Tablets and HTML5 web trading apps


With the launch last week of a slew of products from Microsoft including Windows 8, Windows 8 RT and the Surface tablet, my colleague Steven South posted (on Caplin’s Platformability technical blog) what could be the start of an interesting discussion about the relevance of these announcements to HTML5 web trading apps.

Read Steve’s post here

FX-MM catches on to the importance of UX


The headline article in the “bi-weekly” newsletter from FX-MM magazine today is about the importance of user experience (UX) in FX trading platforms. Chris Tobias, a consultant in this space, has written an interesting and relevant article about how UX is increasingly becoming the main differentiator between FX trading platforms.

Chris reiterates many of the points that correspondents to this blog have made over the past year or two, including:

Scott McLeod in January 2012, and Duncan Brown and Paul Blank in October 2011

Syndicated coverage of Caplin’s most recent white paper on SDPs in a cleared world


I’m delighted to see that Paul Caplin’s most recent white paper, “Single-dealer platforms in a cleared world” has been picked up by some of the business press. Futures and Options World (www.fow.com) has published a piece quoting extensively from Paul’s white paper, and providing a link to request a copy.

Paul originally blogged about this white paper at the end of April here.

You can read the FOW article here, and download your own copy of Paul’s original white paper here.

Build or buy, it’s all about differentiation


Early this morning, New York time, I and about 40 other people attended the panel “Evolving Platform Technology & New Markets” which was sponsored by Caplin as part of Profit & Loss’s Forex Network tradeshow in New York. As Jennifer mentioned recently, the panel consisted of Raj Iyer of BNY Mellon Global Markets, Thomas Lo of FinaniciaLogix Group and Jose Cadalzo of Caplin systems, all questioned and moderated by Colin Lambert, Editor of Profit & Loss magazine.

The panel at P&L Forex Network

The discussion was wide ranging and touched on what institutional trading platforms can learn from retail traders, FX trading in Japan vs that in the USA, and on how different the requirements for software as a service for a bank might be from the service that Amazon and Google might offer.

However the main point that all of the panelists agreed upon was that when creating a single-dealer platform there isn’t really a choice between building it and buying it – every bank does some of each, but the issue is how much you buy and how much you build yourself.

The conclusion was that there’s very little point in spending time and money building anything that doesn’t differentiate you from your competitors. Differentiation can be in the pricing and the products, it can be in the content and analysis, and it can be in the way that the interface is designed and that information is presented.

An interesting conversation. I’m sure we’ll hear more about this in the weeks and months to come.

Buyside confused over OTC regulation


Interesting article by Phil Davis in the FT today (registration required) about asset managers being required by Dodd-Frank to clear trades through a central counterparty. The article quotes David Field of Rule Financial. Rule have apparently conducted a buy-side survey which confirms several of the consensus opinions of the Clearing and Settlement Working Group (CAS-WG) (which I blogged about last week).

Field said:

The buyside is very confused about the timelines. We conducted a survey on this and answers ranged from September 2012 to December 2014. One even said December 2015.

The article concludes that the buy side is unaware of the timeline and is also unprepared for having to post collateral on deals for the first time.

Interesting read.

Inaugural Clearing and Settlement Working Group meeting


Paul Blank and I spent yesterday afternoon in the comfortable surroundings of the BT Centre auditorium in Newgate Street at the inaugural meeting of the Clearing and Settlement Working Group (CAS-WG).

Conceived by Chris Skinner of the Financial Services Club, Chris Pickles of BT and the directors of the Realization Group, this is an attempt to start something similar to the successful MiFID joint working group but for clearing and settlement. We went along, not because we thought we had anything to contribute, but believing we could learn something about what happens after someone clicks a “buy” or “sell” button on one of our clients’ single-dealer platforms.

UPDATE: A detailed write-up of the meeting, with photographs, is now available on the Financial Services Club blog.

Dealing with the regulatory fire-hose Continue reading

Dodd-Frank to cost up to $600m per bank – The Economist


For those who are not completely familiar with the 848 pages of the Dodd-Frank act there’s a very useful summary of just how the “confused, bloated law” is progressing in this week’s edition of The Economist.

According to the article only the Chinese regulators and The  Economist’s US correspondent have actually read all 848 pages, so this article Continue reading

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