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Contineo Helps Wealth Management Soar with Microservices on AWS

2021

Contineo enables wealth managers to thrive under pressure through its cloud platform using AWS. The Contineo 2.0 next-generation platform delivers pricing discovery, order management, and post-trade services for structured financial products. The company uses Amazon EKS to support its microservices architecture, Amazon RDS for database services, and AWS Lambda functions for portfolio analysis.

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I can sleep at night because I know AWS is taking care of the smooth running of our infrastructure.”

Franck Lerat
Chief Technology Officer, Contineo

The Pressures of Managing Wealth

Wealth management is one of the most attractive and profitable sectors in financial services and proved resilient throughout 2020. However, wealth managers are working in an increasingly pressurized industry as new firms enter the market, client expectations rise, and regulatory burdens grow. 

Contineo, with offices in Hong Kong and Paris, is helping wealth managers thrive despite these pressures through its next-generation platform for pricing discovery, order management, and post-trade services for structured products. These products are prepackaged investments generally tied to an index or basket of financial instruments and sold by investment banks. 

In the past, wealth managers communicated with banks using phone, email, or face-to-face meetings to obtain prices for a structured product. And managers would regularly approach 10–15 banks before determining the best price. “It was time-consuming and inefficient,” says Franck Lerat, chief technology officer at Contineo, “Plus, it was challenging to keep correspondence records for financial regulators.”

Contineo 2.0 on the Cloud

With Contineo, wealth managers gain instant access to all the pricing information they require from multiple banks through a single interface. It also enabled customers to execute orders and generate reports for regulatory authorities. When Contineo launched in 2015, its platform ran on premises. To adapt to the constant volume growth, the company decided to migrate to the cloud with the release of Contineo 2.0 in 2020. It rebuilt Contineo 2.0 as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, moving from a monolithic environment to a flexible microservices architecture. 

With Contineo 2.0 on the cloud, customers would avoid any client-side deployment and could easily integrate the platform’s data with their own systems via standard application programming interfaces (APIs). The only remaining question was which cloud provider to work with, though Lerat seemed clear, “We didn’t think there is any provider with the same reach and quality of services as Amazon Web Services [AWS].” 

In addition, according to Lerat, AWS understood the security and regulatory requirements that financial services organizations need to comply with. “AWS has achieved several internationally recognized certifications and accreditations to highlight its strong security posture. AWS Availability Zones and disaster recovery built into AWS services were also key for us,” he comments. Moreover, the availability of local AWS talent, particularly in Hong Kong, ensured that Contineo could easily form an IT team to get its cloud migration plan off the ground.

Establishing a Highly Secure Infrastructure

Contineo’s IT team containerized the Contineo 2.0 application, with Kubernetes managing the Java-based microservices containers. It relies on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to ensure high availability and security of the Kubernetes clusters by automating key tasks such as patching and node provisioning. Tze Tuo Cheung Vivas, DevOps engineer at Contineo, says, “Because Amazon EKS is a managed service, it helps us a lot with the maintenance of the clusters and allows us to focus on development.” 

The company is also using Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). “The cross-region replication with Amazon RDS was huge for us because it removed another aspect that we’d have to manage ourselves while maintaining database availability at all times,” says Cheung Vivas. For compliance and security, Contineo takes advantage of Amazon CloudWatch to monitor resources and applications, and it is planning to incorporate Amazon GuardDuty to continuously monitor for malicious activity and unauthorized behavior.

Handles More Than 200,000 Pricing Quotes a Day

Wealth managers primarily use the price discovery service in Contineo 2.0 to gather price information on the investment banks’ structured products—requesting more than 200,000 pricing quotes a day on average. Each day, they also need to perform calculations that ensure their strategies align with the best execution requirements. Contineo 2.0 uses AWS Lambda functions to deliver this capability. “With AWS Lambda, we can easily deploy and scale in line with the number of calculations, while avoiding the cost of maintaining any infrastructure,” says Lerat.

Lowers Cost and Provisioning Time

While Contineo 2.0 has increased volumes drastically and added many services such as analytics and lifecycle management of portfolios, IT costs have fallen. Cheung Vivas explains, “We don’t have to provision IT upfront, refresh our technology, and sell our legacy hardware if we have new requirements.” 

Furthermore, the platform requires fewer IT resources thanks to managed services from AWS. IT provisioning time has decreased from days and weeks to hours as a result of the cloud migration. “I can sleep at night because I know AWS is taking care of the smooth running of our infrastructure. Just as importantly, we’ve seen zero outage and there is no longer stability risk, regular mandatory maintenance, or hygiene tasks to complete,” comments Lerat. He loves the “predictability” of AWS in terms of its availability and cost, making it easier for the company to enter a new phase of growth knowing it can meet both customer requirements and budget controls.

Supports a Twofold Increase in Business

Wealth management is booming again post-2020, and Contineo expects the volume of business across its platform to more than double as wealth managers take advantage of its services to retain and attract clients. With AWS, Contineo 2.0 has the scalable performance to ensure wealth managers gain batches of product prices in seconds, no matter the number of quote requests, as well as the market intelligence to remain at the top of their game. Lerat concludes, “Choosing AWS has been a strategic move for us because we have no issues expanding the business. We just dynamically add more resources as we need them—it’s that simple.”

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/cloud-migration.


About Contineo

Contineo provides a cloud-based platform for structured products that offers market intelligence and post-trade services. Aimed at wealth managers, the Contineo 2.0 platform delivers multi-issuer pricing, execution, and reporting.

Benefits of AWS

  • Scalable performance for more than 200,000 pricing quotes a day 
  • Greater agility with provisioning in hours 
  • Built-in security to help ensure financial services compliance 
  • Higher capacity supports more than twice the business volume 
  • Lower cost despite greater resource usage 
  • High reliability with no platform outages 
  • Easy integration through standard APIs

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.

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Amazon Relational Database Service

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while automating time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching and backups.

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Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and IT managers. CloudWatch provides you with data and actionable insights to monitor your applications, respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and get a unified view of operational health.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes. With Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service - all with zero administration.

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