ION expands further with Clarus Financial Technology acquisition

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ION Markets, the trading, analytics, and risk management solution provider for capital markets, has bought Clarus Financial Technology, a provider of SaaS analytics, data, and research for global derivatives markets.

ION has been highly acquisitive, buying options trading tech specialist Dash earlier this year, trading platform provider Broadway in 2020 and analytics and business intelligence provider Acuris in 2019 along with trading technology giants Fidessa and Openlink in 2018.

These acquisitions have not been without controversy, as users reported changes to the charging model for Fidessa products and significant changes in personnel.

Equally, ION has been expanding the capabilities of its acquisitions, for example, connecting the former Fidessa product, LatentZero, to UBS Bond Port in August 2021.

As part of ION Markets, Clarus will offer its SaaS analytics products for real-time margin and risk management of both cleared and uncleared over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. These will broaden ION’s XTP offering and complement ION’s JANUS pricing and valuation expertise with initial margin for OTC derivatives, as well as delivering new portfolio risk management analytics. Clarus’ functionality also helps firms to comply with the new uncleared margin rules (UMR) regulation for OTC derivatives.

Clarus’ data is designed to provide transparency into the trading of derivatives, covering exchanges, clearing houses, execution venues, and trade repositories. This data is used by both buy and sell-side participants, brokers, service providers and regulators to analyse, inform, monitor, and act in traded markets. Clarus also provides weekly market commentary and analysis on global derivatives markets, delivered in the widely-read Clarus Blog, which reportedly has over 20,000 active monthly users.

Hishaam Caramanli, ION Group’s chief product officer, says, “The acquisition of Clarus expands ION Markets’ offering within its XTP platform, further automating and simplifying the post-trade derivatives business. This strategic expansion demonstrates ION Markets’ leading position as provider of capital markets management solutions and our ongoing focus on digitising and automating workflows.”

Amir Khwaja, CEO of Clarus Financial Technology, says, “OTC derivatives is a market with regulatory tailwinds driving change and SaaS analytics and data is essential for success. As part of ION Markets, Clarus will be able to best capitalise on this trend, maximising the ability to serve customers while providing complementary services to ION’s XTP, JANUS, and other ION Group offerings.”