Category: Risk

Cloud Software Rains on End-Users

Do DNS attacks mean you should have a backup plan?

Last week, DNS attacks leveled key gateways leading to dozens of outages amongst business applications. For so many companies who have become dependent on SaaS applications or cloud-based services it was a scary event that at a minimum led to a loss of productivity.

Do DNS attacks qualify as a disaster?

They can. There is no guarantee that a provider can get back up quickly. Many of our competitors tout they are “cloud only” and bragging that on-premise software is dead and buried.

We offer a web-based solution, but allow customers to deploy in their private cloud, the public cloud or on-premise. In the event of a disaster, our customers can re-deploy their applications and recover their data to a protected, in-house offering. Sure, it’s not immediate but it beats never knowing if you can get back up and running.

Make sure you protect your contracts. The Cloud is great, but without a backup option you won’t end up with sunny skies.

To find out more about how you can protect your contracts with Exari, click here.

9.thumbnailBill Hewitt is Exari’s CEO. Reach out in the comments or @billhewittCEO.

Uncleared Margin Regulations: Strategize for Upcoming Complexities

We recently discussed the new uncleared margin regulations (UMR) and best practices for successfully re-papering your Credit Support Annexes (CSA’s.) Now that you’re up to speed on what it means for your organization and the steps for re-papering, there is a bit more you should consider when evaluating each agreement. To get you the best advice we teamed-up with experts in this subject in order to bring you all the information you will need to successfully comply.

While adapting to these new regulations, complexity is going to be your greatest obstacle. You will have an increase in the amount of documents and data you need to manage, which means it will also be much more complex than previously creating or editing agreements. You will have to find a better way to manage the additional work required to support this intricate and time-bound project.

Depending upon which strategy you decide to adopt (or are forced to adopt by your counterparties) you may have to amend existing CSAs, create a duplicate to comply with the new regulations, or create a new CSA for the Counterparties (CPs) that want to renegotiate terms.  Whichever strategy you end up with, managing the increasing number of agreements, and managing the legal and collateral terms is going to be a much greater burden for legal and operational departments.

In our upcoming webinar alongside Derivatives Risk Solutions (DRS), we will help you better understand the pros and cons of the strategies available to you, and how technology can help to ease the inevitable burden.

When: Tuesday, September 13th 10:00AM EDT / 3:00PM BST

Webinar: Understand and Comply with WGMR InitiativeRegister Now

*Can’t make it? That’s okay! Register now and receive a link to a recording once it’s completed.

9.thumbnailPaul Nelmes is Exari’s VP of Sales, Financial Services. Reach out in the comments or on twitter @Paul_Exari.


From Body Parts to Nuclear Reactors – How Document Generation is Helping Lloyd’s Reshape Risk Management

For over 300 years the Lloyd’s market has been one of the most innovative sources for risk management solutions. From body parts to nuclear reactors, Lloyd’s is a one stop shop for the world’s specialty insurance and reinsurance needs. It’s an ecosystem where close personal relationships, proximity of brokers and underwriters and actual paper policies still matter – and for those willing to work within the square mile of the City of London, it’s incredibly efficient.

There is, however, a very clear and challenging problem that is facing the London insurance market. In the race to expand business and diversify revenue streams there’s an increasing need to tap into technology to connect producers to brokers and ultimately the underwriters of risk.

Although the high touch of the Lloyd’s market works well for underwriting vast amounts of risk for large companies, it isn’t as practical for higher volume, lower value business. With the growing need to tap into these markets, but lacking resources, it is clear that a more automated document generation approach will help to drive productivity, resulting in innovation and growth.

Steve Jobs once told Wired Magazine that, “Creativity is just connecting things.” If that’s the case, then Lloyd’s brokers and, indeed underwriters, are getting creative. If the world is getting smaller it’s technology that’s driving us forward.

This is why we at Exari have created our Submit, Quote, Bind solution, for agents, brokers and underwriters.

Using DocGen , Exari’s document generation software, agents are now able to quickly and accurately capture risk information to help generate quote and policy documents. We removed the operational barriers and increased efficiency to make the job easier, reducing time, cost and risk.

This solution is as easy as 1, 2, 3 – with the help of the most advanced document generation software on the market.

