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DKF 2024 - Artificial Intelligence & Financial Information: the race is on!

On May 7th, 2024, the 14th D-A-CH Congress for Financial Information took place at the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost. A co-production of TRG Screen and financial.com, leading providers of financial information services. The theme of this year’s conference was "Artificial Intelligence and financial information: the race is on! – How AI is reshaping vendor products, user processes and value for clients"

The event buzzed with networking opportunities among top executives in the financial information industry, engaging discussions on industry trends, and exclusive presentations by esteemed global academics and market leaders.

This event was once again the largest meeting place for the financial information industry worldwide. With over 700 attendees, 40 exhibitors, 3 panel discussions, 1 roundtable, and 26 presentations throughout the day across 6 themes;  Market Data Products & Solutions;  Reference Data Management & Feeds;  Investment & Portfolio Management Trends;  Market Data Management, Managed Services & Regulatory Developments; Market Sustainable Finance (ESG) & Energy Markets & Market Data; Emerging Technologies.

Dr. Alexis Eisenhofer from Financial.com AG set the stage for DKF 2024 with a welcome speech and award ceremony, followed by the first speaker of the day Dmitri Sedov from LSEG, who gave a captivating keynote speech on "Good data is not good enough. Raising the bar on data experience and trust in the age of GenAI" to kick off the event.

Learning from the experts 🗣

The theme of the first panel discussion moderated by Evert-Jan ten Brundel from SilverFox, delved into the conference's central theme “Artificial Intelligence and financial information: the race is on! - How AI is reshaping vendor products, user processes and value for clients?”. The panelists featured thought leaders including Stefan Weichert from Forrs, Dimitri Sedov from LSEG,  Bernard Schut from BIQH, Stefanie Rolf from DZ Bank, and Christian Baha from Baha.

DKF 2024 - Photos & presentations

The second panel of the day; Timothy Dowmen from Colt, Stephen Dorrian from CBOE, Shai Popat from SIX Financial Information, Gerrit Marks from Deutsche from Deutsche Borse, and Eglantine Desautel from EuroCTP shared their expertise on "How will vendor & exchanges impact the market data industry in the next years with AI technology driven services and what other disruptions are expected?" which was moderated by Dr. Stefan Wilhelm, financial.com AG.

Andreas Gintschel from Effectual Capital, Prof. Thorsten Sellhorn from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Rebecca Palmer from ICE Data Services, and Julius Maneth from BNS-Business Network Solutions GmbH finished off a great day of panel discussions by sharing their insights on "Unlocking Sustainable Investments: Harnessing AI for ESG Data Sourcing and Reporting", moderated by Dr. Alexis Eisenhofer, financial.com AG.

All three panel discussions had a common theme of the transformative impact of AI on the financial information industry. Each panel highlighted AI’s pivotal role in transforming financial products, market data services, and sustainable investment practices, pointing to a future where AI-driven innovations will continue to shape the financial services landscape. 

In between each panel, attendees were treated to a diverse array of presentations by industry experts, shedding light on current trends within the market across the six themes of the conference.

The challenges of exchange compliance and how technology and AI can help

Our very own, Aaron Garforth, Chief Content Officer at TRG Screen kicked off the first presentation of the day in the 'Market Data Management, Managed Services & Regulatory Developments' stream. Aaron delved into the intricate world of exchange compliance and the transformative role of technology and AI. 

Aaron clarified the concept of "Exchange Compliance," defining it as adhering to the published rules when consuming market data. While it may sound straightforward, it involves navigating significant complexities. He highlighted four critical aspects: awareness of exchange policies, awareness of usage data, accurate usage declarations, and ensuring correct licensing.

The complexity of the current landscape

Leveraging data from our exchange compliance database - PEAR,  Aaron discussed how in the last year (2023) we've seen the following changes across the 240+ markets within PEAR. There have been 2,075 license updates, we've issued 232 announcements telling users that something has changed, or in some cases that nothing has changed. There's been 587 data charge updates, 192 policy updates, 73 new Realtime products and 56 documents reviewed (contracts, policy documents, price lists etc). Demonstrating how the evolving landscape of exchange compliance demands meticulous tracking and policy adherence.

How did we get here? INNOVATION.

We work in an innovative industry. We provide market data, and all the firms consuming market data, and all of the vendors are constantly innovating and finding new ways to use that data. So, the reality is that the exchanges need to keep changing things to reflect the market. 

