PRA Group, Inc. | April 05, 2022
PRA Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAA), a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, announced today that on April 1, 2022, it completed the refinancing of its European credit facilities. This refinancing includes a new $800 million UK credit facility and an amended and resized $750 million credit facility covering the rest of Europe, excluding the UK. The new UK facility includes a diverse group of both new and existing lenders that participate in both the North American and European credit facilities.
Our global bank group has been extremely supportive through the entire process. We are appreciative of the significant commitments from our long-time banking partners and pleased to welcome new members to the bank group. This refinancing provides us with additional flexibility, further diversifies our lending group, and decreases overall borrowing costs. We appreciate the continued partnership and ongoing support from our lenders."
Pete Graham, executive vice president and chief financial officer for PRA Group, Inc.
About PRA Group, Inc.
As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas, Europe and Australia. With thousands of employees worldwide, PRA Group, Inc. companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt.
METACO | May 27, 2022
LevelField Financial, the premier U.S. financial services firm uniting digital assets and traditional banking services in one trusted platform has selected METACO, the market-leading provider of digital asset custody orchestration technology to complex, global financial institutions. LevelField is deploying its institutional digital asset management operations on IBM Cloud in order to leverage the confidential computing capabilities of IBM's digital asset infrastructure.
Founded by banking executives with decades of global experience, LevelField is in the process of acquiring a federally chartered bank in the United States. To launch its digital asset offering, LevelField will use METACO's digital asset custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, helping enable clients to securely store, trade, and settle digital assets. Harmonize was built in partnership with Tier 1 banks and offers the highest standards of security and compliance for LevelField to operate in the digital assets sector. This foundational infrastructure provides LevelField with the option to further expand its digital asset offering in the future, in a highly-scalable and efficient manner.
LevelField will deploy Harmonize, which is supported by IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services¹. This setup will allow LevelField to scale to millions of wallets, while maintaining control over private keys for risk management. IBM's Digital Asset Infrastructure is designed to help custodians achieve greater results when using METACO's Harmonize platform, including enhanced scalability, security, and compliance.
IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services is designed to enable METACO Vaults to store encrypted keys externally in a database while affording the protections of IBM's FIPS 140-2 Level 4 rated hardware security modules (HSM). With external storage of keys enabled by IBM's master encryption key technology, custodians can scale to billions of wallets. The sensitive processing on METACO Harmonize is secured by IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Virtual Servers hardware-based, Common Criteria-certified isolation. IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Secure Build Server is designed to reduce risks of malicious code insertion during Harmonize deployments and address unauthorized rule manipulation by working to make policies on the platform tamper proof. Irrespective of how Harmonize is consumed, custodians retain physical control of the root of trust of the assets and the policies that govern management of the assets, through the IBM HSM Smartcards.
We're pleased to support LevelField in realizing its vision of uniting digital assets with traditional finance to create the most trusted banking platform of the future. Harmonize provides bank-grade security and compliance for the custody and management of digital assets, as well as the agility for innovative firms like LevelField to go-to-market and scale quickly. With a flexible governance policy framework that can be applied to any type of digital asset transaction, a no-single-point-of-failure model, and the optionality to expand and offer any type of digital asset services, Harmonize provides a highly secure and flexible foundation for LevelField to manage its digital asset operations, both today and well into the future."
Seamus Donoghue, VP of Strategic Alliances at METACO.
Established in Houston in 2018, and currently pending a banking charter, LevelField aims to blend digital banking, securities, and digital assets to provide a comprehensive banking service for the digital economy. The firm is building a customer- focused financial services platform for digital and traditional assets that leverages the strengths of the U.S. banking system, is built on a solid foundation of regulatory compliance, and draws on its management team's expertise across traditional banking.
LevelField is comprised of career bankers who deeply understand the importance of compliance and security. We searched for the platform that would enable us to meet our rigorous standards for security and compliance, while also giving us the flexibility to grow our digital asset business in any direction. METACO's Harmonize orchestration platform, supported by IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, is the ideal solution and something which may become the gold-standard in the industry. This infrastructure enables us to demonstrate our compliance and the highest levels of security no matter what area of digital assets we expand into."
Michael Clayton, CTO, LevelField.
Founded in 2015 in Switzerland, METACO is a technology company whose mission is to enable financial and non-financial institutions to securely manage their digital asset business and capitalize on the burgeoning digital asset economy.
The company's core product, Harmonize, is an orchestration system for digital assets. From cryptocurrency custody and trading to tokenization, staking, and smart contract management, the platform seamlessly connects institutions to the new world of decentralized finance (DeFi).
Morningstar | May 30, 2022
Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced the launch of Analytics Lab, a new capability for data scientists and analysts in its investment analysis platform, Morningstar Direct, following the launch of the interactive research functionality last year. Analytics Lab lets users programmatically investigate Morningstar data and research more deeply to discover new opportunities for investing success.
