Blog: Why Voice Collaboration Matters

Video: GreenKey's VP of Engineering presents at FinDEVr NYC 2016

Our VP of Engineering, Joe Heenan, and Senior Software Developer, Rohan Bedarkar, recently attended FinDEVr New York 2016.  During the conference, GreenKey had the opportunity to present to attendees.  Here is a recap of what was discussed during our session. 

Why voice collaboration matters

Who is GreenKey really? We are a bunch of telephony, algo trading and web development geeks who had wanted to trade energy, which is largely a "call-around" OTC market.  We were shocked when everyone told us we needed to set up private lines and purchase $10,000 telephones to talk to the market. So we decided to start a company to fix this problem.

At this point, you might be thinking – why does voice matter? Isn’t all trading going electronic anyway? We are here to tell you that not only does voice collaboration matter, but it will continue to matter for brokers and traders in the financial markets for years to come. 

Analysts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently found that 62% of the $281 billion of Treasury debt that’s traded daily is traded via phone.  The financial markets run on voice conversations (price discovery, market color, all large and complicated trades, etc.). Any complex OTC trading which requires negotiation of multiple legs of a trade tends to be done over the phone before entering it into a clearing system.

Instant messaging communications have seen big changes in the last year with platforms like Symphony looking to enhance corporate messaging and email systems.  On the other hand, voice, and particularly trader voice, has largely remained static. Today, it continues to be a largely closed network of $10,000 telephones with private T1 lines strung across the globe. A line from London to Singapore might cost as much as $1,200/month. This is insane. Legacy vendors have been extracting large rents from financial institutions, brokers and traders. At GreenKey, we are working to change this.

Can a lightweight HTML5/WebRTC-based application with open RESTful APIs do everything a hardware turret can do? The answer is yes – and more. A software voice workspace lets you push to talk to colleagues in real-time, from anywhere - and also lets you turn voice into data - that can be transcribed, analysed, parsed and enriched.

So what about transcription of voice?  Large-vocabulary transcription is what enables real-time compliance and will be increasingly demanded by regulators.  Record keeping requirements from MiFID II are fairly clear: comprehensive and accurate records must be captured, including all voice recordings of telephone conversations, minutes from in-person meetings, and e-communications (such as email, instant messaging and fax).

Since the financial crisis, thousands of compliance officers hired to address internal issues are also responsible for getting firms to adapt to all of the new regulations established in recent years .  All this manpower (compliance manpower, to be specific), while needed, would be much more efficient if backed by technology. The phone recording review process could be significantly sped up if auditors could read transcriptions as opposed to listening to a certain percentage of recordings.  

GreenKey sits at the intersection of compliance and technology for voice collaboration.  And we are bringing digital functionality to voice. We are digital voice.

Sources:
Bloomberg.com
WSJ.com