Knight Capital

Like many people who have been in the markets and technology for a long time (in my case, pre big bang in London), I’m perplexed by what happened at Knight yesterday.

As per usual, my first visit was to Nanex to discover the “what”, so now I’m trying to find the “why”, e.g., why would a legging algo trade at market, why didn’t the strategy P&L show the problem immediately? Various theories here and here but no clear explanation yet.

It’s a hell of a way to lose $440m!

Clearing Models in a SEF world

Kevin McPartland of the Tabb Group hosted a Fixed Income event last Tuesday in New York. According to our sources, the event was hugely oversubscribed – not surprising given Tabb Group & Kevin’s focus and insight on Dodd-Frank  and itss intended and unintended consequences.

According to Wall St & Technology, one of the areas of discussion was understanding how clearing will function so that execution risk is mitigated. In short, if a trade is done through a SEF, that trade is not complete until the clearer has accepted it. Which means that the counterparties (or their clearing agent/FCM) are still at risk until the acceptance has happened. Hence the focus on how that risk can be mitigated.

The proposals fall into two groups: Continue reading

Optimising performance of single-dealer platforms

Many of the posts in this blog quite rightly focus on how single dealer platforms (SDPs) solve the problem of delivering compelling business workflows to clients right across the trade life-cycle. And why a well researched and intuitive UX design, is so critical to the usability of the platform by end users.

CitiVelocity 2.0 is stylish, compact, and looks great!

However, perhaps we don’t talk here enough about how important it is to help clients optimise the performance of their trading platform over the internet for very large numbers of end users, to ensure it’s always delivering added value.

Continue reading

Cost of latency – choosing wisely

Trading System Latency

Latency in trading systems has always been a design/cost consideration however, in today’s global trading markets, the focus on latency has never been greater.  Banks and traditional exchanges have seen their market share threatened by new entries into the marketplace, namely hedge funds and alternative trading venues with their automated trading systems.  The rise of multi-asset trading and the increased focus on risk management has also placed a greater emphasis on developing trading systems that can keep up with these ever increasing trading volumes.

Hardware-based Messaging

Continue reading