Articles

View Quantifi articles on topical market-related issues featured in prominent industry publications. Stay up-to-date with our latest articles by following us on LinkedIn  

February 2020

Interest Rate Models - OIS & CSA Discounting

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Prior to the credit crisis, interest rate modelling was generally well understood. The underlying fundamental principles had existed for over thirty years with steady evolutions in areas that were most relevant to options and complex products. Credit and liquidity were ignored as their effects were minimal. Pricing a single currency interest rate swap was straightforward. A single interest rate curve was calibrated to liquid market products and future cash flows were estimated and discounted using this single curve. There was little variation between implementations and results across the market were consistent.

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Implementing a Counterparty Risk Management Process

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Quantifi explores the key challenges for banks in the implementation of counterparty risk management, focusing on data, technology and operational issues in the context of current trends and best practices.

Most banks are in the process of setting up counterparty risk management processes or improving existing ones. Unlike market risk, which can be effectively managed by individual trading desks or traders, counterparty risk is increasingly being priced and managed by a central credit value adjustments (CVA) desk or risk control group since the exposure tends to span multiple asset classes and business lines. Moreover, aggregated counterparty exposure may be significantly impacted by collateral and cross-product netting agreements. 

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Accounting for the Changes in Valuation

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In the aftermath of the credit crisis, credit spreads soared to unpredicted heights. Basis spreads between three-month Libor and six-month Libor, for example, went from fractions of a basis point (where they had been quoted for decades) to double digits in a matter of months. Practitioners had to revise valuation methodologies to reflect these changes in the market. The accounting profession is now recognizing that these new market practices have important accounting implications as well.

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The Right Direction

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In this article, CSI speak to Rohan Douglas, CEO of Quantifi, regarding how Quantifi operates and also engage in discussions around market challenges and developments.

Q: How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

A: One differentiating factor is that our technology infrastructure was built from the ground up. Whereas other vendors may offer, for example, add-on scenario analysis functions, we can produce faster results because it has always been an integral part of the risk engine. Equally, our analytics library was built on a .Net platform, so performance has always been a key element of the product. Another differentiator is that we bring on board experienced people from the industry, so we better understand the nature of our clients' needs.

 

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Pricing Loan Credit Default Swaps

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The loan credit-default swap contract is similar to a corporate credit-default swap contract except for two key differences. The first is the underlying reference obligation of an LCDS is a secured loan while the underlying reference obligation of a CDS is an unsecured bond. As such, the recovery on the event of a default for an LCDS is expected to be significantly higher than that of a CDS.

 

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A Consistent Approach to the Term Structure of Correlation

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Common market best practice for pricing off-the-run or bespoke collateralized debt obligation tranches involves mapping implied base correlation surfaces calibrated from actively traded tranches such as those on the CDX or iTraxx.

Over the last few years, research in this area has resulted in a constant stream of improvements and refinements of this process. The term structure approach for base correlation surfaces is an important incremental improvement over commonly used methods for dealing with the maturity dimension of base correlation surfaces.

 

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Credit Magazine Q&A

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In this article, Rohan Douglas, the founder and CEO of Quantifi, talks about the effects of the summer’s volatility on the structured finance market, in particular how existing models have fared against the turmoil.

Q: What will be the long-term consequences of the crisis on confidence and liquidity? What kinds of institutions will have to make the biggest changes to their processes and will some of the more exotic structured finance products simply not get done any more?

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