CEDAR Bot: A Symphony Hackathon Winner

CapitalMarkets Online – competing under the name Team CEDAR – won the Most Impactful Business Automation award in Symphony’s recently held London hackathon. The team competed with the CEDAR bot, which stands for Cross Entity Document Approval and Review. CEDAR is a solution that allows for cross company review and approval of documents and tracking of changes. 

According to Giso Van Loon, the founder of CapitalMarkets Online, the CEDAR bot was created because in the capital markets space, legal documents are negotiated separately for each new transaction, making the workflow unnecessarily long and inefficient. Examples can be a bond or equity prospects, Debt Issuance Programmes or ISDA Master Agreements. Often many parties are involved – for example, a Medium Term Note Programme may have 20 dealers, who all have to review and approve the documentation.

The review and approval of documents is usually done over email, which is inefficient. Someone has to trail through emails to find the latest draft, or to find out who has approved which version. However, most of the parties involved are typically on the sell side, and are licensed users of Symphony. 

In this context, Team CEDAR, consisting of Giso Van Loon and his team member Paul McWilliam, found a gap and created a solution that could leverage Symphony’s secure platform, with all the audit trails that lawyers and compliance officers require.

When asked about their participation, Van Loon said “We very much enjoyed participating in the Hackathon. In our many years in capital markets, we found the cross company document review process one of the most inefficient. Our CEDAR bot and Extension App makes it possible to manage this workflow more securely and efficiently in Symphony. The brand new BDK 2.0 made it much quicker to create, and we look forward to using it again to build many more products on Symphony for global capital markets.

CapitalMarkets Online was founded in 2018 to provide innovative technological solutions to capital markets, in particular primary markets. It launched its first product, the New Issue Tracker, in 2019, and now specializes in developing bots and apps for Symphony. 

Giso Van Loon was the first person globally to receive the BDK 2.0 Certification. Since its inception, Van Loon said that they “have continued development of the CEDAR bot, in particular to get more functionality for clients without access to Symphony. Once the Outlook integration modules are ready, then these can be used as well.” CapitalMarkets Online has also built a prototype of  New Issue Tracker as a bot. “With our years of experience in the markets, we are full of ideas,” Van Loon concluded.

With Symphony’s compliance procedures, CEDAR is on its way to being used by multiple firms who are already on the Symphony platform. 

As winners of a Symphony Hackathon, Team CEDAR will compete in Symphony’s Hackathon Olympics in 2021. Congratulations Team CEDAR on your fantastic performance, we can’t wait to see what you build in the future!

You may also like

Tech4Fin

A Communication Transformation: Broader Access to Voice

More than ever before, business success depends upon an organization’s ability to communicate quickly and effectively. It’s clear that the “workplace” has radically changed. This new landscape demands three things from every company’s communication tools:

Tech4Fin

Accelerating transaction settlement demands a fresh approach to communication

In December of 2021, SIFMA, ICI and DTCC called for the shortening of the settlement cycle in the U.S. financial markets from T+2 (transaction date plus two days) to T+1 (transaction date plus one day) within the first half of 2024. Their report indicates that accelerating the settlement process will “reduce risks and costs for the industry while building upon the benefits achieved in the successful move to T+2 in 2017.” This is in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement on Feb 9, 2022 of a proposed rule to shorten the standard settlement cycle for most broker-dealer transactions from two business days after the trade date (“T+2″) to one business day after the trade date (“T+1″), while soliciting comments regarding challenges and possible approaches to achieving settlement by the end of trade date (“T+0″).

Tech4Fin

Carrying over history to the mesh

In our journey building an event mesh, we face the challenge of reconciling with Symphony’s engineering history. Specifically, we are transitioning from a single-tenant, monolithic architecture to a multi-tenant, microservice architecture. And critically, due to the nature of our business, this shift must be both progressive and smooth.