  1. Submit: Using a web based interview the broker can gather all risk information and with the push of a button, create the submission document
  2. Quote: Carrier can create a quote or decline to quote using the automated system
  3. Bind: Once the quote is accepted it is set to bind! The underwriter can automatically create the documentation and the invoice.

Exari’s SQB solution is empowering Lloyd’s Syndicates with a source of new business, enabling Agents to quote and bind business locally, with compliant and pre-approved documents from the Insurer, who ultimately accepts the risk. Now, reporting and audit is fully transparent with unprecedented visibility into all data.
SQB is already being adopted by the US, Asia-Pacific and Nordic regions as all insurers are seeking more business in the most efficient way they can. To learn more check out Exari’s Submit, Quote, Bind webpage.

9.thumbnailMike Maziarz is Exari’s Chief Marketing Officer. Reach out in the comments or @mikemaziarz.

How Enterprise Contract Management Can Help with Uncleared Derivatives Regulations

Business as usual is no longer an option for banks.

With the new margin requirements for uncleared derivatives, it’s time for banks to buckle down and revise existing, or re-paper  their CSAs to be  compliant. These regulations are meant to promote central clearing and reduce the risks associated with trading. In an attempt to avoid a financial crisis another financial crisis the regulators are making sure there are more stringent rules around how much collateral has to be posted, who holds it, and how it is managed.. They’ve increased the threshold for uncleared swaps as well as the types of assets that are eligible as collateral for variation margin (VM). Furthermore, non-cash assets that qualify as initial margin (IM) can qualify as VM in trades depending on the counterparties.

Per regulation, all Credit Support Annexes  have to be revised or re-papered by the deadline, March 2017. Banks now have to start re-papering all their complex agreements in order to continue trading- business as usual. This task will be time consuming and will probably  involve heavy negotiations with counterparties, but can be greatly accelerated with technology to help with the re-papering process

Have you been putting this off? If you estimate that this is going to be a complicated and time consuming task, (you’re right), but delaying the process will reduce the time you have to negotiate and finalize your CSA’s.  If you don’t have the manpower to handle this task, there are options:

  1. You could outsource this work
  2. You could hire a third party firm that will take it off your hands, or
  3. You could automate the process with a little help from a purpose-built solution

The good news is you still have options. If you’re interested in learning more about what would work best for your firm, here are a few resources for you to consider:

Have a look and think it through, but keep in mind the clock keeps ticking and before you know it, it will be March.

Click the link to learn more about our re-papering solution.  

9.thumbnailPaul Nelmes is Exari’s VP of Sales, Financial Services. Reach out in the comments or on twitter @Paul_Exari.


Brexit-Induced Contract Uncertainty: What Can You Do Today?

The guessing game is over.  Brexit is official.

Pretty soon, the United Kingdom will no longer be a member of the European Union.  Which means that lawyers around the world are scratching their heads about what it means for their clients, their firm or their company.  Is it cause for panic, or a storm in a tea-cup?

One way to answer this question is to focus on what Brexit means for your existing contractual relationships. Which contract terms just became a whole lot fuzzier, and does it really matter?  Some have suggested that ambiguity around “English” governing law will complicate dispute resolution.  Others think that force majeure provisions may trigger a wave of unexpected contract termination.  But a more immediate concern may be the impact of Brexit on territorial rights and restraints in commercial agreements.

If a distribution agreement gives your company exclusive rights in the “European Union”, you may soon be losing a big chunk of your market.  If you have “European Union” non-compete language with a vendor, they might soon be free to set up shop in London.  And if you’ve agreed not to move data or assets outside of the EU, your British operations may no longer qualify.  In all scenarios, the first step is to find these potential problems and assess how painful they are.  From there you can devise a strategy of renegotiating, repapering or restructuring before Brexit officially kicks in.

Of course, those of you with Exari Contracts have already done all this analysis and can enjoy a few days off at the beach.  Perhaps a nice beach somewhere in Europe, while you still have the chance.


Jamie Wodetzki is Exari’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer. Reach out to him in the comments section.

