ZKB and Caplin win Sell-Side Technology award for Best Implementation at a Sell-Side Firm

Waters Technology has announced the winners of the Sell-Side Technology awards. We are pleased to announce that the award for ‘Best implementation at a Sell-Side Firm’ went to ZKB’s eTradingPro, a browser based Structured Products trading system delivered in partnership with Caplin.

For 6 months, three Caplin developers and I joined ZKB’s technical staff in Zurich to create a HTML5 web application utilising Caplin Trader for the client side and Caplin Platform to connect to the bank’s internal trading services.

ZKB ETradingPro - designing a BRC

ZKB ETradingPro – designing a BRC

(The above picture from eTrading Pro is used with permission of ZKB, and all rights are reserved and it may not be reproduced)

The application allows traders, relationship managers and sales users to design, purchase and manage subscriptions of Barrier Reverse Convertibles. A dynamically updating chart has simplified the creation of the complex Structured Product, enabling users to instantly view how potential payoffs change as they alter their product’s variables.

Thus far, users have been impressed with the application’s intuitive interface and enhanced response time compared to its predecessor.

The growing FX retail trading market

Last week, I attended an Aite conference on FX retail trading. Some very interesting statistics were presented by Javier Paz, senior analyst from Aite.

Below are some of the highlights:

• FX retail trading is dominated by self-directed pros (approximately 500k users is US), self-directed amateurs (25M users), and normal investors (55% of US population)

• FX trading has a low barrier to entry for individuals with only about $1000 required to open an account.

• FX trading thrives on economic uncertainty and poor stock market.

• 2009 was a banner year for retail FX trading with over $70B in total volume; trade volumes in 2007 were approximately $34B.

• Industry regulation is growing as volumes increase and more and more non-professional individuals join the ranks.

• The main regulators in this space are CFTC, SEC, and OCC/FDIC.

• “Social investing” is a growing trend driven primarily by this nascent industry and lack of understanding investors have about FX.

• Google and Facebook have entered this space and are poised to help continue these trends and grow trading volumes.