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The Rise of the Asian Superbroker

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 34 Q3 2014

As the global banks grapple with tides of regulation, fines and a myriad of other post-crisis issues, local Asian institutions are tooling up and stepping in to fill the gaps. The "Asian superbroker" is emerging and catching up with the big guys.

Global banks have had a tough time in the past five years. Asia is proving challenging ground, and the need to be 'local' in every market can be a stretch. This is fertile ground for local banks and brokers. Big deals have already been done and ASEAN banks generally are increasing their investment in services for international clients wanting access to Asian markets - from Singapore and Hong Kong to Mongolia and Myanmar. Indeed some are reaching out past the Asian border too. Could these Davids of the broking world really be starting to snap at the heels of the Goliaths?

The goal of local banks wanting to play on the pan-Asian stage is to neutralise Asia's infamous complexities whilst still demonstrating a gold standard in consistency of trading experience, compliance and post-trade. Simply throwing people at the problem won't work anymore. Not only does this approach suffer from diminishing marginal returns, it can actually make things worse as more people muddy the audit trail and get in the way of the real-time transparency regulators are starting to insist upon. The answer lies in simplifying and automating compliance through workflow technology.

Choosing the right technology will mean the difference between success and failure for would-be Asian superbrokers. Using the same highly resilient, robust workflow technology as their global competitors will give local banks the core capabilities they need to service sophisticated international clients. Local brokers have unique insights and relationships that are incredibly valuable to those from outside and can save their partners huge amounts of time and money. So once they have the right tools in place, they can leverage these as a very compelling competitive advantage.

Read Steve Grob's full paper at