Andrew Scotland

Meeting the challenges of the new normal of Banking, with the trends for the new normal of IT

There are a number of key challenges that are facing the financial services industry, which present companies in this sector with a ‘burning platform’ to help them drive transformational change within their IT organisations. GFT specialist, Andrew Scotland (Head of Agile & Continuous Delivery Practice, GFT) looks at how these challenges can be summarised.


The three key challenges can be broken down as:

  • The need to effectively respond to the increasing pressures of regulation
  • The need to reduce costs and improve efficiency
  • The need for digital innovation to compete with the new market challengers

The companies that are disrupting the financial services sector are those that have been able to master technology, accelerate their delivery processes, optimise their operational practices and are able to effectively balance regulation and efficiency with constant innovation. These companies are also, for the most part, unencumbered by the legacy of technical debt which most of the large financial institutions carry.

leanandagile_done The fifth ‘State of DevOps Report’ published in 2016 by Puppet & Dora followed a survey of 25,000 IT, software development, quality control and management professionals globally. It confirmed that “improving the software delivery cycle at every stage can improve software quality, stability, and business outcomes”. This is also reflected by the growing view from a number of the established financial services organisations that they need to operate more like technology companies – a recent example of this thinking being the comments made by John Cryan, the Deutsche Bank Chief Executive when he said that staff working for the bank need to change their way of thinking as “we want to see ourselves increasingly as a technology company”.

From a technology perspective, there are a number of trends which go some way to enable financial institutions to address these challenges.


Filiz Sarah Gärtner

CODE_n CONTEST 2016: Kantox is winner of GFT’s Applied FinTech Cluster

385 applicants from all around the globe, 52 thrilled finalists, 5 main winners: the CODE_n CONTEST 2016 was a complete success with GFT and its Applied FinTech cluster right in the middle of it all. During showdown of the new.New Festival on Wednesday night (21 September), the winner of GFT’s cluster was announced: Kantox from England.

We had already introduced the young FinTech company in our interview with CEO and Co-Founder Philippe Gelis and anyone who searched on the left-hand side of the Applied FinTech stage at the new.New Festival in Karlsruhe last week was able to form their own opinion: The mulitnational startup Kantox was showcasing their FX management solutions at their booth and explained to visitors how customers can manage their currency exposure, build hedging strategies, automate FX transactions and process international payments in a smart way.

Kantox during the CODE_n CONTEST Top 10 Pitch, new.New Festival, Main Stage

Kantox during the CODE_n CONTEST Top 10 Pitch, new.New Festival, Main Stage


Nick Nicholls

Securities Finance Transaction Reporting: It’s a Heptathlon not a Sprint

The next draft of the Securities Finance Transaction Reporting (SFTR) regulation is due soon. Given the responses to the consultation document, it is unlikely to be the final draft. On the advent of its release we examine some of the issues as highlighted by the respondents.


SFTR fills a gap left by EMIR. It will require transaction reporting on all securities financing transactions, including sale and repurchase agreements, stock loan / borrow and all collateral held against it. Rules concerning notification to the counterparty that re-use may occur, under a title transfer agreement, have been in place since July 2016.

We are, however, in danger of data overload. Firms are grappling with the demands of the additional data requirement under MiFID II, and there are serious concerns that the current draft requirements for SFTR are undeliverable. Market participants have challenged much of the consultation paper, the results of which we will see in ESMA’s review.

GFT have analysed 145 questions regarding Securities Finance Transaction Reporting answered by 35 respondents, made up of banks, associations and exchanges. More…

Annabelle Seibt

CODE_n CONTEST // Meet the FinTechs: Controlling sustainably improved

All good things go by thirteen! With the interview with our CODE_n finalist Valsight, we enter the last round of our FinTech Blog series. Valsight deals with the integration of value driver trees and advanced analytics into the controlling processes of planning, reporting and forecasting. How that works? Managing Director Khai Tran gives the answer!

What is Valsight all about? How did you come up with the idea?

valsight_logoKhai: Valsight is a SaaS solution for enterprise performance management and financial modeling based on value driver trees. The core of our software is a visual modeling editor with a powerful simulation engine that can be used to create financial models, for simulation-based planning and forecasting with predictive analytics. It makes financial controlling more focused and goal-driven by making processes more transparent, flexible and efficient. Our software is especially designed for the needs of management and financial analysts. No programming skills are needed to build financial models or to simulate different scenarios.

Our founding team came up with the idea for Valsight during many years of research with in-memory technology at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam. The growing importance of simulation and predictive methods in financial management combined with the maturity of in-memory technology for ultra-fast calculations was the ideal starting point. We have tested our approach early on with a Fortune 500 company, and have since then focused on building state-of-the-art SaaS software to dramatically improve corporate controlling and financial modeling.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Khai: The idea of Valsight is to improve traditional controlling and financial modeling processes with methods like simulation and advanced analytics. Our focus is to empower business users to create complex and multidimensional models themselves and to benefit from statistical and predictive features. The core challenge is to keep a strong focus on the needs of the finance community in order to make even complicated functions easy and intuitive to use. More…

Jürgen Görner

GFT at the CODE_n new.New Festival

Only 4 days left until the ZKM opens its doors for the CODE_n new.New Festival! Under the motto “Unveiling Digital Disruption” the city of Karlsruhe will become the hotspot for digital pioneers and innovative thinkers. From Septembeer 20-22, CODE_n will cross-link the digital world with the fields of economy, science and technology. GFT will power the cluster of Applied FinTech startups.

At the festival, visitors can expect an extensive and innovative conference programme, renowned highlight speakers, lectures and workshops, innovative areas with the TOP 52 startups from the CODE_n CONTEST plus festival partners as well as an inspiring evening program and the award ceremony for the CODE_n Award during the evening of 21st of September. From Israel to Germany and over to the U.S., young businesses represent an exciting spectrum of digital solutions in this year’s four clusters Applied FinTech – powered by GFT, Connected Mobility – powered by Hwelett Packard Enterprise, Photonics 4.0 – powered by TRUMPF and HealthTech.