To ensure that trades and orders are reported correctly—in both client and broker accounts—real-time trade reconciliation is an absolute must. With this mind, CurrentDesk was founded and with it came the introduction of its first product— CurrentRisk, an independent reconciliation platform that lets traders automatically manage the entire lifecycle of a trade in real-time. CurrentRisk software collects data from prime brokers, liquidity providers, bridge providers and trading platforms, with the information simultaneously displayed in a clear and easy to use format. Based in the United States, CurrentDesk was founded and is run by partners Ron Singer and Travis Dahm. The company prides itself on delivering platform-independent software that has been created by specialists with extensive broker experience.
We recently caught up with Ron Singer and had a chance to ask him about his company and CurrentRisk.
Where did the idea for CurrentRisk come from? My business partner Travis Dahm and I were hired to consult on a project that involved setting up an institutional forex broker. One issue that continually arose was unknown exposure due to third-party technology failures. We realized that the industry needed a solution to this problem and we began to discuss ways to eliminate these exposures. CurrentDesk was born out of these discussions, and with it our first product: CurrentRisk.
How does CurrentRisk solve the exposure problem? When we began doing our research, we discovered that existing real-time solutions only reconciled from the bridge to the liquidity provider. With the evolution of personal trading platforms, a new leg in the life cycle of a trade had been created—from the client-trading platform to the bridge. No one was reconciling this leg of the trade and we saw a need. CurrentRisk solves this issue by reconciling all A-Book trades and monitors A-Book positions from your front end and liquidity providers. Now, whenever an exception or exposure occurs, audio, visual, and email alerts are instantly triggered.
Was there a Eureka moment in the development process? While I have a background in computer science, I had not done much development in the past 10 years. However, during my free time I starting building a test model for reconciling the entire life cycle of a trade including the new leg I just mentioned. It worked ok, but it was not real-time. I knew a real-time solution is what we needed to create and dove in to create it.
How did the introduction go? When CurrentRisk was initially introduced to the market, the reception was not what we expected. At that time most brokers were running B-Books so they didn’t seem to care about risk that they didn’t know they had. However, the market has since evolved into an A-Book-driven model where clients look for tight execution and assurance that their trades are going through to the market. With this new model, brokers now realize their margins are much tighter. Even a minor exposure can cost them a significant amount of equity. The product is taking off.
Any improvements based on customer input? One thing that is so great about CurrentRisk is that we are constantly refining the product based on client feedback. Two major improvements stand out. First, we updated reporting to include analytics on a richer set of data such as execution times and slippages. Second, since brokers are now running a hybrid model of A and B-Books, our B-Book Monitor allows the broker to set alert parameters based on max profits and losses, among other options. This helps them manage associated risk.
How was your company CurrentDesk founded? After long discussions we began to perceive a clear vision on how to improve and empower brokers. Motivated by this vision we decided to team up to develop two specific pieces of software that we wanted to bring to market. CurrentRisk came first. We also created CurrentBusiness, our broker management software suite that includes a complete set of tools to help brokers manage their business. CurrentBusiness provides a client portal, partner back office, and administrator access to a rich set of tools such as treasury, support, sales and compliance. Along with being platform independent, CurrentBusiness includes full Customer Relationship Management (CRM), lead and transaction management, and much more.
Tell us a little more about your background? After completing a master’s degree in computer science, I started my professional career as an IT consultant building ERP systems. Later, I returned to McGill University and graduated from their MBA program with specialization in corporate finance and money markets. I then moved to Europe to take on the role of sales-trader with Saxo Bank A/S. Soon after I was offered the role of Head of Sales Trading with Varengold Bank AG. This combined experience in both financial markets and software development has provided me with a distinct advantage to develop software for brokers. Out of all this CurrentDesk emerged.