Big Data Technology for Investor Protection

Very wide range of structured products

L'AGEFI: Thursday, October 6th 2011


The platform also provides relevant data for underlying assets.

The proliferation of structured products defies the imagination. For example, in Germany, in August alone, 15,000 structured products were issued each day, against an average of 8,000 to 10,000 normally. In Switzerland, 2,000 to 3,000 structured products are created every day. Fifteen years ago, no financier would have designed a structured product for an investment of under 5 million dollars. Nowadays these bespoke products are put together for far more modest investments. A few tens of thousands of francs are enough to justify setting one up. Nevertheless most clients – and some managers – continue to have some difficulty in understanding them and tracking them.

The platform created by Michael Heijmeijer, founder of Cfinancials, provides managers and their clients with genuine transparency for these products in the form of search and analysis support tools. The interfaces are built in response to requests from clients, banks or management companies, based on the entire 12 million financial products – including 2 million structured products – already held in the platform. The subset of structured products includes all products issued in Germany and Switzerland, thanks to Cfinancials’ partnership with Scoach.

Under the name Product Mastering, the service provides access to all relevant data on a product, and also to detailed data and analysis on the underlying assets. Products are selected on the basis of criteria set by the user, who refines the search by selecting the currency, category (based on the definitions of the Swiss Structured Products Association, SSPA), maturity, level of risk or any other relevant criterion. For each product, detailed data (price, term, performance, barriers, volatility) and graphs are displayed, enabling an immediate assessment to be made of performance and safety level. The composition of each structured product is also available, and once again, for each underlying asset, the service offers all the necessary data together with meaningful graphs. Using the interface is simple and intuitive, and the graphic design really helps to evaluate an instrument at a glance. Supplementary information relating to each product (and underlying asset) is of course just a click away (termsheets, factsheets, news) and the service also offers price simulations. In short, everything that’s available on Bloomberg, and more.

With a customisable alert system, Product Mastering is accessible on any network from a PC, smart phone or tablet. For installation at a bank or management company, three versions can be provided. The Executive Management is particularly oriented to product classification for regulatory purposes and product monitoring for risk and advisory purposes. The Relationship Manager version focuses on client communication, marketing and simulations. The Client version allows an investor to monitor the products in their portfolio and to track the price of each underlying asset. Developed at the request of two major market establishments in Geneva, Product Mastering is designed to meet its users’ demands.