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Category Archives: Tech / HFT

Technology and high-frequency trading updates from John Lothian News.

D is for Data: FinTech Exchange Standard

The sold-out FinTech Exchange conference, hosted by Barchart, was largely about data – what to do with data, how exchanges are capturing new data and how to trade it. That, on its surface, isn’t particularly new. But the infrastructure to capture all kinds of data is now developed. The CME Group’s Julie Armstrong Menacho colorfully outlined how the exchange has migrated all of its historical data onto the cloud, giving customers greater access to it, along with a growing list of partners who provide alternative data sets like satellite images of oil storage facilities or social media sentiment. CBOE’s Catherine…

A Difference Maker: Post-trade Clearing Tech Now a Differentiator For Firms Standard

If today’s markets are traded in milliseconds, why can’t post-trade clearing keep up? ION is addressing that with its XTP clearing solution, a near real-time system it has quietly been rolling out since 2015. Last year the product was adopted by a handful of firms. And this year, ION is hoping to see a larger migration of customers to the new platform, which is considered a major upgrade to its Rolfe & Nolan system. It took ION four years to build the system, creating it on top of ION’s core trading technology. The low-profile firm is stepping out a bit…

CloudMargin gains traction: Remote processing and storage is here to stay in financial services Standard

 There is no more room for doubting the cloud. Regulators have become acclimated to the concept of remote processing power and clients have been reassured as to its safety. Now the value proposition is laid bare and the current rate of adoption appears to be entering exponential mode. For 3-year-old collateral management firm CloudMargin — whose offering handles margin requirements across multiple counterparties for multiple asset classes —  the embrace of cloud technology helped it grow its client base by 50 percent so far in 2017 to more than 30 asset managers, insurance agencies, banks and brokers, utilizing a network…

Justin Schack, Rosenblatt Securities – Making Modern Market Structure Standard

“The whole point of Reg NMS was to deal with the 10 years of change that had already happened — that of course made things even more complex. And there are things about Regulation NMS that we’re dealing with today that some people find problematic. But it is not a new thing and it’s just another block in what I like to call the Jenga tower of market structure.” It always pays to have an understanding of history, especially when mass media latches onto a storyline and refuses to let go. In the wake of the financial crisis, one of…

Bill Harts, Modern Markets Initiative – How a Small Group of Traders Improved Markets for All Standard

“The most liquid stocks in the world used to trade at a minimum spread of one-eighth, but was quite often trading at a quarter spread. If you were an average retail investor buying 100 shares, you would have been paying an extra $25 for that stock, just in terms of the spread costs. Today, that quarter spread is less than a penny.” The 2014 release of Michael Lewis’ book “Flash Boys” unleashed widespread criticism of the automated trading community amid Lewis’ assertion that markets are “rigged” against small investors. According to Bill Harts, CEO of the Modern Markets Initiative, nothing…

The Voice: Green Key Technologies Is Turning Your Brokerage Voice Into Valuable Data; CEO Christensen Says Voice Brokerage Is Far From Dead, And The Conversations Gleaned Could Be Transformational For Firms Standard

In today’s financial markets, the conversation is most often about electronic trading, high frequency trading, complex orders via algorithms and so forth. Yet, for the $492 trillion global OTC derivatives markets as well as block and listed markets, firms still conduct business over the phone, person-to-person, a practice which is now availing itself to new technology in compelling ways. Paul Christensen, who started as CEO of Green Key Technologies in March, told John Lothian News that phone transactions for certain markets is “a much higher quality way of communicating.” As such, technology firms are seeking ways to harness the value…

Peter Nabicht, 12Sided Technology – The Implied Job Descriptions in Finance Standard

“Markets are an ultra-complex socio-technical system. That is a thing; Google it. There are three examples regularly given of such systems – huge cities, the space shuttle program, and financial markets. That’s how complex and interconnected we are.” Have you ever lost a million dollars in 4 ½ seconds? Neither have we. Peter Nabicht, however, once wrote an algorithmic trading program that did exactly that, when one of his teammates misplaced a decimal on a minor tweak to the algo. Though the blame could have easily gone to Nabicht and/or one his colleagues, none of them was fired over the…

Open Access: Loss Leaders and Profiting from “Free” Standard

Doug Ashburn

The most interesting tidbit from this year’s IDX was a seemingly offhand comment made by ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher at the exchange leaders panel. Regarding open access and clearing interoperability, which European regulators are pushing to maximize customer choice in execution and post-trade services, Sprecher said exchanges will be further incentivized to list each other’s products, with execution eventually becoming a loss leader for exchanges. He said “take the economics out of execution, then make it back elsewhere,” which simply means more fees for data, clearing, connectivity and other add-ons. As a sort of unscientific poll among IDX attendees, I…

Open Access: Loss Leaders and Profiting from “Free” Standard

Doug Ashburn

The most interesting tidbit from this year’s IDX was a seemingly offhand comment made by ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher at the exchange leaders panel. Regarding open access and clearing interoperability, which European regulators are pushing to maximize customer choice in execution and post-trade services, Sprecher said exchanges will be further incentivized to list each other’s products, with execution eventually becoming a loss leader for exchanges. He said “take the economics out of execution, then make it back elsewhere,” which simply means more fees for data, clearing, connectivity and other add-ons. As a sort of unscientific poll among IDX attendees, I…