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HelioGraph is a company you'd think is based in New York City someplace--say, with a big office just off Wall Street. That's because every IT officer involved in the financial services industry either is using the company's products or knows someone who's using them.

In fact, though, HelioGraph is a British firm that only this year opened a U.S. office.

"Well," says Amery Thomas, HelioGraph's CEO, "at least it's comforting to know that people think we're already there."

The confusion comes from the fact that HelioGraph's customers are usually multinational banks or similar money movers. Such companies' networks tend to be international. So Heliograph's products get purchased in London and deployed everywhere from Paris to Peking.

Specifically, the company provides a messaging solution that enables the formatting, translation and routing of financial data. In effect, it's MOM combined with messaging and optimized for financial transactions. It provides straight-through processing (STP) and supports the ISO 15022 message standards. It also gives its customers message libraries, including SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) and FIX (Financial Information eXchange).

"The company's main founders were a collection of people who worked at an IT software developer," notes Thomas. "They were pretty senior people, and their company was really the founder of middleware in the financial market."

Around 1994, he says, the founders decided that the financial services market was so complex that a company couldn't divide its attention between that market and others. The result was HelioGraph in its present form. (The company's name, by the way, comes from an apparatus that transmits the sun's rays using mirrors.)

HelioGraph's products are not necessarily themselves middleware. Rather, says Thomas, they are specialized solutions and components that ride on top of other middleware platforms.

"What we did was build our components on top of a message server layer," he says. "That layer could be MQSeries, or it could MSMQ, or it could be whatever."

One of the company's products is Helio TradeFlow, an STP platform that deals with post-trade processes. That is, upon completion of a transaction (say, the sale of a bond or stock), TradeFlow integrates with trade order management systems, portfolio management packages and links to brokers.


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