Is Google about to kill Firefox?

Online trading offerings, and single-dealer platforms in particular, rely heavily on modern browser functionality to enable them to deliver a great experience to users. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browsers have long been a drag on progress in this area, since their functionality and performance have lagged far behind their competitors. So IE’s recent spectacular loss of market share is a crucial trend. It has two important competitors (on the desktop, at least): Firefox and, more recently, Google Chrome.

Chrome has achieved stunning success since it was launched just two years ago. It has rocketed from zero to nearly 24% of overall browser use, and is on the point of overtaking Firefox as the world’s second most widely-used browser (according to a recent ComputerWorld report). Continue reading

Tradeshow November

November 2011 has been a very busy month for Caplin’s marketing team. The company exhibited its single-dealer platform technology at four tradeshows on three continents and also attended an awards dinner and a networking event in London and a tradeshow in Madrid.

November 1st saw Caplin’s Asia sales team in Shanghai for the Chinamoney e-Trading Conference, presented by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) held at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel. This was probably the most complex as it involved translating both our brochures and our software into Chinese. As you can see below, Caplin established a presence at the show and some excellent contacts were made.

Trevor Jarrett and Weisheng Liu at Caplin's booth

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Infrastructure & architecture challenges in building a globally deployed single-dealer platform

European Trading Architecture SummitCaplin Systems was proud to be one of the sponsors of Waters’ European Trading Architecture Summit (ETAS) at the De Vere in Canary Wharf in London on November 22nd.Patrick Myles, Chief Technical Officer, Caplin SystemsCaplin’s CTO, Patrick Myles, presented a customer case study entitled Infrastructure and architecture challenges in building a globally deployed single-dealer platform.If you missed it, or you’d like to see it again, please click here to view the video. Continue reading

Single Dealer Platforms vs Multi Dealer at Forex Canada

At the recent Forex Canada event, I found myself sitting on a panel with Phil Harris, CEO of 360T America. The panel was at the Caplin-sponsored breakfast event, and the subject was the balance between single-dealer and multi-dealer platforms as channels to market.

Given that 360T is a prominent multi-dealer platform, and that a large part of Caplin’s business involves providing banks with the tools build advanced single-dealer platforms, I anticipated that Phil and I might find ourselves disagreeing about many aspects of banks’ FX channel strategy. But the surprising thing was how much we agreed about, and what similar conclusions we had reached about current practice and likely future trends. Continue reading

FXall Q3 results (some thoughts)

FXall Q3 results out, and covered here by LeapRate, including an updated IPO registration. LeapRate highlight the continuing decline in margins, as shown here.

FXall Operating Margins – under pressure (charts from LeapRate)

FXall Corp_margins                       FXall ECN_margins

FXall SEF: Separately, the NFA will provide regulatory services for FXall’s SEF offering, in preparation for when rules have been formally completed.

My view: Although, as previously mentioned,  we see single dealer platforms continuing as preferred channel through which buy-side firms access liquidity, whether provided by banks directly, or routed to SEFs where mandated. To date, 99% of FXall volume consists FX spot, fwds and swaps, all of which are exempt from SEF mandates.

Bank ownership: Under SEF rules, bank ownership is limited to under 25%, so will be interesting to see whether the current FXall bank shareholders each of which hold 5.1% (BNP, Citi, Credit Agricole, CS, Goldman, HSBC, MS, RBS – although the top three FX banks, Deutsche, UBS and BarCap are not shareholders in FXall) will cash in, or stay onboard to have a stronger influence on possible intermediation of their bank-client relationships, as mentioned here in could FXall become too big.

BNY introduces FX Benchmark Pricing for custody clients

BNY Mellon will introduce a new FX pricing model based on ‘agreed fixed margin‘ over benchmark fixing for custodian client FX transactions, according to reports.

This move to greater transparency is a logical response to the legal action from The State and City of New York, who sued BNY Mellon for using “fraudulent rates” in collecting $2 billion of fees from public and private pension funds in foreign currency transactions, as discussed in Another Leading Custodian Bank sued over FX rates.

BNY had till now executed FX trades based on standard instructions as detailed here.

Whilst FX falls outside the Dodd Frank regulations, the general regulatory move towards greater pre-trade transparency, and the buy-side requirement to ‘demonstrate’ performance, should be viewed by banks as an opportunity to differentiate their service offerings to clients by incorporating TCA tools within their SDP, as discussed in Single-dealer platforms and TCA and further in my review of the EuroMoney 2011 FX Poll – some thoughts.

Tom Glocer to leave Reuters!

Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer is stepping down, replaced by chief operating officer James Smith, following a tough few months for the firm’s markets division and a steady decline in its stock price.

Says Glocer:

“By the end of this year, the organisational, strategy and budget work I have been leading will be complete, and the transition plan I launched last summer will have achieved its objectives. Jim Smith is a very talented executive with whom I have worked closely over the past four years; he is ready to lead Thomson Reuters.”

More on BBC news here  and Fin Extra here