Beyond Compliance: Moving towards an Enterprise Level View of Risk

This week, DerivSource interviewed Alexandre Bon, Senior Solution Architect at Murex, to discuss the growing needs of an Enterprise View of Data in Financial Service firms. He explains how it is essential in order to comply with both the FRTB and SA-CCR requirements, as firms need full visibility into client and trade data. By concluding Bon’s Q&A, here are the important steps you need to be aware of and follow in order to better comply with these regulations.

1. Improving communication between all departments will build a better enterprise view of risk and capital

By bringing departments together with full transparency into all information, regulation-related strategic decisions can be more efficiently built out. For example, by bringing together the credit, collateral management, treasury and trading departments, will link together how collateral management operates and how trading desks will price the effect collateralization of new transactions. In return, this will provide traders with the information they need to efficiently evaluate which entity they should execute a trade with.

Bon stresses the importance of full transparency into all data at an enterprise level view. Banks need to move to a real time view of their regulatory capital positions in order to properly comply with the FRTB.

2. The SA-CCR has an implementation deadline for many firms

The new standardized approach is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2017. This includes a comprehensive approach for measuring counterparty credit risk associated with OTC derivatives, exchange-traded derivatives and long settled transactions. For more information on what you need to consider in order to comply, you can find it here.

Since a deadline is quickly approaching, more and more firms are beginning to put budgets into place to either build their own system or evaluating enterprise solutions for adoption (take a read through our Build vs. Buy whitepaper for more information).

3. How to integrate departments and getting over that initial challenge “hump”

Integrating departments can be extremely difficult, as further discussed by Bon. It’s no surprise that he mentions the challenges that firms will face, such as how they all operate and run differently, their data sets are incompatible or out date or can be duplicated with inconsistencies. The worst of it- they have no central data repository. He mentions that some firms have built their own regulatory reporting systems on top of data warehouses, but they just don’t cut it.

Implementing a central data repository to allow for full visibility into all data and reporting for every department is essential. It will help establish clear data management processes for maintaining clear, consistent data across the entire enterprise. By moving toward an enterprise view, the information can be used to rationalize processes, understand which businesses are most profitable, and divest those that are not.

Firms will not only be in compliance, but looking further ahead they can develop enterprise-level risk tools for analyzing positions and capital data in a much more efficient way. Banks need to adopt a more innovative approach for dealing with the high cost of regulations, such as managing the total cost of trading. An Enterprise Contract Management System is just that approach.

To learn more about how an enterprise contract management system can help you reduce your firm’s risk, download our Contract Risk Playbook: Risks Hiding in Plain View, an advanced guide for corporate boards and senior executives today.


DerivSource is an independent information source and online community for OTC derivatives professionals globally, with a community of over 15,000 members globally.  

*DerivSource, SA0CCR and FRTB: Compliance Drives Renewed Push for Enterprise Data Management. 2016.

Eliminate Your Risk with 100% Contract Certainty™

Last week, Exari teamed up with IACCM for an insightful webinar to explore the meaning of “Contract Certainty” and how you and your business can work towards achieving it. Attendees also got a look into our Universal Contract Data Model™ and what’s in store for the future with the newly announced CMA Contiki and Exari combination.

Exari’s Founder and Chief Product Officer, Jamie Wodetzki, kicked off the webinar with how you can begin to eliminate contractual uncertainty, like contracts that have expired, risks buried deep into the fine print and gaps in the paper trail. He addressed Revenue, Supply Chain, Process and Title Uncertainty, and the risks associated with each.

With all of the potential risks that live within your contracts, it’s crucial to have an enterprise view. This will allow you to constantly keep track of your businesses relationships with vendors, customers and trading counterparties. By having complete insight into all of your contractual data, you also gain an enterprise view of your business’s risk, the contractual risk score and a breakdown of where it lives. For example, your customer risk score might be lower than your liability risk score, giving insight into which ones you need to dig deeper into and work on.

Mike Maziarz, Exari’s VP of Marketing and Product Management, closed out the webinar with how we’re allowing our customers to move towards 100% Contract Certainty™, with the help from our Universal Data Model™. Mike also commented on the exciting Exari and CMA Contiki merger and how we complement one another to strengthen 100% Contract Certainty™ even further. If you haven’t watched the webinar recording yet, I won’t ruin it for you!

