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AWS Tapped to Oversee U.S. Securities Market, 100 Billion Daily Financial Market Events

Amazon Web Services (AWS) may have lost out on a lucrative Pentagon contract, but it has scored a major deal to oversee trading in the U.S. securities market. According to a press release, the Financi...
AWS Tapped to Oversee U.S. Securities Market, 100 Billion Daily Financial Market Events
Written by Matt Milano
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) may have lost out on a lucrative Pentagon contract, but it has scored a major deal to oversee trading in the U.S. securities market.

    According to a press release, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) selected AWS to be its cloud provider for the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT).

    “The CAT will allow regulators to improve securities market surveillance by creating an extensive audit trail of order information for all U.S. equity securities and listed options across U.S. markets and trading venues. Leveraging AWS’s storage, compute, database, analytics, and security services, CAT ingests more than 100 billion market events per day, pulling together data from 22 stock exchanges and 1,500 broker dealer firms, enabling the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) to analyze CAT data.”

    Past experience with AWS, as well as its reputation for reliability were major factors in the decision.

    “We are responsible for providing regulators with a consolidated view of the markets, so security, scalability, and resiliency are at the forefront of the design for the CAT platform,” said Scott Donaldson, FINRA CAT Chief Technology Officer. “FINRA has deep and tested experience in creating such an environment on AWS, and in view of that track record, FINRA CAT is pleased to select AWS for this major project.”

    “The CAT will provide a single comprehensive view of U.S equities and listed options markets, as well as new tools to reconstruct market activity and maintain fair and orderly trading systems,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS. “To implement this important regulatory initiative, FINRA CAT chose AWS to deliver a highly scalable, robust, and secure system that will enable regulators to improve securities market analysis. We are collaborating to ensure that FINRA CAT can deliver an industry leading platform that provides accessibility and transparency of capital markets data to protect investors and the integrity of the financial market.”

    The contract is a huge win for the company, which is still smarting over its loss to Microsoft in the bid for the Pentagon contract. Amazon has maintained it only lost out on that deal due to interference from the White House, and that its platform is far superior to Microsoft Azure.

    Whether AWS is better or not depends more on the needs and requirements of any given project. But, at least for FINRA, AWS is the best choice to help oversee “100 billion market events per day.”

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