News

Advisory Board Announcement

By Gianluca Savelli

CEO

Published Friday 6 December, 2019

NPL Markets is proud to announce the formation of its senior Advisory Board, which brings together an expert group of global leaders across the investment banking and technology sectors.

The board is comprised of:

  • Tim Skeet
  • Andrew Sergio Gazitua
  • Paolo Sironi
  • Marc Tempelman

The importance of technological disruption within financial services


Whilst the financial industry is inventive in many ways, from a technological perspective it remains fragmented, with many parts of the financial markets still being governed by outdated and (in many cases) sub-standard technology. As other sectors advance at pace and pave the way for disruption, the industry lags behind.

According to Marc Tempelman, Co-Founder of Cashbee, with twenty years’ investment banking experience and Advisory Board member for NPL Markets', “this is partially the result of regulation and partially the consequence of very large, dominant players simply not needing or wanting to evolve.” He believes that young firms without the burden of legacy systems will use technology “to improve markets standards, lower costs, and thereby take market share.”

This is exactly what NPL Markets – the new, European marketplace for the illiquid asset community – is striving towards.

By enabling buyers and sellers to share unique investment opportunities (or complete bilateral trades through alternative execution strategies) with an innovative suite of deal management and valuation tools, the platform creates efficiencies and helps drive faster execution for all market participants.

Tempelman states that this achieves three key things:

  1. It maximises the chances for buyers and sellers to meet and strike a deal at optimal terms;
  2. It maximises the probability that the transaction gets executed;
  3. It maximises the probability that the transaction gets executed at the lowest cost

Efficiency and a smooth user experience are fundamental


Of course, as well as improving transaction prospects for both buyers and sellers, NPL Markets is also optimising the user experience with a streamlined and intuitive journey.

Indeed, in providing all the necessary tools (and more) within a single location, the platform enables clients to manage their end-to-end deal process without needing to leave their desks. To-date, users on both sides of the equation have proven very willing to upload their data onto the platform in order to tap into the unique analytics and valuation tools, with highly positive feedback.

As states Andrew Sergio Gazitua, a senior investment banker in both emerging and developed markets and new NPL Markets’ Advisory Board member, “the process of using bespoke, non-standard data has been greatly facilitated by the Data Mapping tool of NPL Markets." Though a mapping is full of technical detail, users are surprised by the ease of use and are able to create standard data tapes in a few hours. Having to work towards a well-known and well-defined data template published by EBA has helped as well. Once standardised, the data can be uploaded to the marketplace for immediate pricing.

“Even large investors have acknowledged a need for better validation and pricing tools, as data tapes are always incomplete and sometimes deficient. Users in some Eastern European countries have also been positively surprised to see that the platform is able to accommodate their local language and regional diversity.”

In this way, not only does NPL Markets facilitate the making of smart business decisions, but it also frees up valuable time and resources for participants across Europe.

Naturally, the mission of NPL Markets also extends beyond the individual client and works towards making the industry more efficient as a whole.

According to Paolo Sironi, an elected member of IBM Industry Academy, senior mentor to CEOs of financial institutions and new NPL Markets’ Advisory Board member: “making NPL primary and secondary markets more efficient is of paramount importance to accelerate banking transformation by granting more space of manoeuvre on their balance sheets and a needed path to mend the wounds of financial services and modern economies in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.”

It is because of this reason, Sironi declares, that he is pleased to act as a member of NPL Markets’ Advisory Board.


The significance of independence for platforms


Of course, whilst platforms are playing a vital role towards the increasing (and necessary) disruption within the financial industry, there remains certain risk.

On the one hand, they are “essential to foster higher transparency in the process of executing illiquid assets transactions, allowing to mobilise with trust a very large set of relevant economic relationships that need to become readily accessible to trading practices”(Sironi). On the other, if the platform were ever to be biased to one side – either buyer or seller, the client could be exposed to prejudice.

However, the expert team behind NPL Markets is well aware of these risks. As clarifies Tempelman, “NPL Markets has been conceived in a way where that is structurally impossible. Instead, the risks of NOT using the platform are straightforward for both parties.”


Moving forwards: the three critical elements of a winning formula


Moving forwards, the new Advisory Board will work closely with the NPL Markets’ management team to ensure that the platform continues to operate at the forefront of the European illiquid asset market in terms of innovation, quality and reach.

According to Tim Skeet, a senior career city banker with almost forty years’ experience and new Chairman of the Advisory Board, it will achieve this by offering “three critical elements” that are the likely ingredients of a winning formula: “First a team with years of relevant market experience, all having worked closely together in the mainstream of financial services. Second, a profound understanding for and ability to deploy the right technology to provide a reliable and functional framework to support the business. Third, a deep understanding of regulation, asset classes and how a market can function more efficiently.”

As captured simply by Tempelman within a closing statement: “I am backing the right team to attack a tangible financial bottleneck, which requires an innovative solution to be effectively resolved.”

To find out more about the platform and see how our Data preparation engine can improve your portfolio, please visit the NPL Markets' website to register for a free trial.





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