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Ancoa trade surveillance integrates Twilio cloud-based communications platform

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29 September 2015

Ancoa, providers of contextual surveillance and insightful analytics for exchanges, regulators, buy and sell-side firms, today announced the successful integration of Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform, with its surveillance platform, adding transactional voice surveillance, for voice initiated trades, to Ancoa’s suite of capabilities. Ancoa leverages Twilio’s software-based communications to make enhanced analysis of telephone conversations and text messages available to all Ancoa customers.

The new, Twilio-powered Ancoa capabilities were recently deployed by LedgerX, the New York based options exchange, currently awaiting approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to clear options on the digital currency bitcoin. As part of their mission to build an institutional-grade bitcoin options exchange, LedgerX is now able to record and transcribe all transaction related calls and to  reconstruct voice initiated orders and trades in near  real-time using the contextual surveillance capability of the Ancoa platform with Twilio’s voice transcription service. This level of surveillance protects its participants and venue from market abuses and maintains a fair and orderly market while meeting regulatory obligations.

Ancoa’s contextual approach to monitoring and surveillance overlays proprietary and real-time transactional as well as wider market data, with unstructured data sources such as electronic communications (email, text messaging, instant messaging), social media (in particular Twitter) and financial news in order to detect irregular trading behaviour and deal with potential market abuse. The integration of Twilio’s voice and SMS capabilities into Ancoa’s surveillance platform will further enhance the abilities of compliance officers and analysts to detect suspicious communications by reconstructing the lifecycle of a trade with ease.

Making voice initiated trades is permitted for certain types of trades, such as block trades. When a telephone order is made, both the audio and audio transcript are logged into the Ancoa platform within seconds. This recording is then layered with transactional data to provide the dual pronged approach to surveillance. Alerts are raised when certain language that is deemed suspicious is used; and easy access to the call recording is provided. Alternatively, when a voice initiated order or trade triggers a market abuse alert in the Ancoa system, such as spoofing or layering, the compliance officer can easily play back the original call, greatly aiding her analysis and enabling her to confirm suspicious activity that warrants further investigation.

“Twilio believes in a future where communications are embedded to create experiences that are more relevant and useful,” said Meghan Grady, Director of Channel Marketing for Twilio. “Ancoa’s use of Twilio to embed communications directly into their surveillance platform is a great example of innovation, using smart communications to provide leading edge technology to their customers.”

Commenting on the release, Stefan Hendrickx, Founder and Executive Director of Ancoa, said, “We are delighted to bring Twilio’s scalable voice platform to the financial services marketplace for the first time. Integrating our contextual surveillance platform with Twilio was smooth, adding voice surveillance and trade reconstruction capabilities, thereby greatly improving the workflow for compliance officers and market operators such as LedgerX. In the future, we will be looking to extend the capabilities to our broker dealer and investment bank clients.”

Commenting on the release Paul Chou, CEO of LedgerX LLC said, “In order to build a safe and liquid bitcoin options market, we require real-time surveillance capabilities across voice and instant messaging as well as across our automated order book. With Twilio and Ancoa, we have near real-time transparency needed across all communication channels to protect our participants and our venue from trading abuses.”

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