Aladdin users gain Cassini support for derivatives trading

Dan Barnes

BlackRock has partnered with Cassini Systems, the pre- and post-trade margin and collateral analytics provider, to integrate Cassini analytics into BlackRock’s Aladdin order and risk management platform. The integration is intended to allow mutual clients to factor margin-based analytics into their pre- and post-trade decision-making.

This is the second partnership that Aladdin, which has a reputation amongst fixed income traders for effective but inflexible, has entered into recently to expand its capabilities. BlackRock recently announced it would work more closely with execution management system (EMS) provider FlexTrade, in order to support equity trading through closer integration.

The Cassini deal will see the latter’s margin analytics capabilities support traders, portfolio managers and operations professionals to better understand and control margin requirements at all stages of the trade lifecycle for derivatives.

This includes the ability to analyse drivers and movement in margin exposure, identify opportunities to optimise collateral, and potentially maximise margin efficiencies across a firm’s book of business.

“We are excited to partner with Cassini to help clients more efficiently manage their margin by leveraging analytics at multiple points during the derivatives lifecycle,” said Sudhir Nair, head of the Aladdin Business at BlackRock. “The combination of the Aladdin platform’s derivatives capabilities with Cassini’s margin analytics will enable our clients to best utilize their derivatives and collateral operating model on Aladdin.”

The partnership builds on existing Aladdin derivatives capabilities to provide pre-trade margin comparison and collateral optimization.

Liam Huxley, Cassini Systems

“At Cassini, we’re delighted that Aladdin chose our technology for this integrated offering. Mutual clients, including BlackRock itself, will now be able to leverage all of Cassini’s front-to-back margin and collateral analytics and optimisation tools, natively within Aladdin,” said Liam Huxley, CEO of Cassini Systems. “The ability to optimise and manage margin thresholds, as well as carry costs, at pre-trade time and execute post-trade margin and collateral optimization natively in the same platform represents a new step forward in the industry.”

The announcement is part of BlackRock’s multi-year investment in the Aladdin platform’s derivatives functionality to enable clients to comply with post-financial crisis regulations, including those subject to the uncleared margin rules (UMR). BlackRock and Cassini will first offer joint pre-trade initial margin capabilities in September.