Questions, thoughts, ideas, the mic is yours!

Hello everyone,

I sometimes see comments and remarks but not that many and sometimes I wonder if I go too much into detail or not enough.

Similarly, there might be some stuff you would like me to cover more.

So the mic is yours, feel free to put comment or write directly to me and make requests, share ideas or voice feedback. This site is mainly for all Murex users to find a place where they can exchange ideas and learn more about other parts of the system.

Thanks for reading and I hope to be able to read you guys soon!

Be nice to your support team!

Who is up in the middle of the night, unblocking the EOD because of a trade you incorrectly booked? …. Be nice to your support team!

Who takes care of correcting the report you need so that the shade of blue is exactly the one which matches your tie? ….. Be nice to your support team!

Who is there when the values returned by the system means nothing at all? …. Be nice to your support team!

Who comes to your desk to check the problem you have, which suddenly stops appearing as soon as they look at your screen? ….. Be nice to your support team!

Who basically gets all your problems but barely gets feedback when things go south? …. Be nice to your support team!

And I can go on and on and on. While it is obvious the support team does support, it does not mean that it is an easy job! So be nice to them and next time you stuff up something they won’t make much noise correcting it! 🙂

Complex trades – how to compute them

An interesting conversation I had, explaining people what are the different options when you start doing complex trades and how to be able to value them. So I feel like sharing to everyone.

The problem is that you’ll often need to price new exotic trades as quickly as possible and the question is how to best achieve it. So let’s go through the different options:

  • Use what you have (aka the BS answer (BS = Black Scholes!)). That might sound basic but it will give you a rough approximation (sometimes very rough) of the trade actual value. Far from ideal but if you do have a very limited amount of them, that could work and cost/effort is low
  • Use a proper model/payoff description with Murex. This is usually the best solution but compared to the previous one, there are some limitations: the payoff needs to be covered by Murex, the model needs to be available in your version and the payoff might need to be tested in your version. So it usually results in a longer time to market and a high cost. This is ideal for products you’ll have a bit of volume on and currently being used.
  • FleX. This assumes that you have your own model library and you also have the skills to plug it in into Murex. While there is some effort to achieve it and performance might come as an interesting question, this can be a very valid solution especially if you are looking at maintaining/expanding your model library. If you do not have such a library, the effort/cost might be a killer.
  • Other systems for low volume. There are systems which can return a price for more or less any product. Is the price very accurate? Is the model very efficient? Not really, they’re usually Monte Carlo based but these systems tend to be very good for very small volume and you also get a great time to market. Top that with the ease of importing trade valuation in Murex and have it flying through to report, accounting and you get a very solid solution. Of course, if the volume does increase then you should consider solution number 2 for these payoffs.

So as I had the discussion much before and recently, a mix of the solutions above is the best. Thinking about time to market is quite important and you can then integrate all that into Murex so that all your products are into the same system.

Slow day — holiday hangover!

Holidays are about to end, and with rain already here, it feels like fall already started.

Next week, I’ll revert back to my 2 posts a week but found this article of an agreement between Murex and Omgeo which happened during the summer.

Article here

This is clearly the trend at the moment to move to cleared trades so I expect quite a few of interfaces/partnerships coming. Very interesting times ahead for the banking industry!

A great potential but not sure how to tap into it

Alright, for once, I’ll do things differently: I’ll come to you for help.

As mentioned before, there is a great tool called job recovery. Very simply, when a batch of feeders fails, you can re-run the batch of feeders on the failed sub-set and again and again, till effectively you narrow it down to 1 trade or 1 group of trades.

This is a massive improvement over the good old, deal scan watching + narrowing it down by filtering more and more.

I found that usually it takes about 7-8 iterations to get to the guilty trades with the first ones taking quite some time but the later ones running in a couple of minutes or so.

What I don’t like about the tool is that it is manual. I need to watch over it for when the recovery tried and failed to re-run it again and again, till I get to the deal number and then can filter it out (if I don’t have time to investigate it further).

So I am trying to solve as to how to automate it. There is no processing script for it, so you’re stuck with XML macros if you want to re-run it again. On top that, you usually click on the job id which is a number that gets incremented everytime. So it would mean a mix of SQL and scripting to produce the right XML macros. And you probably how much I don’t like XML macros so definitely not the best option for me there.

But maybe there is another solution (or something else is coming?) which would make this a breeze. I’ve asked around but never had any answer. My feeling is that it is a tool with great potential but could do with few extras and turn it into gold.

Back to my original request: if anyone found a better way to leverage this to the maximum, I’d be very keen to know how to do it!


