Origin and the Year of the Pig

新年快乐

Happy New Year to you all.

This week has been a time for new beginnings in Asia as China welcomed the twelfth and last Zodiac animal in the Chinese lunar calendar, the Pig. In Chinese culture, the pig represents wealth and treasure, such is their importance to ancient agrarian society, and people born during a Year of the Pig are disciplined and hard-working, focused and optimistic.

The pig’s characteristics are a good example for us at Origin to follow throughout the next year. We’ve much to do, so we must be disciplined and focused, but if we work hard and plug away, this time next year, when we welcome in the Year of the Rat, we may have been lucky enough to have reaped a small amount of treasure, especially if our Asian pursuits go to plan.

The Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days, with each day set aside for different traditions. Small presents are exchanged and red packets containing money are given to younger generations. A sixth of the world’s population observe the festivities, with over a billion people returning to their homes as part of one of the world’s largest human migrations. It’s also the celebration that uses the most fireworks in the world!

The fifteenth and final day is called the Lantern Festival, celebrated with the release of lanterns to symbolise letting go of the past and looking forward to a fresh start. New Year celebrations are also referred to as 春节, or the Spring Festival, which, whilst still feeling extremely wintry in Beijing, is the start of the end of the coldest days of the year. Renewal is a theme throughout.

It’s a time for new beginnings for us at Origin too, notably in the East. Over recent months, we have been working to arrange the opening of our Hong Kong office and doing our best to make as much progress in the region as possible. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the impact that our opening has had so far and we’re cautiously optimistic about its prospects.

We welcomed Per Nordstrom into the team in September, and he has set about establishing our presence in Hong Kong with gusto. We’ve already achieved strong traction in Asia, with three Asian issuers (Chinese banks) signed up to our offering, with many prospects in the pipeline. Per is building the relationships that should drive our growth in Asia through 2019 and beyond.

London will always be our home, but the opportunities we’re creating in the Asian market are exciting. They give us the sense that the Origin platform could become a truly global product, offering solutions to the fixed income market worldwide. We know that we must develop and expand slowly, but the early signs are positive.

Our early success Hong Kong gives me strong reason to think that by the end of 2019, Asia will be just as significant to the Origin community as Europe. Sound ambitious? It’s meant to, but if we focus and work hard – (and rack up a few air miles!) – I believe we can create a sustainable presence in Asia over the coming 12 months that will last for many years to come.

Over the coming months, the Origin product suite will also undergo an upgrade as we release our term sheet generator, which is being built and adapted to suit the fast-growing Asian CD market. In this sector, a full suite of documents still needs to be manually produced. Our solution automates everything and we hope its deployment will further drive our growth in the region.

So, as our footprint grows, our product continues to be optimised as we seek to deliver focused solutions to users all over the world. This focus guides what we do. We’re not going to launch in a market with zero demand. Nor are we going to build features that aren’t required. We go where the demand is – because we know that that’s where we will find the long term growth that will, hopefully, lead us, as symbolised by our friend the pig, towards a little treasure.

With that optimistic thought in our minds, all the team at Origin wish you all great happiness and prosperity throughout the coming year!

恭喜發財