SRP has got a sleek new look to reflect its values, modernise the business and distinguish its position in the market as a trusted source for structured products intelligence as it journeys into its third decade.

You’ll have noticed the changes. But before I elaborate on them, I think it’s worth looking back at SRP’s history – its reasons for doing what it does, and the twists and turns it has encountered along the way in its ambition to be a market reference.

The culture at our Highgate eyrie was questing, and also thoughtful, zeal tempered by our founder’s humanity and by the comradeship of a joint mission with the industry we served - Kim Hunter

When launched its first database of 1,100+ UK structured retail products in January 2003, the accompanying logo was a green tree in a desert landscape. It was a fitting symbol of our tiny group’s endeavours. We had been brought together by Robert Benson, creator while at HSBC of the UK’s first retail structured product, who had been so frustrated by his search for market intelligence that he left the City to provide it himself.

The culture at our Highgate eyrie was questing, and also thoughtful, zeal tempered by our founder’s humanity and by the comradeship of a joint mission with the industry we served.

We grizzled occasionally, as employees do. We wanted a punchier look. We wondered, ‘Why can’t we automate this, integrate those, expand into that, add on the other? Can we have a pricing service?’ But one of Rob’s gifts was knowing the right time to launch a new service or feature. These developed organically, as the market became large and sophisticated enough to support them. The next few years would see the UK’s relatively high (15% pa) growth rate matched on the North American and Asian continents. Membership organisations emerged to align goals and standards, and in July 2007 a cross-border group of industry bodies created guidelines covering provider-distributor relationships. The news was lost amid fallout from the failure of two Bear Stearns Structured Credit hedge funds and the subsequent announcement of sub-prime losses that froze the global lending system.

When Lehman collapsed the following autumn, SRP was able to tell its subscribers how many Lehman products were registered (315 in Europe, most of them live, with an estimated volume of €2.9bn), and how many notes referenced Lehman as an underlying (19 notes for $49.6m, seven live), based on what payoff profiles (two of the highest-selling were reverse convertibles with 50% soft protection). The editorial team contextualised the numbers and helped guide its reader community through the era of scrutiny (consolidation, exits, low interest rates) that followed.

Meanwhile, web-based technology was advancing rapidly. It enabled SRP to initiate a dashboard-based interface so users could personalise their data and news collection. There was now a disciplined focus on how services were delivered as well as on developing analytical capabilities.

Intelligence was no longer gleaned in a parched landscape. SRP’s green tree rounded out, more a tree of life than a desert survivor. It took on other colours as SRP’s expanded its events which now cover Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas and thought leadership position with a dedicated news and content service to provide further market intelligence, and new analytical tools like StructrPro to deliver deeper insight and reach across the globe.

As SRP enters the next phase, it has a fitting new look. The new emblem is green, you may have noticed, in reference to SRP’s history, but a bolder, more confident green to match its leadership position and the confidence of the wider industry it connects and leads. That industry is all grown up now. US sales alone now hover around the US$100 billion a year mark.

The emblem is also dynamic – a digital helix – in shape. It represents the different perspectives from a macro view, payoff structure - upside participation and downward protection - that structured products offer.

That seems fitting for a service turned twenty that has led its subscribers through scandal and banking collapse, regulatory twists and challenging macroeconomics, and used every turn in the road to sharpen its offering and keep connecting industry professionals across globe.

Congratulations SRP on your smart new look. Here’s to the next twenty years.

Guest blog by Kim Hunter, a former editor at SRP.