Single-dealer platforms and TCA


While the notion of Transaction Cost Analysis has been broadly adopted by the equity markets, it doesn’t have similar adoption in the OTC world. Why is this so? I will attempt to explain the various factors that are driving this extremely important topic.

TCA adoption in the equities world

As the equity markets became more fragmented (chiefly as a desire from the politicians/regulators to encourage more competition amongst exchanges), investment managers (IM) demanded more information from the execution brokers as to how & where the brokers chose to execute trades done on behalf of the IM.

Provision of a metric or series of metrics allowed the IMs to calculate their broker’s execution performance. Originally this was via factors such as VWAP or implementation shortfall.

As execution algorithms became widely adopted, other factors were added to measure the algo performance across lit, dark & internal execution venues. In addition, the regulatory focus on best execution meant that TCA could provide an important measure of best ex. You cannot control a cost unless you can measure it.

FI & FX

In the meantime, the FI & FX markets were developing their own transaction models such as ESP, RFS & RFQ.

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