Forefront Communications

Episode 54: Technology Sunsets – Challenges and Opportunities featuring Jeffrey Estella

Welcome to the latest episode of At the Forefront: Fintech Conversations!

To learn more about this podcast and explore our episode archive, click here.

In this episode, Estella LLC Founder and Principal Jeff Estella returns to the podcast to discuss challenges and opportunities surrounding technology sunsets and forced migrations with Forefront VP and Head of Content Sam Belden.  

The conversation opens with Jeff and Sam discussing the London Stock Exchange Group’s decision to sunset its REDI execution management system (EMS) in favor of its TORA EMS. Jeff describes his personal experience as a former REDI user and offers his perspective on how the sunset will progress in the months ahead.

Next, Jeff and Sam discuss other examples of forced migrations (from Y2K to the REIT market) and the different factors that may influence a company to sunset its technology. Jeff offers that sunsetting can be viewed from two different perspectives: it can disrupt existing workflows, but it can also create opportunities to reassess the landscape of providers and find a better solution.

Jeff and Sam then examine how firms can best adjust when faced with an unexpected sunsetting or forced migration event. Jeff stresses the importance of staying nimble and maintaining the ability to pivot and reprioritize as needed. Firms should also consider how the sunset will impact their broader technology stack and any integrations with upstream or downstream systems, as well as human capital and resources. Lastly, firms should keep an open mind. Depending on the specifics, it could make sense to accept an alternative from the existing provider, adopt an entirely solution or build in-house. 

Shifting gears, Sam and Jeff discuss the technology provider perspective and the factors these firms may take into account when deciding whether to sunset one of their systems. Jeff highlights profitability concerns and lack of product demand as common drivers – some vendors have even used the term “sunset” as a strategic way to debut a competing product. These firms may also use sunsetting as an opportunity to adapt to client demands or refine their pricing models.

Jeff also offers advice for those looking to guard against surprises and prepare for unexpected technology sunsets: conduct an inventory of all your firm’s tech providers, categorize them by business criticality, leverage your legal department to fully understand the associated contracts and keep a close watch over the vendor landscape, working with third parties to source intelligence as needed.

To close the conversation, Jeff highlights Estella LLC’s Expert Witness services, which usually entail working on behalf of financial services clients to help courts understand complex industry topics during legal proceedings. Examples of litigation topics can include securities lending, meme stock class action, best execution matters and intellectual property disputes, among others, and can involve parties from technology vendors to asset managers to exchanges to retail clients and beyond. Deliverables can include formulating complaints of statements of claim, reviewing discovery documents, drafting expert reports and providing deposition testimony. 

If you’d like to learn more about Estella LLC’s consulting services, including the Expert Witness offering, you can do so here.

See below for a breakdown of what was discussed. Happy listening!


1:45 – LSEG’s REDI sunset and how it could play out in the months ahead

3:27 – Other notable technology sunsets

7:40 – Primary challenges for clients

10:45 – Key considerations for vendors

13:00 – How consumers of technology can guard against surprise technology sunsets

15:25 – Estella LLC’s Expert Witness services

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