Trading & Settlement

Trading & Settlement

The speed and complexity in trading of the financial markets today, demands a competent partner who has a profound understanding of asset classes, trading and market regulations. Firstwaters applies its advisory, business and technical expertise on the entire Investment Banking value chain from trading and settlement, to regulatory matters impacting financial services and capital markets.

There are constant changes making an impact on the trading of financial instruments in today’s financial markets. With an increasing market penetration of instruments and rising sophistication of valuation and hedging models, product standardization is progressing whereby margins are deteriorating. Permanently changing market conditions are adversely affecting the ability for financial institutions to remain innovative and profitable.

Continuous innovation in financial instruments has led in recent years to the introduction of a variety of new settlement systems and processes. From a Back-Office perspective, there is great potential for the consolidation of settlement systems which replace silo style structures and offer cross asset and cross system capabilities. The move towards Straight-Through-Processing (STP) is the credo and future for large transaction and volume business. This will not only make settlement faster but will also lead to more time available for processing specialists in order to work on more complex settlement cases and improve operational efficiency for both financial institutions and clients alike.

n addition, market participants are faced with new regulatory requirements. Firms are confronted with heavy pressure to trade on standardized trading platforms for the purpose of increasing transparency in pre and post trade execution. Trading, especially in OTC derivatives, is likely to put considerable pressure on revenues and margins due to tighter bid ask spreads, higher execution costs and costs for IT systems as well as infrastructure.

Our main focus lies on market developments in the area of OTC derivatives trading, regulatory developments comprising SFTR, SACCR, IBOR reformation and CRD IV as well as the implementation and integration of the market leading standard Software systems Calypso and Murex. We have extensive project experience, business and technical know-how as well as a proven track record of success in supporting and managing complex projects across the whole investment banking value chain. Our clients include large investment banks, financial service providers and trading departments.

Firstwaters provides support and management of projects in the area of Investment banking and trading. As an “engineering office for banks”, we offer bespoke solutions to your trading activities and a dedicated service to your business requirements. Firstwaters has extensive experience in settlement projects across all asset classes and portfolio sizes. Our business and IT analysts are highly skilled and will work with you to determine processes that are best suited to your business needs and assist in testing and implementation or take on full project responsibility. Furthermore, we also support you in the areas of test and infrastructure – either as support or by providing a full Test- and Migration Management. 

Our services include:

  • Definition of functional requirements and use cases
  • Selection of appropriate front-to-back-trading systems
  • Support of the implementation, migration and further development of trading systems
  • Support of IT infrastructures
  • Trading process optimization and evaluation
  • Testing and migration management


Firstwaters improved and modernized the trading and settlement processes of a German Landesbank for Interest Rate Derivatives, Credit Rate Derivatives, Repo and Security Lending by implementing Calypso as a Front-to-back solution. Based on our strategic partnership with the client we have supported them in Project Management, Business Analysis and Development, Vendor Management and in Testing and Migration as well. Currently our consultants are actively supporting the migration of FX/MM and FX Option to Calypso.

Firstwaters has worked together with a major German bank on outsourcing of the security settlement to an outsourcing provider. Experienced consultants of Firstwaters have managed both the BA team and development team of the bank in order to execute the preparation as well as  the delivery of the transactions to the outsourcing provider. We have setup and manage an agile project approach together with the internal team members of the bank. An IT consultant of Firstwaters took over the lead of the Upstream architecture board. We have ensured the project progress in close cooperation with the bank's management.