Cognotec targets high end with US$25m launch

19 Nov 2002

Cognotec has announced the first customer win for its new cutting-edge foreign exchange trading platform, Autodeal plus — the culmination of a US$25m (€24.7m) investment in research and development.

In a five-year deal understood to be worth several million dollars, prestigious Wall Street fund management firm Brown Brothers Harriman & Co is to implement AutoDeal plus, having previously used Cognotec’s AutoDeal Lite, dealing service to power its foreign exchange trading system, FX WorldView.

The next generation of FX WorldView will be used in the firm’s 24-hour dealing operation based in New York, London and Tokyo. The system will completely automate the foreign exchange dealing process.

Cognotec CEO Brian Maccaba (pictured) confirmed the US$25m (€24.7m) expenditure on the development of AutoDeal Lite and its successor, AutoDeal plus — a figure that excludes marketing costs. “It’s all R&D, planning, analysis, development, software coding, testing and so on,” he said. “It’s a very sophisticated software package for a niche market and we are the global leader.”

He pointed out that the huge development costs were a “very significant barrier for entry” facing potential competitors. “We’re actually seeing less and less competition over time because there are only so many people who can play at that level.”

Maccaba added: “The kind of business we’re in is not the kind where you could sit in a garage for six months and tap out something that would work. It offers enterprise-wide capability for banks. Our biggest customers have 10,000-15,000 customers and do billions of dollars a day in very sophisticated trading so any mistake is going to cost somebody a lot of money.”

Cognotec is one of Ireland’s most prominent software firms. Despite the downturn, it managed to raise US$14.5m (€14.3m) in venture capital funding in June, bringing the total raised so far to US$90m (€88.9m) . Cognotec recently took the best automated dealing technology award for the fifth year running in FX Week magazine’s annual industry awards.

By Brian Skelly