more transparent and resilient to external shocks as desired by regulators."
Sources
Sources