ITUNES FOR FX (courtesy of the TABB Group)

iTunes for FX
At the top of foreign exchange traders’ wish list is a trading system with a clean, intuitive interface that can simplify and streamline their workflow and help them execute their strategies.
I’ve been talking to lots of FX traders recently, asking what was top on their wish lists for FX. Most of the answers fell into one of a few categories: “Better liquidity, particularly on broken date rolls”; “easier connectivity”; “real straight-through processing”; and the like. But the one that really made me think was: “iTunes for FX.”

“Why iTunes?” I asked.

The trader’s answer was logical and far-reaching: “If there were an FX trading system that worked half as well as iTunes, it would rule the world,” he answered.

“Just think about the iTunes process,” he continued. “You can take any CD you have, rip it into iTunes and, once it’s digital, you can manage it much more efficiently. Second, I can access just about any music I want at a reasonable price through the iTunes store. Do you have any idea how hard it is to integrate into any one of the OMSs, EMSs or ECNs? It takes weeks or months, and most are clunky.”

He added, “But what I really like about iTunes is the ability to make playlists. All I have to do is spend a little set up time—very little, actually—and I can store music for whatever purpose I want—workouts, parties, etc.”

“And how does that relate to FX?” I asked.

“Don’t you see? Eighty-five percent of what I do in FX is pretty routine, and I have standard strategies. If I’m looking to hedge a new trade, I’ll always look to hedge to the same roll date that month with all my other trades in that currency. I can net more efficiently and it’s easier to keep track that way. If I receive an order from the equities desk for a large spot trade and it’s before 11am, I’ll just give it to a dealer to execute flat vs. the WM mid. And so on. I wish I could just hit a playlist for ‘do all my rolls,’ spread it around my top five to eight dealers, and have everything taken care of according to rules I set up.”

“How hard is it for you to do now?”

“Well, it’s a major pain in FX. No one has an adequate rules engine that can integrate all my internal communications. If I want things a certain way, now I have to beg my OMS or EMS provider to make a change, or I have to program macros myself and patch stuff together. In iTunes it is easy to make a playlist. In fact, there’s even a ‘Genius’ mode in which the software can make playlists for you based on what’s in your library and what others have done.”

“But you just said that playlists—or rather, pre-formatted work routines—would be good for 80% of what you do. What about the other 20%?” I asked.

“I don’t have to reduce everything to simple rules, but I’d be thrilled if I could spend my effort on just the difficult stuff. In iTunes, if I want to deviate from the playlist and go manual, I still can access anything in my library, on any device. It is all available on my desktop, my laptop, my phone and my iPad, anywhere I am, because it’s all synched in the cloud. I can switch from playlists to any other mode in one click. In FX, I once counted and it took me 17 mouse clicks just to get a single trade done – and I am generally doing 50 to100 trades a day. Just give me iTunes in FX.”

“OK, I get it. But that still implies you know just what to go for in your library at any time. How do you learn anything new according to your analogy?”

“Well, you don’t really. But you can do all the old stuff better.”

“So what you’re saying is, what you really need is iTunes with Pandora.”

That threw the trader for a loop. “I don’t know Pandora; what’s that?” he asked me.

“Pandora is essentially where you teach the machine what you like. You start it with a theme—say, music by an artist. Then, based on that information, it picks similar music based on an analysis of what others like. So if you pick a blues artist, like B.B. King, it will play you a B.B. King song and then another similar blues tune by someone else, which you either give a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Based on that feedback, it gives you another song, which you grade, then another and another. After a while it improves from a 65% hit ratio up into the 90+% range, constantly expanding your repertoire with new artists you didn’t know before. And if a song comes up that you don’t like, you give it the thumbs down, and Pandora immediately cuts out that song and replaces it, and the process starts again,” I explained.

“Now that would be cool,” he responded. “Give me iTunes for FX plus Pandora!”

And that’s what we’re creating now at BuysideFX. Like an Apple product: beautiful design, deep but intuitive feature sets, with feedback loops that make it better and better with every trade. Stay tuned … and if you have features you’ve identified to make FX trading simpler and better, give us a call and let’s discuss it.

Almont Capital deploys Deltix’s automated FX trading solution

New York – Almont Capital has started production trading on Deltix’s automated FX trading solution QuantServer, deployed in the Equinix NY4 data centre. Using QuantServer, Almont’s automated FX trading strategies are executed on CitiFX’s TradeStream aggregated FX liquidity feed.

via Pocket July 20, 2013 at 03:44PM

Knight-Getco outlines European bond blueprint as KGC Holdings

Knight-Getco outlines European bond blueprint

One of the most senior European executives at the new trading company formed by the merger of Getco and Knight Capital has said the group is aiming to play an “important and strong” role in fixed-income markets, as they undergo an equity-like transformation.

Knight-Getco outlines European bond blueprint

The two firms today formally began operations under a new listed company called KCG Holdings, which in one sweep has become one of the world’s largest broking and electronic marketmaking firms.

