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Justin Llewellyn-Jones of Fidessa Talks ISVs, Regulation & Technology

Justin Llewellyn-Jones, chief operating officer of Fidessa, thinks globally and well, acts globally too. Llewellyn-Jones spoke with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf about how Fidessa is adapting to the new global marketplace and the demand for multi-asset class platforms and networks.

The firm opened new data centers in Chicago, where the firm opened a new office in recent months, another in Brazil to support its Latin American initiatives and India. Fidessa continues to see strong growth in the derivatives space. Fidessa, founded as an equities platform, expanded into the derivatives space eight years ago. With a team imported from the derivatives sector, Fidessa has been able to expand its derivatives products globally. Revenues from its derivatives technology have more than doubled and represented almost 3 percent of the company’s revenues last year, which also means it has much room to grow.

Llewellyn-Jones points out that more firms have access to global markets through the technology networks that have been built by exchanges and vendors and now want multi-asset class technology that can handle multiple markets across time zones. That means vendors such as Fidessa “have to have the scale within your ISV to offer that global reach,” he says. Now the demand for access to multiple exchanges, beyond the traditional top exchanges in the US, Europe and Asia, is pushing firms like Fidessa to offer more connectivity, as well as, more robust technology to handle global trading operations. And with the extension of FIX protocol technology across multiple asset classes such as OTC markets and other listed derivatives exchanges, Llewellyn-Jones believes it will “change the vendor space.”

Fidessa’s push into derivatives has generated some strong interest outside it traditional customer base. Last year, Fidessa signed 11 new deals with firms for its multi-asset class platform, including major deals with Newedge and Nomura, plus Citi in October 2011. It now has about 25,000 users globally on its technology.

Fidessa has generated about 25 percent compound growth since it went public in 1997, and is a FTSE 250 company. Last year, the firm posted operating profits of £42.4m, essentially flat from 2011 on revenues of £278.6 million.

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