Born in the engine room of one of the world’s most recognised Banks
Implemented in 1996, MORS is a key component of the bank’s operational ALM and Risk Management architecture. After 27 years in production, MORS is still a vital component of the bank’s system portfolio.
Picture the scene, it’s 1996. Ebay is about to be launched and IBM Deep Blue has just beaten Gary Kasparov at chess. It’s snowing outside, it’s cold and dark, and the Head of Financial Control for the bank in Helsinki is trying desperately to reconcile daily positions from hundreds of pages of continuous data print. He had a thought. If he could intercept a data feed from Front Office to Back Office, he could create a real-time position keeping system that would save hours every day in manually creating a daily position report.
“You should speak to a techy consultant who’s working here.” recommended a colleague. “He could probably figure something out. He’s got a desk in the corridor between Front Office and Back Office, you can’t miss him, he’s tall and has a ponytail.” the recommendation went. The Head of Financial Control sought out said techy and they began working on a real-time position keeping system. That system was to become known as the Middle Office Reporting System, or MORS for short. The Head of Financial control was a gentleman by the name of Mika Mustakallio, and the techy with the ponytail, Petri Makkonen. The two would later become better known as the co-founders of MORS Software.
10 years later, the bank decided to spin off MORS into an independent software company. The rest, as they say, is history. Except in this case, it is both history and the present, and likely for some years to come, also the future.
“What still amazes me is that 27 years ago we built an online/real-time Treasury Management System and that still today, this is not common practice in most banks.” says Mike Mustakallio, Co-founder, and Chairman of MORS Software. “We certainly felt like pioneers then, but that MORS is still pioneering nearly 30 years later is quite something.” continues Mustakallio.
The bank is a universal bank, headquartered in Sweden. It does most of its business in Northern Europe but has a presence and strong brand recognition all over the world.
The bank has several regional Treasuries, supporting the branches and subsidiaries of each region. Each regional Treasury is largely autonomous and provides its risk positions to Head Office on a daily basis.
Over the years, MORS has flexed to support the bank’s regional treasuries wherever in the world they have been needed. MORS has been deployed in China to support the South East Asia operation, in Moscow to support the Russian business. Nowadays the emphasis is on regional Treasuries in London, New York, Oslo, Finland, and the Netherlands.
MORS provides the cornerstone for each regional Treasury in terms of Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk, Intraday Liquidity Risk, and FX Risk Management. In short, MORS provides operational Asset and Liability Management (ALM). MORS consolidates deal and agreement data coming from data warehouses and Front Office systems and presents back risk positions in real-time or near real-time for day-to-day risk management purposes, such as re-pricing gap reporting.
MORS provides an ability for the bank to view the complete risk position, online in real-time.
MORS is very flexible in the way it consumes data and very powerful in the way it delivers results in an automated fashion. Each regional Treasury has slightly different needs and MORS is tailored to the regional input systems and the nuances of the regional reporting requirements.
“It’s a continuous journey with the bank. Each year brings a different focus in a different place.” says Jari Ojanen, COO of MORS Software. “I find it quite amazing that the journey began almost 27 years ago, but continues still today, just as strong, and just as important. We have built a tremendous relationship of trust and commitment on both sides and the bank is just as visionary today as it was in 1996.” concludes Ojanen.
“We are immensely proud of our heritage and long-standing relationship with the bank. Regarded as one of the most forward-thinking banks in the world, I think it speaks volumes on what we’re trying to achieve at MORS.” says Nigel Lee, CEO of MORS Software.