It’s funny how quickly the world changes and how what didn’t exist yesterday becomes the standard for how we get things done today. Take apps as an example: not that long ago the concept of using an “app” would not have made sense to most people, but when we need something today, our first thought is to say, “There must be an app for that”. Just look at the world of travel — last week we had a team return from a conference in Miami, and the day before our return flight, we loaded our flight information into TripTracker, an app that provides real-time flight status and sends push notifications of itinerary changes. Sure, we could have checked the airline’s website every time we wanted an update and signed up for text message alerts, but TripTracker removed a few steps, streamlined the process, and ultimately saved us some time. While waiting for our flights to board and take off, we checked Twitter to skim headlines and read up on trending topics, which was faster and easier than perusing multiple websites. And after our flights landed, some of us used Uber to have a town car pick us up, rather than wait for a taxi, while others used Find My Car to lead us back to where we’d parked several days earlier, rather than devote memory to this. Of course we could get to and from the airport before these apps were developed, but now that we have them, we essentially have outsourced certain tasks and freed ourselves up to focus our time, energy, and attention where they are better spent. We agreed that these apps are game changers and time savers, and we prefer life with them to life without them.
This conclusion is apropos of an exciting development at Chatham, which we publicly unveiled last week: ChathamDirect, our own technology application! ChathamDirect is our web-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application for FX risk management, built in-house in a partnership between our software developers and risk management practitioners. The result is a user-friendly and intuitive combination of our models, technologies, tools, and insights that our clients can use to manage their FX exposure effectively.
The ChathamDirect portfolio serves as a risk management command center where you can confidently quantify, analyze, and manage your entire cash flow hedging and balance sheet hedging program through four key modules. Through our Exposure Management module, ChathamDirect offers a comprehensive view into risk, currencies, exposures, and trades with sophisticated, real-time analysis. ChathamDirect seamlessly integrates third-party trading platforms and automatically triggers hedge accounting and valuation in our Trade Execution module. Our Valuation module utilizes best-in-class Potential Future Exposure methodology to deliver comprehensive and accurate valuation reports. And last, but certainly not least, our Hedge Accounting module generates hedge designation memos, documentation, and journal entries, and performs effectiveness testing under FAS 133/ASC 815.
These modules operate independently and also work together. For example, you can analyze exposure management both with and without hedge accounting considerations. From modeling optimized hedging to automatically determining what exposures are eligible for hedge accounting, ChathamDirect operates transparently, rather than as a “black box”; and the risk management practitioners who helped develop the program are the very people who will answer the phone when you call for support and explanations!
Through ChathamDirect, we deliver the level of expertise that you’ve come to expect from Chatham, in an interface that you can use at your convenience. As treasury roles evolve, ChathamDirect can be a great tool for FX risk managers who take a hands-on approach to hedging but have reached the outer limits of what they can do with complex networks of Excel spreadsheets. It’s like the difference between using a GPS app and keeping a bunch of maps in your car: your optimal path forward evolves as you make decisions in real-time and the world around you changes. Technology is about taking back your time and attention, and with the launch of ChathamDirect, when it comes to FX risk management, there’s an app for that!