Tell us a little bit about your background, where are you from and how did you get here?

I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.  I attend college at North Central and during my senior year started working at Prime Analytics in 2008 which was acquired by KRM22 in 2018.  I have worked in FinTech my entire professional career.

What do you do at KRM22?

I work in an Account Management/Support role for our market risk clients.  Recently I have been working on the implementation and onboarding of new customers for their market risk product needs as well as helping out by demonstrating new features and how they can better use the products.

What is it that attracted you to KRM22?

I saw KRM22 as a global company which provides me with opportunities I would not be afforded at a smaller company.  With KRM22 there are opportunities for growth professionally for me as well as the company and this is something I relish.

This has been a fast-changing year for KRM22, how have you found it?

I’ve really enjoyed this year. I’ve found the synergy between the offices worldwide has been apparent and we are really pulling together as a single team.  I spent some time recently visiting the London office, which was great to meeting my coworkers face to face, especially as we couldn’t during the pandemic.

What do you do outside of work to keep a life balance?

I enjoy fishing and golfing (although poorly, something to work on this year) as well as watching any sporting event that is on. I’m also a huge Star Wars fan.

Finally, what are you most looking forward to over the next year?

Helping our customers grow by expanding the functionality of our existing products as well as working on our new product offerings.

The Risk Cockpit has two new features this month.

Users can add data metric slots on an Adhoc basis, this allows users to track metrics that do not have a regular data update schedule. All past values are saved allowing users to understand the evolution over time.

The Basel II Framework, previously only available in Risks and Controls, is now available in registers. This allows users to understand their Risk & Control registers both by their taxonomy and the Basel II Framework.

Our Trading Risk suite has been enhanced across the board. The Limits Manager functionality now allows temporary account creation to satisfy place holder accounts for onboarding customers before they go live. This allows for the onboarding process of new accounts to still be captured within the system including the audit trail. We have also put the ability to calculate FX margins based on custom valuation shocks based off of both tenor and tenor-based offsets into our At-Trade product, and our Post-Trade offering can generate reports based on individual product groups – reducing the clutter of full instrument reports and focusing on individual sector risks.

Our relationship with Trading Technologies has been further strengthened with the capability to calculate real-time margin for TT based accounts.

Trader worried about volatility risk management

2022 has seen a period of increased volatility worldwide. Investors are focused on central banks raising rates, with markets already factoring in a 75-basis point hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The latest Consumer Price Index report showed inflation rising faster than expected, and while conversely the equity markets are staging a small rally, many major US names that are often seen as safe havens, including the likes of Netflix, Tesla, Apple and Meta, are down 30%-60% from 52-week highs.

Within this global backdrop, the UK has suffered extreme volatility in the wake of the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July.

It started with an idea formed from basic assumptions by the new leader of the UK Government, Liz Truss, and her new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng; Cutting tax would lead to increased consumer spending, boosting growth and counter slowing activity and rising inflation. Plus, lower taxes tend to increase the government’s tax receipts longer-term, rather than reduce them.

The market reaction was immediate and negative, with concerns weighing on UK assets and the British Pound losing value overnight, adding to the cost of importing any goods of services, introducing the risk of an inflation spiral. Add in the deepening energy crisis, most of which is priced in USD and the UK is facing a double whammy which could tip the nation into a recession this winter.

This created massive upheaval in the UK markets. Whilst the British Pound stabilized against the U.S. dollar, there was a large selloff in long-dated UK government bonds (Gilts) as investors scrambled for cover trying to free up cash. The tax cuts would need to be paid for which would likely mean a more aggressive approach to interest rate rises.

The Bank of England (BoE) stepped in, immediately purchasing gilts to ensure stability in the value of both the British Pound and UK government treasuries. The Chancellor was forced to revise or cancel many elements of the spending package, scrapping plans for tax cuts for Britain’s highest earning citizens. However, UK markets remained in turmoil. The BoE have stopped propping up the gilt market in order to concentrate on controlling the double-digit inflation that the country now faces.

Ultimately the UK Government leaders stood down after just 44 days in power. Wind forward just 5 days and a new leader, Rishi Sunak and his cabinet, are in power, reversing almost all of the previous teams’ decisions with immediate effect.

Overall, the situation remains complex and fast-moving. Global markets are likely to remain volatile and turbulent, emphasizing the need for discipline from the investors and control by the Banks and Brokers that service them. KRM22’s customers have been able to use our products to manage their risk effectively. The Market Surveillance product has supported firms concerned about market abuse during the gilt run and the Market Risk suite has helped those concerned about the effect of increased volatility on the derivatives and equities markets. Meanwhile, other customers have been able to use the Risk Cockpit to track clearing and settlement without interruption during this time.

We do not know what tomorrow brings, but with the right partners, services and infrastructure we can make sure that we are ready for it, and be ready for whatever the day after that brings as well.

SOC2 compliance risk management

In Q3 2022, KRM22 completed its annual SOC2 Type 2 assessment for the year and passed with no issues reported by its auditor. SOC2 is a compliance standard for service organizations that specifies how they should manage and secure customer data. As businesses turn to software vendors that deploy IT solutions in the cloud, it has become critical that these cloud-based solutions adhere to the highest standards for security, availability and confidentiality and that this can be demonstrated.

Why does this matter?

Internally, this gives us confidence that our processes, policies and procedures are fit for purpose. We want to be sure that what we say we do and what we actually do are one and the same. Good controls and policies also mean that everyone at KRM22 is better placed to understand our individual and collective responsibilities – and, perhaps most importantly, why they matter.

Externally, audits such as SOC2 also provide confidence to our customers. KRM22 can be trusted to act responsibly and professionally on their behalf with their data in mission critical systems. Our customers can show their own IT, InfoSec and Compliance teams that KRM22 meets their requirements for data security.

How do we track compliance?

We have deployed an instance of our Risk Cockpit product to ensure all its processes are completed accurately and promptly. SOC2 is listed as a Process that KRM22 must complete and each control our auditor assesses us on is stored in the Cockpit as an Information Asset.

All tasks that are regular (these can be monthly, quarterly or annually) are tracked as automated items, assigned to the correct team, assigned due dates, linked to evidence that shows the task has been completed, and then finally tracked back to the underlying Control.

By using our Kanban-boards, the Information Security team can see immediately what tasks are open, in progress, or completed. When a task is set to recur, it is automatically recreated at the defined interval and it’s progress shown on the board.

Any authorized KRM22 staff can see who is Accountable or Responsible for a given task, and who in the firm they should Inform or Consult too.

We use these tools to conduct a mid-year audit on itself to verify that no tasks are falling behind or not completed. We then review the quality and availability of evidence to support a task, immediately seeing if we are fulfilling the requirement, and how easy it is for KRM22 to provide evidence to match

Finally, should a member of staff leave KRM22, all tasks previously owned by that staff member can be handed over to a replacement in an automated fashion. Nothing gets dropped or missed even in the event of staff changes.

The Risk Cockpit has become a tool which not only supports the SOC2 process, but is central to it.