OpenFin CEO Mazy Dar Talks Fintech – From Apps and Smart Phones to Cloud Adoption

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

JLN interviewed Mazy Dar, the CEO of OpenFin, at FIA Boca 2022 about the influence of apps in the future of work, the move toward fewer screens for work from home, and acquisitions. 

“It’s incredibly exciting nowadays, particularly when people are thinking about the future of work. It’s all about bringing that same delightful experience, simplicity, ease of use, to the apps that we use at work. And, there’s just a lot of focus on that today,” Dar said. “We ran a survey over the last several weeks that talked about how employees will switch jobs if they know that the firm they’re going to has apps that are better for their own employee experience. It’s becoming incredibly important for talent retention.”

Dar has a successful background in finance that began in 1997 at SPC Warburg UBS and then expanded into credit derivatives at Creditex Group, which was sold to ICE in 2008. These positions showed him the problems evident in the legacy technology used by traders and other financial professionals. As a result, he co-founded OpenFin.

 Against the backdrop of the seamless smart phone experience, financial technology was lacking. Applications do not easily talk with each other and workflow is not integrated.  “It means that you as the end user are the integration layer,” he said.

That creates operational risk as users are forced to key information from one app to another. It slows things down and creates security issues. “So what we’re doing at OpenFin is providing the same kind of infrastructure that’s there for the mobile consumer space, the kind of infrastructure Apple and Google provide for the mobile consumer space. We’re providing that for the financial industry,” Dar said.

Apps for OpenFin are written in HTML5. “If it runs in Google Chrome, it’ll run on OpenFin unmodified,” Dar said. OpenFin customers distribute apps through their app stores.

An early successful app for OpenFin is Trumid. “Years ago, they used OpenFin to deploy to about 150 to 200 buy-side customers in about two weeks, which according to their CTO would have taken more than a year prior to being able to use something like OpenFin,” Dar said.

OpenFin is now being used by many large global banks. “Our software’s deployed to more than 2,400 banks and buy-side firms. Our investors include many of the largest banks, including JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered. There are over 3,500 apps now running on OpenFin,” Dar said. The OS is now breaking through to buy-side firms and other markets where customers want to revamp the employee experience, so it can be found in front offices, HR and other departments, he added.

Banks and buy-side firms also want to integrate Bloomberg, Microsoft Excel, and platforms like Salesforce, among others. Enabling those integrations has been an increasing focus for OpenFin.

Financial professionals are increasingly looking for good alternatives to their workplace desktop experience, which includes working on four to six monitors, and alternatives that include mobile and work from home. “People want that same experience that we’re providing on desktop on mobile devices, usually starting with a tablet. And what they want is to be able to build an app once and have it run everywhere – desktop, phone, tablet,” Dar said. “That’s a big focus for us.”

Work from home meant that financial professionals were working with half the monitors they had at work. “So how do they synthesize all the same information with that much less screen real estate?” Dar asked.  OpenFin allows data to be displayed and come to the front when it’s relevant in context. Banks and other firms enjoyed that functionality.  

Dar said the covid pandemic accelerated the story around cloud adoption. OpenFin’s front end is usually backed operationally by apps found in the cloud or in private data centers. The pandemic “definitely accelerated the journey to the cloud for a lot of our major customers,” Dar said.

He said he doesn’t know whether OpenFin will be acquired by another firm or will acquire another firm in its next move. “For me, as long as I’m having fun doing it, I have a huge amount of energy and zero interest in stopping … I’m super excited to find out.”

How Xi Jinping is taking control of China’s stock market

How Xi Jinping is taking control of China’s stock market

First Read Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff In a keynote address at the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) General Annual Meeting in Bermuda, CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson delivered a thought-provoking speech highlighting the challenges and...

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread

Todays  Options Newsletter

Now Read This

Exploring Term CORRA: An Interview with Michelle Tran, President of TMX Datalinx

Exploring Term CORRA: An Interview with Michelle Tran, President of TMX Datalinx

In a recent interview with Michelle Tran, president of TMX Datalinx, John Lothian News delved into the world of Term CORRA and its potential impact on the financial markets.

Term CORRA, which stands for Canadian Overnight Repo Rate Average, has garnered significant attention in the financial industry due to its potential to reshape the landscape of Canadian interest rate benchmarks.

Tran began by sharing insights into the implications of the launch of Term CORRA for TMX/MX, the Toronto-based stock exchange operator. She highlighted the importance of this benchmark in enhancing transparency and accuracy in the Canadian financial markets. Term CORRA is set to provide market participants with a reliable tool for risk management and pricing across various financial products.

FIA EXPO 2023 to Spotlight Artificial Intelligence

FIA EXPO 2023 to Spotlight Artificial Intelligence

Walt Lukken, President & CEO of FIA (Futures Industry Association), revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) will take center stage at this year’s EXPO 2023 in an exclusive interview with John Lothian News. The Innovator’s Pavilion will showcase companies offering AI solutions aimed at enhancing market efficiency and functionality. Additionally, AI will be a prominent theme in panel discussions during the event.

Lukken highlighted the overwhelming interest in AI, stating that it was the most sought-after topic among queries sent to the EXPO steering committee before the event.

This year’s EXPO will commence on a Monday, a departure from previous years, with keynote speaker Jon Meacham addressing the audience. Meacham’s speech will delve into how history may assess the leadership qualities of today’s U.S. leaders, as Lukken explained.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story