Highlights from the April Meeting

The RIXML organization held its second meeting of 2016 at Bloomberg’s Lexington Avenue offices in New York. We are grateful to Bloomberg for hosting and for their continued participation in our efforts.

Our featured speaker was Jim Tousignant, CEO and founder of FinTech Studios. Jim spoke to us about financial technology apps, analytics, and data, as well as cloud-based services and architectures. He presented some specifics about his own company and its product offerings, as well as broader industry themes and trends.

  • Discovering “high alpha” content.
  • Organizing and tagging that content.
  • Performing investment analytics.
  • Sharing content, commentary, and analysis.

Jim concluded with a review of the history of investment research through three generations. The first generation began with ink-on-paper research reports. The second generation arrived in the 1980s with electronic research services like First Call, and later in the 1990s, Multex and others.

The third generation, developing now, focuses much more on software and technology – APIs and apps in the cloud. Consumers of research use combinations of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and most recently smart watches. Analysts are leveraging much better tools and data and integrating Data Science methods into their work.

We very much appreciate Jim’s presentation and thank him for joining us for this meeting.

Emerging Technology

Mark Daniels led two calls for our Emerging Technology work stream since our last Quarterly Meeting – on May 6th and June 3rd. The calls covered our in-flight work streams – Link Back Landscape & Componentization. In addition, participants discussed recent news items that shed some light on developing trends in the industry, specifically relating to the changing role of banks.

We discussed technologies that are disrupting traditional models of business. Uber, AirBnB, ZipCar, Amazon, eBay and others are notable examples, but financial services are also being affected by such players as Lending Club, Crowdfunder, Betterment, and Acorns.

Here are some interesting pieces that further build on the financial services aspect of this theme. One thing seems clear, financial services for our children and grandchildren will be vastly different than for us and our parents. As Bob Dylan said, “The times they are a changing”.


An interesting retrospective on the Global Financial Supermarket model envisioned by Sandy Weill and its evolution  
Financial crisis, regulation and technology are important factors. 
http://on.wsj.com/1Up25B8
Technology disruption – P2P networks and the disintermediation of Intermediates.
http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2015-01-05/financial-news-mega-trends-2015-disintermediation
Mobile money is replacing currency, debit cards and traditional banking services – Kenya’s example is eye opening.
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-future-of-money-2/
Recently, the WSJ published a series “What is a Bank?” exploring how banking is evolving and why. Can traditional financial services survive or are they dinosaurs on a path to extinction?
http://graphics.wsj.com/what-is-a-bank/
New business models are disrupting old ones. We’ve seen this happening across many industries. How will financial services be impacted? How will it respond?
http://on.wsj.com/1SDOeUF

Within our Emerging Technology Working Group, we are in the early stages of exploring potential synergies and benefits of JSON. As per the JSON Website(www.json.org):

JSON(JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language, Standard ECMA-262 3rd Edition - December 1999. JSON is a text format that is completely language independent but uses conventions that are familiar to programmers of the C-family of languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and many others. These properties make JSON an ideal data-interchange language.

JSON is built on two structures:

  • A collection of name/value pairs. In various languages, this is realized as an object, record, struct, dictionary, hash table, keyed list, or associative array.
  • An ordered list of values. In most languages, this is realized as an array, vector, list, or sequence.

These are universal data structures. Virtually all modern programming languages support them in one form or another. It makes sense that a data format that is interchangeable with programming languages also be based on these structures.

We are grateful to Mark Daniels, Chair, and the members of our Emerging Technology Working Group, for their efforts and contributions to these discussions. This working group has a standing call on the first Friday of each month, held from 9:30am – 10:30am(EST) and we encourage RIXML.org members’ representatives to participate.

Cognitive Research Platform – why you need it ? Opportunities to leverage cognitive tools :

  • To optimize the workflows of Investment Analysis
  • To optimize the collection, normalization and aggregation of relevant data to make/support opinions….continuously
  • Respond to queries from clients/sales traders on market events, company /sector events
  • Redirect Research focus based on “trending data” about readership, client queries, order flow, market, competitor’s view points, etc.

Many thanks to Anil for sharing his insight.

Key priorities for Financial Publishing

  • Break the old model:MS Word –Email –PDF: too print-centric! Focus on Digital!
  • Add:Componentization, control, digital first (and other multi-channel)
  • Dedicated narratives tailored for online
  • Mobile-friendly, mobile-optimized content
  • Exploit:Digital opportunities, planning, analytics
  • “Pods” combining data visualization experts, embedded interactive developers, to aid the storytelling process
  • Data & Code: interactivity is the new infographic

Technology:JSON or XML?

  • RIXML is an XML-based standard
  • XML provides great control on dictionary of content, via schemas
  • JavaScript/JSON provides a web-ready view, helping both interactive presentation and available web frameworks
  • No built-in control in JSON: the validation is done by code –more flexible, less standard
  • XML is easily surfaced as JSON
  • HTML5, web pages, mobile –JSON works better than XML

What could this look like in real life?

  • DigitalFirst
  • Lower Risk& Higher Compliance
  • Better Quality of Product…… delivered at less organization cost
  • Global CollaborationAnalysts, Reviewers, Data Visualization Experts, Coders all working together on the publishing
  • Orchestration
  • Agilityin Systems
  • Componentization
  • Analytics and Performance:is your content achieving its goals?How do you know?
  • Innovate, Experiment & Iterate

Many thanks indeed to Steve and Rob for their sharing their valuable insight and expertise.

Interested in joining RIXML.org? Call our Program Office and 212-652-4470 or email us at to=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information.

PLEASE NOTE: This viewpoint is entirely my own and neither the official viewpoint of RIXML.org northe viewpoint of any of its member organizations.

To ALL Members & Friends of RIXML.org:

As I mentioned at the conclusion of our recent quarterly members’ meeting, after 39 years in our industry, I have decided to transition(I will try to avoid using the word “retirement”) out of the industry over the next 3 months and, accordingly, during that time, I will look to step down from my role as Executive Director of RIXML.org. Quite simply, it is time.

Also, as mentioned at our recent members’ meeting, through the RIXML.org Program Office, managed by Jordan & Jordan, a search process for my successor will commence immediately. Should you know of anyone who would have interest in taking on the Executive Director role, please reach out to Kathy McGovern at Jordan & Jordan at 212-652-4463 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Of course, during this transition period, it will be business as usual and I will be reaching out to our members….stay tuned.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 
      John Steinbeck,Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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