Headquartered in Tokyo, with retail operations in Japan, Mizuho Bank has major commercial operations all over the world, including London, Paris, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Chicago, Singapore and New York. Commercial customers include brokers and major corporations such as General Motors and Toyota— anyone who does foreign exchange transactions.
One of Mizuho Bank’s core business systems provides key financial market data for bank analysts and senior management. The application brings real-time access to the bank’s transactions and a whole range of market data from established providers such as Reuters and Bloomberg. Mizuho Bank uses the data to perform analysis and make decisions to minimize risk to the bank while maximizing return.
This is one of the systems that Mizuho Bank had to re-build after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, where its New York office was located. The system is overseen by Sanjay Nagaraja, vice president and department head for the Risk Management Services group.
The risk management division is responsible for monitoring the activities of the traders and understanding the risk-to-reward ratio to control risk to the bank. For example, if the market turned in an unexpected direction, the downside to the bank would be minimized. Market and transaction data is captured, input into a model and output into analytical data that measure the risk to the bank at any given moment in time. The risk management group also supports proactive compliance to Federal mandates.
One of the biggest challenges in a system like this is that the data feeds come in from various data sources and platforms. It can be costly to provide the required infrastructure to integrate them into one platform for analysis. In order to re-build the application quickly, Mizuho Bank needed to choose data connectivity technology that already provided the interoperability they needed.