Albert Maasland, formerly head of Knight Capital’s international business, and now KCG’s London-based global head of execution services and venues, said the combined group had bold plans for Knight’s Bondpoint platform.

Speaking to Financial News, Maasland said: “We expect to play an important and strong role in the electronification of fixed-income markets. Bondpoint has strong penetration in the US, and we’re already seeing customers, private banks and retail brokers use the platform here.”

Fixed-income instruments are less liquid than equities, so investment banks have traditionally taken these securities being sold in the market onto their books until they could find a buyer. However, regulatory pressure has made it prohibitively costly for them to fulfil this role, while the G20’s reform agenda is promoting greater electronic trading and central clearing.


According to the latest New York Federal Reserve data, dealer holdings of corporate bonds have shrunk to a fraction of their previous size over the past five years. That has led to concerns of liquidity crunch, resulting in several banks and asset managers, such as Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and Detusche Bank, attempting to build electronic bond platforms. While many of these ventures have struggled to build liquidity, Maasland said that KCG’s independent status was a factor that could work in its favour.

He said: “I think we’re going to see a pulling together of a number of platforms in the fixed-income space, and we want to play a strong part in that process.”

The comments come a day after Getco ̶ a high-frequency trading and electronic marketmaking firm based in Chicago ̶ and New Jersey-based broker Knight closed a $1.8bn merger deal. The deal was first struck in December, about five months after Knight suffered a $461m loss as the result of a trading error, with Getco one of five firms that came to the broker’s rescue.

Maasland is one of KCG’s 12-person global management team and reports to Daniel Coleman, Getco’s former chief executive who will take up that role at KCG.


As well as the group’s voice-driven institutional trading businesses, Maasland will oversee Bondpoint, its FX platform Hotspot, the KnightMatch equities platform, and Getco’s equities venues in the US and Europe, GetMatched.

Despite speculation that some of these platforms would be sold off, Maasland said “we like these businesses, they make sense, and they support our premise of helping firms to access liquidity efficiently across asset classes and across geographies”.

The new group will have just under 200 people working in Europe, Maasland said. He declined to comment on cost-cutting plans. In previous regulatory filings in the US KCG said it expects that combining electronic trading systems will save it up to $110m over three years.

Following a difficult first quarter for both companies – Knight reported a $9.4m loss, while Getco lost $9.3m – Maasland was optimistic for the year ahead.


He said: “It is a really, really tough market at the moment and there is excess capacity. But we bring a unique proposition created by two specialist firms: Knight’s client-centred approach and Getco’s technological expertise. Clients will get best of both worlds”.

EquaMetrics claims to eliminate coding from algo trading with launch of RIZM

EquaMetrics claims to eliminate coding from algo trading with launch of RIZM–launch-of-rizm

Cloud-based platform with intuitive algobuilder claims to reduce complexity and cost of algo trading for individual traders

New York – EquaMetrics has launched RIZM, a visual programming tool which it says can enable traders who have no prior knowledge of programming, coding or high-level mathematics, to build, to test and deploy complex algo trading strategies. EquaMetrics has spent the past two years developing RIZM and has raised $3.25 million from private angel investors to date.

Offered on a monthly subscription basis RIZM will initially support equities, futures and FX trading, with live trading connections to Interactive Brokers and Forex Capital Markets (FXCM). EquaMetrics plans to add options and fixed income trading, along with live connections to all mainstream retail and institutional brokers.

“We are putting powerful institutional tools into mainstream traders’ hands with the launch of RIZM,” said Amr Mohamed, EquaMetrics’ CIO. “Algorithmic trading has long been the domain of only large companies that have the resources for software engineers to build and execute on every trading strategy. We created RIZM to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that will provide anyone – active professional as well as non-professional traders – access to a cloud-based platform for building, back testing, simulating and executing algorithmic trading strategies. I have no doubt that within two years’ time, every trader will be running automated trading strategies.”

Traiana, the leading provider of post-trade solutions, announces it is to launch direct connectivity between Traiana’s Harmony CCP Connect and LCH.Clearnet Ltd’s

New York/London, 20 June 2013 – Traiana, the leading provider of post-trade solutions, announces it is to launch direct connectivity between Traiana’s Harmony CCP Connect and LCH.Clearnet Ltd’s (LCH.

via Pocket June 20, 2013 at 06:42PM

FastMatch Launches Matching Engine in Equinix LD4 Data Center in London

FastMatch Launches Matching Engine in Equinix LD4 Data Center in London

Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, together with FastMatch, an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) for foreign exchange trading, today announced the launch of a new ECN matching engine in Equinix’s London Slough International Business Exchange (IBX) data center campus.

FastMatch currently operates its FX Spot and metals ECN matching engine from the Equinix NY4 data center in New York. The additional matching engine in London will offer FastMatch clients in the European region access to real-time transparent quotes and trade information, as well as complete redundancy to the platform.

As trading markets become more interrelated, investors are seeking local access to a wider range of asset classes and instruments in order to effectively manage risk in an increasingly complex and competitive environment. By deploying among the growing financial ecosystem inside Equinix, FastMatch makes its systems directly accessible alongside a wide range of other venues, data providers and financial institutions, allowing investors greater choice and flexibility.

