Saphyre: Streamlining the Pre-Trade Experience with ATTOM

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Gabino Roche, CEO & Founder and Stephen Roche, President & Co-Founder Known as ‘thinker’s game’ that combines attack and strategy, chess boards can often be found tucked in the corner of an executive’s office, on tables in the park, or in schools. But can chess be more than a simple board game? Gabino Roche, and Stephen Roche—the twin brother duo and co-founders of a fintech startup Saphyre—believe financial businesses and chess are more similar than they appear. Think about it: after just three opening moves by a chess player, there are more than nine million possible positions. However, in most situations, a game of chess is confined to 50 moves per player. So, the player needs to strike a balance between intuition and analysis while making his initial moves to emerge triumphant. Now, replicate this scenario in case of a business. Similar to the nine million chess moves, financial organizations face a multitude of trading possibilities, with a whole host of corporations responding to their new strategies, pricing, and products. And given their limited access to organizational resources, these businesses need to plan the preliminary gameplay tactfully to ensure success. The Roche brothers, who were avid chess enthusiasts as kids, believe the winning attitude should be about optimizing each move right from the beginning.

On that note, Gabino, the CEO of Saphyre, highlights that for companies operating in capital markets, the best execution is not merely about measuring transaction costs and other relevant metrics after a trade has been carried out. Instead, an efficient execution is a process whereby informed decisions are made throughout a trade’s lifecycle to achieve the best possible result. In a close parallel with chess, where the first few moves set the groundwork, financial companies should optimize and streamline their trading data right from the pretrade phase. However, with fintech innovations focused on the trading and post-trading phases, financial organizations are still relying on antiquated approaches to complete fund onboarding during pre-trade. To date, the traditional pre-trade workflow includes scattered faxes and unorganized emails in addition to rekeying that information into disparate systems. Driven by the mission to disrupt this broken system, Saphyre brings the latest technological innovations to the pre-trade space. Leveraging the power of AI, Saphyre has developed an easy-to-use, integrated pre-trade onboarding platform for the exchange of data and documents between asset managers, brokers, custodians, third-party administrators, and clients. “Saphyre’s patented AI technology digitalizes all pre-trade activities that speed finance firms up to be trade-ready,” highlights Gabino.

Challenging the Status Quo of the Financial Industry

Saphyre, notably, is not only bringing the latest technology to pre-trade but also challenging the status quo around the standard implementation time of these technologies with its iterative agile approach for developing new fintech apps. The financial sector has so far witnessed a slow deployment of technology where the implementation period ranges from months to even years.


Our platform helps structure pre-trade activities, data, and documents so that it can be easily understood by counterparties prior to the trade and post-trade exceptions

Moreover, instead of testing the technology pieces before deployment, financial institutions have to be content with only PowerPoint slides and product brochures. In stark contrast to this outmoded experience, Saphyre’s clients can actually ‘test drive’ the tangible apps before finding their required solution. “One of our secret harpoons of success is the fact that we can deliver our products faster to market. Traditionally, the finance industry has to wait for around six months to almost a year or more to implement new enhancements and innovation. Now, with Saphyre, they are seeing innovation every 2-4 weeks, and hence, they can react to change quickly,” comments Gabino.



To this end, the key technology that Saphyre focuses on is AI. As Gabino highlights, in recent years, AI has emerged as significant contributors to digitalization. However, given the early stages of these technologies, there is a considerable amount of knowledge gap in terms of the true benefits and usability of these tools. For example, for optical character recognition (OCR) to work to its fullest extent, it needs to have the ability to understand the contextual meaning of the data, which can be achieved with AI. Therefore, the critical function of Saphyre’s platform is to help in translating how information is shared between firms. It leverages a secured and standardized workflow tool for the exchange of data and documents between financial firms. Gabino adds, “Our platform helps structure pre-trade activities, data, and documents so that it can be easily understood by counterparties prior to the trade and post-trade exceptions.”