Click here to receive your copy of the webinar recording today!


An Industry Game Changer: Exari’s Universal Contract Data Model for the Win

Even after eight years since the financial crisis, we are still seeing firms continue to recover and take critical steps to put strategies in place for improvement. Firms are focusing on reducing their costs, while increasing their ability to respond to the changing regulations around ensuring financial health.

In particular, our largest global financial institutions are required to implement Living Wills with Recovery and Resolution Plans to ensure visibility under extreme financial or market pressures, and worst case, regulatory plans should the institution actually fail.  While today we see how this only impacts the defined Global 20, it’s critical for these and other institutions to understand their contractual obligations and risks under all scenarios.  The work to gain this understanding and visibility can be complex, time consuming, and costly.

Additionally, firms are having to respond to changes in the reporting of OTC derivatives going into effect this year.  In fact, one of my global clients is looking at ways to unwind their current contract data to parse out the required details for measurement, reporting and re-papering of OTC derivatives alone. It’s a big job for many of our clients that is just getting started.

However, the well considered and industry-tested Universal Data Model delivered by Exari will significantly accelerate these institution’s view into their risks and minimize costs to analyze and respond. Assets Managers can easily reduce the time it takes to capture and analyze trading agreements, IMA’s, CSA’s and side letters from months to just hours. The Model is already enable our customers, like the one mentioned earlier, to significantly save time and money by managing this in house, rather than relying on outside legal resources.

The Exari Universal Contract Data Model for Financial Services is a game changer and is already being adopted by the industry leaders who want to accelerate the compliance process, minimize risks, and keep costs under control.

For more information on how Exari’s Contract Data Model, please visit our products page


Allison Cusano is Exari’s VP of Financial Services. Reach out in the comments or @allicusano.

Out With The Old

Are you still drafting thousands of contracts manually?  In Word? Or storing multiple versions of paper contracts in a filing cabinet? Well, you’re not alone.

Exari recently surveyed 92 Corporate Counsel and compliance professionals about their habits and challenges for contract creation, storage and legal technology. More than 75% reported that they were still creating contracts in Microsoft Word, using some form of “copy and paste” template, while only 1 out of 10 currently use a document generation software to streamline the process. Half of the participants (47%) said they were still using paper filing systems to house corporate contracts. Their top pain points included:

  •         Slow contract approval processes (59%)
  •         Little or non-existent insight into risk (39%)
  •         Missing key milestones (27%)
  •         Difficulty with internal collaboration (25%)
  •         Risk of error (23%)

With outdated practices for generating and storing contracts, you’ll lack complete visibility into all of your agreements, increasing your risks such as liability, being underpaid or overcharged and missing key milestones. By implementing an efficient contracting process, you won’t miss a step. Not to mention you’ll be able to pull information during a crisis in minutes, rather than taking hours to dig up and sift through multiple paper copies. Avoid missing renewal rates, reduce the length of sales cycles, streamline negotiations and increase internal collaboration.

Doesn’t that sound better than the ol’ “copy and paste”?

Bleeding Edge

Contract management has been around for years; as I’ve written before, most systems are document based. The future- and the bleeding edge- is data-based.


Because contracts are becoming more and more operational. Global trade has expanded the complexity and variability of these contracts to the point where they can no longer be filed away. The terms, obligations and risks can impact the supply chain, talent management, currency hedging and vendor risk management to name a few. As a result, contracts are living, breathing data attributes that need to be shared, measured and monitored in real-time.

As a provider of contract management across the globe, we’ve seen virtually every use case, but the ones that are driving companies to new heights are those that treat contracts as operational assets.

Hedge funds managing counterparty risk. Global capital markets firms managing complex trading agreements. Global insurers managing the underwriting process- all using Exari to streamline the process but more importantly to operationalize their contracts as a cornerstone of their most important business process.

So what’s this all about? It’s about making companies more competitive. Going to market faster. Driving consistency. Capturing missed revenue opportunities. Reducing risk. Creating new business lines, and capturing market share.

It’s a fact- if you can operationalize your contract assets, you become more efficient, more competitive and smarter than those around you.

In short- you win.

Bill Hewitt is Exari’s CEO. Reach out in the comments or @billhewittCEO.