Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Future of Trading: It's in the Cloud

Image courtesy of
Euromoney Institutional
Investor PLC.

Recently I was interviewed by FOW magazine about the growing adoption of cloud computing in finance and trading. As we are both a provider and consumer of cloud services, we have an interesting, credible perspective. 

Our next-generation trading platform, which we are simply calling TT, is delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS) and underpinned in part by third-party cloud services. FOW’s questions were provocative and on point given the many conversations I and others at TT have held with our customers in preparation for launching our next-gen platform. I thought it was worth recapping the interview in a two-part post for our blog readers.

Part one is below. Look for part two here next week.

FOW: What demands are you seeing from clients that reflect the current trends/state of play in the market?

MM: Our customers continue to put downward pressure on trading technology costs while demanding expansion into new markets; these seem to be perpetual trends. Outsourcing of the trading infrastructure is now a more attractive option due to the lower cost of a shared solution and the reach of networks into global markets. Moreover, a larger pool of firms now sees outsourcing as an attractive option due to the ubiquity of low-latency performance, improved understanding of security in the cloud and increased reliability of cloud solutions.

There will still be those that keep solutions in house. One example is the ultra-low-latency firm executing arbitrage strategies that are fundamentally based on the speed of information and the ability to execute trades against that information ahead of everyone else. But in general, we expect the number of firms in-sourcing their execution platforms will continue to dwindle as the cost of maintaining a competitive speed advantage on in-house platforms continues to rise exponentially.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trading Technologies Supports Yield Trading of CME's Eurodollar Bundle Futures

Easily create and trade yield spreads between CME
Bundle futures and other products with Autospreader®.
CME Group will launch the Eurodollar Bundle futures and options at the start of the Sunday evening session (22-September-2014).

The 2-year, 3-year and 5-year Bundles will trade as an "average price" bundle rather than a "net change" bundle.

Trading Technologies' X_TRADER® is ahead of the curve with full support for the Bundle Yield Index and the ability to trade yield spreads with a single click.

X_TRADER allows traders to quickly create and trade yield spreads between CME Bundle futures and:
  • Other CME products (e.g., ZT, ZF, ZN, Net Change Packs and Bundles)
  • U.S. Treasury securities (e.g., UST2y, UST3y, UST5y,UST7y and UST10y)
  • Euribor futures
  • German futures (e.g., Schatz and Bobls)

Sean Tully, Senior Managing Director of Financial and OTC Products at CME Group said, “We believe the Trading Technologies single-click trading functionality will be useful in fostering the development of these products. We’re happy to have TT’s support in providing this unique functionality from the first moment of trading.”

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Learning from the Pros at the U.S. Open


Gael Monfils (FRA), right, gets a shot past Roger Federer (SUI) on day 11 of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Photo: Reuters/Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports.
"If something's not working, change it up."

When a frustrated coach said this to an even more frustrated player during a regular season Division III collegiate tennis match, she had no idea she was giving this student-athlete a guiding principle for a future career in the user experience (UX) design of software. At the time, I certainly didn't recognize this as a pearl of wisdom, but it has helped immensely in the way I approach almost everything including software design.

After watching Roger Federer conquer Gael Monfils in the men’s quarterfinals of the U.S. Open last week, I realized this is a takeaway not only for amateur tennis players turned product managers, but for players on the pro tour, for traders and for life.

In Thursday’s match, both Federer and Monfils headed onto the court well practiced and with a strategy. They had studied each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They had improved themselves. Federer has focused on his net game this year, and Monfils on his concentration and intensity.

In software, you design a user experience with all the best intentions and the best strategy: you get a handle on who your users are, you talk to them, you ascertain their specific use cases, you design an interface, you massage it based on the available technology (or you find the right technology to make it work), you provide all the right feedback mechanisms, you prototype it if you have the opportunity, you test it, and then you put it out into the world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What's in a name?

What's in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
          - William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
Late last year, a group of us convened to tackle a formidable task: the naming of our next-generation professional trading platform, which we’re preparing to release later this year. We came armed with brainstorming supplies including a long list of names generated by an employee contest, ideas submitted from our agency partners, a thesaurus, many internet-connected devices and a bunch of exercises designed to spark creativity.

That initial meeting yielded a shortlist of contenders. In the weeks that followed, we continued to evaluate the options and narrow the field. We agreed that the perfect name not only needed to be catchy, unique and memorable but also reflective of what our brand is all about. Eventually, we rallied around a name that was derived from our flagship product, X_TRADER®.

People responded positively and liked what they saw in the new platform. Traders were very happy to learn that the new platform was expected to be significantly faster than our existing technology. They really liked how the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model would make it possible for them to view and trade the markets on the latest version of our technology from practically any internet-connected desktop or mobile device. They were also eager to gain access to technology like the “forever audit trail,” which allows them to search and gain insight from their trading activity dating back to the day their TT account was created.