Meet ATTOM—AI Tracking of Transactions and Operational Metadata

The single portal pre-trade platform by Saphyre leverages patented AI technology, ATTOM, to structure all pre-trade data and documents— expediting client onboarding processes. The AI technology also helps in workflow management along with metadata tagging and tracking of documents. Through this, Saphyre is structuring unstructured data and documents in the pre-trade space to revolutionize and standardize the activities in the end-to-end trade lifecycle: from pre-trade to trade to all the way through post-trade. This allows Saphyre’s platform to maintain a memory of the data and documents, which waivers the necessity of searching for and resubmitting the information shared previously. It also helps in expediting the workflow so that it can be consumed and understood by any authorized counterparty within the finance industry. By creating such a ‘golden source’ of structured pre-trade client data and documents, Saphyre has a significant positive impact on current issues with processes and platforms surrounding trading and post-trade.
Further, Saphyre’s platform organizes data in an end-to-end flow from multilateral counterparties: whether it is asset managers and hedge funds launching a new fund or brokers and custodians setting up accounts. In fact, Saphyre is the only platform that combines the custodian and prime broker account setups with broker-dealer onboardings, which includes auto-enrichment of standard settlement instructions (SSIs). These functionalities allow users to not only assess risk faster and clearly and speed-up their trade process but also eliminate redundant and inefficient processes in the booking, confirmation, and settlement space— directly benefiting the front office.

Carving Out a Niche of Its Own

While Saphyre is undoubtedly a trailblazer in the pre-trade space, the company has reached its current heights based on the merits of its commitment to deliver superior products in the shortest span of time. “We always deliver on time with a strict emphasis on optimal UX,” states Gabino. In the corporate sector, where proof is in the pudding, Gabino shares one of the recent partnerships with a world-famous asset manager. When the client requested for 49 complicated enhancements in their custom application, Saphyre was able to add those enhancements within three weeks. Such prowess has helped the company to instill more trust and confidence in its clients.

"Saphyre’s patented AI technology digitalizes all pre-trade activities that speed finance firms up to be trade-ready"

Working with a nimble and competent team, the founding brothers trace their success to the team’s ability to execute and deliver quality software products faster to market than other fintech companies. Besides, instead of encouraging a ‘mercenary for hire’ approach and developing tools with only a surface-level understanding of a client’s business, Saphyre first understands its clients’ requirements before designing and developing any business solution. Gabino quips, “If you have smart, scalable technology, you don’t need armies of people to spoof or pretend that you have the technology.”

The Art of Running a Startup

It is not just Saphyre’s ability to deliver superior fintech solutions that helped the company become a success. The accomplishment stems equally from the Roche brothers’ shared experiences in different business sectors. While Gabino’s early tenure is in the finance sector, Stephen has a rich experience working in B2B sales and IT firms. The shared experiences of the brothers have helped them complement each other and play to their strengths. And being the co-founders of a startup, they had to wear many different hats such as recruitment professionals for recruiting the right people and financiers to help raise initial funds.

Now, only months away from its third anniversary, Saphyre is eyeing its long-term goal: taking ATTOM and its other technological capabilities to newer heights. Especially with its AI technology, Saphyre is establishing evolving standards for the industry which can be leveraged for FIX messages (a standard financial messaging protocol) and/or blockchain adoption with ease. “We are very thoughtful about where to apply our resources and create a win-win situation for ourselves and our clients,” comments Gabino. He further adds that Saphyre is getting very close to holding tech meetings with potential clients to make its innovations available to everyone. Emphasizing its long-term goal, Stephen concludes, “Patience is a virtue. It may not win you the battle, like in chess, but it will certainly win you the war.”

Company
Saphyre

Headquarters
Hoboken, NJ

Management
Gabino Roche, CEO & Founder and Stephen Roche, President & Co-Founder

Description
The NJ-based Fintech startup has developed an easy to use, integrated pre-trade onboarding platform for the exchange of data and documents between asset managers, brokers, custodians, third party administrators, and clients. The single portal pre-trade platform by Saphyre leverages exclusive, patented AI technology ATTOM to structure all pre-trade data and documents speeding all client onboarding. The AI technology also helps in workflow management along with metadata tagging and tracking of documents. Through this, Saphyre is structuring unstructured data and documents in the pre-trade space to revolutionize and standardize the activities in the end-to-end trade lifecycle: from pre-trade to trade to all the way through post-trade. This allows Saphyre’s platform to maintain a memory of the data and documents, which waivers the necessity of searching for and resubmitting the information shared previously.

Saphyre