What is it like to work for Murex…

Found this little article (google translate will be your friend if you don’t read French): JDN article

And if you then want to look at the actual numbers and the feedback from current and former employees: Glassdoor info

Lost the last hour going through the last one, while representing only the part of people who expresses themselves (usually the unhappy ones), the results are very good.

Psychology 101 or remembering that we help people

Working on Murex, we found ourselves in a support role. People are coming to us with problems and requests and we need to help/guide/handhold/advise/explain/assist/… others. As such a little bit of psychology never hurts.

I see sometimes support people with the finesse of a sledgehammer hitting a glass table at full speed. Just being  blunt, not interested really in the whole problem. As support role, at the end of the day, we are the ones who will be evaluated based on the feedback of people who we support. If you have the nasty habit of making others feeling dumb and try to show that you know more than them, you’re either in the wrong career path or the current career will come to a close quickly. Put in your mind once and for all that your role is to help others achieve what they need.

For those of you with the social skills of an oyster (and I’m not talking about the Caribbean oyster well know for its social gatherings, its after church discussions and its theater skills), couple of pointers:

– Don’t hide behind email/messaging system/portal, a face to face or a phone call builds a more personal relationship. It also helps understanding if something else is at stake

– Try to feel the mood of the people and adapt. If the trader just hit the jackpot or if he is over exposed, then the news that you won’t work on his/her issues for the next 6 months is probably not going to be received the same.

– Interest yourself to what they are doing. This is essential. Even if your work is different, understanding, caring about what they do will not only help you build stronger bonds but also make you a much better support person.

This common sense might seem obvious to most of you, but I have seen quite few times people which must believe that they are of a different breed to the rest of us and we should accept what they say as gospel. Support is a 2 way street, building a strong relationship is essential.

Summer quizz!

I wish you to be on a nice summery like place, laying in a hammock, feet in the water, holding a nice cold beer with gentle breeze cooling you down. And if you manage to read this with your other hand, you’re a champ!

Time for a summer quizz to see if beer did not kill the good brain cells! Just 5 questions and you can self rate yourself!

  1. Where are the RTBS errors logged to? (well, most errors end up there)
  2. How many simulation viewer assignments are there (only 1 works but there are more than 1)
  3. Name 5 Murex services which can be started from
  4. Which file needs to be edited to add/change the text appearing on top of your session?
  5. What is the name of the functionality which lets a user save the screens he/she had opened?




Answers below, no cheating!



  1. errors.log ! Under logs directory
  2. 3! (enduser-simulation views (layouts?) assignments, configurator-layout assignment, FO Settings- simulation screen assignment, just the last one works!)
  3. Fileserver, XMLserver, murexnet, MXMLexchange, MXSession, monit, MXcontribution, Activityfeeders, Mandatory. Well, if you found 5 they are probably there!
  4. client.xml
  5. screenset. Very handy 🙂

0-1 good answer: Hum, probably that 5th pina colada last night explains this result (I hope!)

2-3 good answers: Not too bad, it’s holidays, keep relaxing

4-5 good answers: you’re a machine! Well done!

Word association and housekeeping

Looking through the window searching for a topic I’d like to cover and basically nothing is coming through (sun, rain or inspiration). I had in mind to do something with housekeeping but I think I’ve already covered purge.
The only thing that sticks to my mind and basically blocks my thought is the following:

The problem is that everytime I choose housekeeper in Murex, I always think of this scene from Family guy. The association is deep anchored and I can’t refrain thinking “I come in anyway” when I double click on the housekeeper group.

Oh well, I hope I also created that association for you now and that you will have a smile next time you need to do a purge (in Murex of course!)

Calypso and SAP

I could have thrown couple of other names and this post would start to be list of competitors. But found the following article:

Interesting article

Initially, I was like “Wow, that’s a big one” (announcement effect), but then before drifting to sleep (couple of hours not later, and not at work!), rethinking about it, I did not see massive synergies.

For instance, posting Calypso entries to the GL (provided if SAP is the GL), is a simple question of report formatting. If SAP is managing business banking, the activity itself due to its pure volume needs to be completely outside Calypso (or whichever trading system) and just send aggregates once or couple of times a day to the trading system for liquidity and risk management. Again it is another interface (and really not a tough one) which would take couple of hours to be codded in Murex.

So I struggle to find big synergies. Even during selection processes, it is not such a game changer (to me).

I know that SAP is like a giant octopus, reaching into far places into companies, so I might forget something. If someone would be kid enough to correct me or expose his point of view, I’d happily discuss it further through the comments here or the forum!