Analytics Lab gives users access to the development platform behind the prebuilt Morningstar research and data sets, enabling users to create custom notebooks in a hosted environment, combining the powers of Morningstar data with Python programming language.
Investors need to extract meaningful insights from immense amounts of data every day. Analytics Lab opens the door to Morningstar's core data and research, enabling users to discover new opportunities for investing success much more efficiently in a flexible environment, Our data, analytics, and communication capabilities create a platform that's completely new to the Morningstar universe which will empower our clients like never before."
Frannie Besztery, head of Morningstar Direct.
For those familiar with Python, the module evolves from a prebuilt analysis tool to a fully customizable and personalized platform. Users can now explore and discover Morningstar data with flexibility and leverage previously created Data Sets, Lists and Search Criteria, and Performance Reports from Morningstar Direct. As a result, Analytics Lab allows users with coding and analytical skills to automate their workflows faster than ever before and share these results with other Morningstar Direct users at their firm.
Analytics Lab incudes features to simplify the often-lengthy process of finding data and developing code including drag-and-drop capabilities to automatically insert code, robust Python documentation, sample queries, and tutorial notebooks help new users find and navigate Morningstar's data.
Coding skills aren't a prerequisite to benefit from Analytics Lab's technological power. Morningstar's library of prebuilt research and data sets, couples multi-faceted data sets with automated analysis, allowing clients to quickly visualize meaningful insights and turn research into action. For example, the firm diversity data set can analyze the presence of diversity within an asset management firm's ownership, board, employee workforce, company policies, and hired service providers. Since the initial launch last year, Morningstar released 13 data sets, on various industry trends and will be launching data sets about U.S. fund fee trends, active and passive fund analysis, ESG topics, and more.
About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers and owners, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the debt and private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $265 billion in assets under advisement and management as of March 31, 2022. The Company has operations in 29 countries.
BearingPoint | December 18, 2021
Management and technology consultancy BearingPoint and the Swiss financial market infrastructure operator SIX are partnering to develop a fully integrated invoice-to-payment service. The service will digitalize the entire value-added chain from the issue of the invoice to its payment: invoice issuers will send invoices directly and securely to their customers’ online and mobile banking applications. Customers can verify all the information online and then approve payment of an invoice at the click of a button. This service will also support the SEPA Request-To-Pay (SRTP) functions.
The platform is based on the eBill processing infrastructure of SIX, as this is already well established in Switzerland and will be rolled out in Europe with BearingPoint’s industry experience. The goal is to offer banks in Europe a model that has been tested in Switzerland and that enables the receipt of invoices and the release of payments directly through those banks’ electronic banking platforms. A key advantage is the ease of integration into the banks’ environments, thereby enabling fast and cost-effective implementations. The timing for the rollout of the solution depends on the participation of banks and invoice issuers in the respective countries. BearingPoint and SIX are currently planning for the first applications in the European market by 2023.
“With eBill, SIX has established a successful solution for digital invoices in the Swiss market. It is used by around 100 financial institutions and already reaches more than half of Swiss households. In our next step, we want to implement this innovative solution across Europe in partnership with BearingPoint,” emphasizes Marco Menotti, Head of Banking Services and Member of the Executive Board of SIX.
“The role of the bank account in payment processing is undergoing a fundamental change. Banks need to address how they will position accounts with their customers in the future. Our joint solution offers banks a way to link accounts with additional services that are related to invoice receipts and payments, and creates an overall win-win-win situation for banks, consumers and businesses,” adds Thomas Steiner, Global Leader Banking & Capital Markets at BearingPoint, explaining the motivation for the initiative.
With our innovative solution, we can help invoice issuers achieve significant cost savings when processing transfers. It also massively improves the user experience for debtors, as they receive invoices and initiate payments in a single step and within the familiar digital environment of their own bank. For banks, this will result in a strengthening of their customer relationships and – through the reductions in paper invoices – also contribute to environmental protection”
Stefan Schütt, head of the RTP initiative at BearingPoint.
SIX operates and develops infrastructure services for the Swiss and Spanish stock exchanges and for securities services, banking services and financial information with the aim of improving efficiency, quality and innovative capacity across the entire value chain of the Swiss and Spanish financial centers. The company is owned by its users (121 banks). With a workforce of around 3,500 employees (full-time equivalents) and a presence in 20 countries, it generated operating income of CHF 1.38 billion and Group net profit of CHF 439.6 million in 2020.
BearingPoint is an independent management and technology consultancy with European roots and a global reach. The company operates in three business units: The first unit covers the advisory business with a clear focus on selected business areas. The second unit provides IP-driven digital assets and managed services beyond SaaS. The third unit is designed to explore innovative business models with clients and partners by driving the financing and development of start-ups and leveraging ecosystems.
BearingPoint’s clients include many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. The firm has a global consulting network with more than 10,000 people and supports clients in over 70 countries, engaging with them to achieve measurable and sustainable success.