FastMatch clients can trade across an array of unique liquidity sub-pools each governed by its own distinct rules of trading. FastMatch also enables institutional clients to easily transact large sizes with minimum market impact by using order types like hidden pegged to midpoint, reserve and minimum quantity.

The FastMatch ECN is based on technology that underpins the world’s largest equities crossing system, the Credit Suisse Crossfinder matching engine, which has been re-tooled and tailored to meet the needs of global foreign exchange markets.

FastMatch launched in the summer of 2012 and is a joint venture of FXCM, Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG, later adding Bank of New York Mellon as a third backer in 2013. The company strives to offer its customers access to large pools of diversified liquidity at unparalleled speed with complete transparency in an optimal location.

Dmitri Galinov, CEO, FastMatch: “London is an FX trading capital of the world, yet traders in Europe currently have no access to real-time quotations or trades from any major FX ECN. The prices are either intentionally delayed or coming from the United States. We are excited to deliver real-time transparency to this previously underserved region.”

Stewart Orrell, managing director, Global Capital Markets, Equinix: “As the Equinix financial ecosystem continues to globalize, we’re seeing more trading venues deploy multiple storefronts in various cities to extend their ability to reach market participants around the world. With the launch of its matching service in the Slough campus, FastMatch is certainly on the right track to gain a competitive edge in today’s global marketplace.”


UK’s Fastest Growing International FX & Payments Business Acquires Bank’s FX Arm

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM–(Marketwired – June 18, 2013) – Cambridge Mercantile Group, the UK’s fastest growing international FX and payments business(1) , is to acquire the FX division of Raphaels Bank.

via Pocket June 18, 2013 at 09:46PM

TMX Atrium upgrades connectivity to Knight Hotspot FX

TMX Atrium upgrades connectivity to Knight Hotspot FX


In response to increasing demand from TMX Atrium FX community


LONDON, 18 June,  2013 – TMX Atrium, provider of smarter infrastructure solutions for the financial community, today announced that it has upgraded its connectivity to Knight Hotspot FX, in response to client demand. 


Since 2010, TMX Atrium has provided low latency connectivity to Knight Hotspot FX, one of the original Forex ECNs (electronic communications networks).  Connectivity to Hotspot is from the TMX Atrium hub at New York 4 and enables Hotspot participants to communicate and trade with TMX Atrium’s ever-growing number of buy and sell side participants trading across the full range of asset classes. 

Emmanuel Carjat, Managing Director, TMX Atrium, said, “We are delighted to further our relationship with Knight Hotspot FX.  Our network has been designed to scale with the growing demands of FX trading.  This capability complements the steady increase in demand for access to FX trading locations such as Hotspot.  Extending partnerships with firms such as Hotspot ensures that we continue to offer our clients a wide range of choice of trading venues.” 


John Miesner, Managing Director and Head of Global Sales, Knight Hotspot FX, added, “As demand for our FX capabilities increases we are confident that TMX Atrium provides the necessary bandwidth both now and in the future as FX volumes grow rapidly.  TMX Atrium’s infrastructure upgrades enable clients utilizing their services to access Knight Hotspot FX from North America, Europe and Russia and take advantage of our full range of products and services.”


Pole Position in the New Swaps Market :: TabbFORUM – Where Capital Markets Speak

Pole Position in the New Swaps Market :: TabbFORUM – Where Capital Markets Speak.

Charles River partners with 360T

Charles River partners with 360T

First Published 5th June 2013

Charles River IMS to integrate 360T electronic quotes & execution into FX trading solution

Tom Driscoll, global managing director, Charles River

Tom Driscoll, global managing director, Charles River

“Adding sophisticated electronic quote and trading workflows for FX reduces the number of execution tools our clients need.”

Boston/Frankfurt am Main – Charles River has introduced electronic quotes and execution for foreign exchange in the Charles River Investment Management Solution.

Offered in partnership with 360 Treasury Systems, a provider of web-based trading technologies for OTC financial instruments, the solution is now in beta and scheduled for general availability in Version 9.2. Clients will be able to receive real-time quotes and execute trades from Charles River IMS directly to more than 100 FX dealers and regional banks connected to 360T’s liquidity hub.

“Adding sophisticated electronic quote and trading workflows for FX reduces the number of execution tools our clients need, ensures accuracy for audit and compliance purposes, and meets regulatory demands for transparency,” said Tom Driscoll, global managing director, Charles River. “We will continue to offer clients additional trading solutions from FX providers, like 360T, that enhance liquidity, increase speed, and improve efficiency.”

“Regulations and workflow are re-shaping the multibank FX execution marketplace, fueling client demand for transparency and their need to lower costs and risk,” said Carlo Kölzer, Founder and CEO, 360T. “Integrating 360T’s award-winning, multibank pricing and technology in Charles River IMS, from order initiation to execution and confirmation, will help asset managers address new trading requirements, and create execution reports and TCA for OTC derivatives, including swaps, spot and NDF forward instruments.”


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