Aaron outlined a timeline of key technological innovations in the market data industry:

  • Terminal Consumption of Market Data (1990s-2000s): Simple, closed systems where data usage was easily declared.
  • Datafeeds & Client Infrastructure: Introduction of datafeeds leading to complex client infrastructures.
  •  Desktop Consumption & Inhouse Applications: Data moved to desktops, increasing complexity with multiple access points.
  •  Innovation in Distribution via the Internet: Shift to online distribution with more complex models like quote metering and per-price requests.
  • Proliferation of Tradable Financial Products: Emergence of ETFs, indices, and other financial products leveraging market data.
  • Rise of Algorithmic Trading: Increased non-display use, smart order routers, and algorithmic trading strategies.
  • Future AI Consumption: Anticipation of AI's impact on data consumption and compliance policies, adding further complexity. 

How do we handle this complexity? Standardization is key

Aaron emphasizes the importance of standardization in managing the complexity of exchange compliance.  He uses TRG Screen as an example, illustrating how breaking down contractual and policy terms into standardized units such as "Unit of Count," "Non Display Usage," and "Derived Data Usage" helps streamline compliance processes.

Future Directions with Gen AI

Looking ahead, Aaron discusses how advancements in Gen AI are poised to significantly enhance exchange compliance in several ways. Using an example of how AI-driven tools could summarize and digitize contracts, improving efficiency in maintaining exchange databases and potentially extending to other types of contracts in the future. By leveraging technologies like Microsoft Azure Open AI and Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), these developments represent a major step forward in managing complex compliance requirements through technology and AI.

Watch Aaron's full presentation 📽️ 

Proactive Reference Data Usage Management: why it’s important and how to do it

Amjad Zoghbi, Director Xmon Business Development at TRG Screen gave an interesting presentation on 'Proactive Reference Data Usage Management: why it’s important and how to do it'.

Defining Reference Data, Amjad states that reference data refers to non-streaming, non-delayed data that can be stored and reused in organizations. This data, often expensive, constitutes a significant portion (10-30%) of market data budgets which can sometimes amount to tens of millions of dollars annually. It is also delivered with complex commercials as well as complex licensing & compliance requirements.

Amjad highlights that the challenge with theses complexities in managing reference data is the fact that most of the time firms are sitting in a passive position, mainly processing invoices at the end of the billing cycle. The impact of passive management is:

  •  High operational risk - This leads to steadily increasing costs, regular cost spikes, lack of budgeting capability, and potential non-compliant usage.
  • Low team efficiency -  Teams have limited understanding of usage and billing, basic fair cost allocation, spend too much time generating usage and compliance reports.
  • Reduced decision-making capability - This results in limited accountability, poor data/facts to drive decisions, and very limited negotiation power with data suppliers.

Transitioning to proactive reference data management

Amjad discusses the importance of shifting from passive to proactive reference data management, emphasizing better governance, transparency, and accountability.  Proactive management involves leveraging data proactively - and leveraging technology for real-time usage monitoring, accurate and fair allocation of spend, and dynamic enforcement of compliance. Amjad goes on to explain the recommended architecture and best practices in reference data management.

By talking through some client case studies, Amjad demonstrated some practical outcomes and what others had achieved by successful reference data management using our reference data management software - Xmon.

Watch Amjad's full presentation 

 

DKF Women’s Roundtable 👩🏽

It was a full house at the DKF women's roundtable moderated by Anja Hohenaker from TRG Screen. The panel members; Marion Spielmann from DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, Edda Schröder from Invest in Visions, Christine Conrady from KfW and Christina Epplen from Allianz Global Investors  discussed the topic "AI and diversity – does this have an impact on gender issues in organizations?"

The group delved into the significant impact AI is expected to have, acknowledging that it will influence all areas profoundly, weighing the benefits against the potential risks. Christina Epplen highlighted that embracing AI has an appealing factor for firms, enhancing their attractiveness as employers, which is crucial for recruiting and retaining top talent.

DKF 2024 - Photos & presentations (1)

Save the Date: DKF Stockholm, August 27th, 2024

Our inaugural DKF Stockholm 2024 event will take place on Tuesday 27th August 2024, make sure to save the date. Official invitations will be sent and registration details will be available in the coming weeks. The theme for the day will be ‘Data feeds in focus: Untangling the Spaghetti of In-house Data Distribution’ and will address challenges and optimization opportunities in middle and back offices along with innovations, technologies, and regulatory changes that will lead the way forward in financial services.

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