02.20.2014
By Terry Flanagan

Best Technology Company: REDI

EVERY TRADING-TECHNOLOGY provider says its value proposition is unique, but true differentiation is easier said than done. One tech concern that does have an unassailable claim of being one of a kind is REDI.

The New York-based firm, known for its REDIPlus execution management system, was owned and operated by Goldman Sachs from 2000 until last year, when the Wall Street giant sold a majority stake to a consortium of financial firms. So REDI had more than a decade of full support from Goldman, which is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s savviest and deepest-pocketed trading and investing firms.

So while a blue-blood technology pedigree has been in place at REDI for some time, last year was about flying the coop to chart its own course.

“In 2013 the biggest business highlight was the fact that REDI transformed itself from being a broker-owned EMS and became an independent company,” said Rishi Nangalia, REDI’s chief executive. “We are not a startup, we are a mature company with a very diverse client base. So making sure that an independent company was established without any impact to our clients and to our product, by far was our primary goal.”

Rishi Nangalia, Redi

Rishi Nangalia, Redi

The rationale for the REDI spin-off was to make the trading platform broker-neutral and attract more order flow, including some from market participants who compete with Goldman and would not want to support a Goldman system.

“Our new structure allows us to give the clients the experience they’ve come to expect from REDI while trading at Goldman Sachs, but extend that same experience to them when they trade with any broker, across any asset class, globally,” Nangalia told Markets Media.

The separation has entailed “everything from moving out of the Goldman offices and establishing our own presence across six cities, to every small issues like setting up our computer systems and establishing our employee benefits programs,” said Nangalia, who previously co-managed Goldman’s electronic trading business-development group.

“Our employees very much identify themselves as part of a fin-tech company that is small, but aggressive and nimble,” he continued. “We were able to change the company mindset from being employees of a mature and successful investment bank, to employees of a hungry young fin-tech enterprise.”

According to the company, REDIPlus is designed as one platform to execute across asset classes and counterparties globally, spanning single stocks, derivatives, portfolios and spread trading. That combines with integration capabilities across portfolio and order-management systems to provide a comprehensive trading product underpinned by robust, redundant technology and client focus.

“We want to continue to improve our client experience,” Nangalia said. “We’ve been doing a lot foundational changes to the technology as we’ve come out of Goldman, to fit the size and the footprint of the technology company without being part of a bank.”

While last year was about REDI’s independence and becoming multi-broker, “this year is all about really rounding out our product across assets, across the the trade life cycle, and across regions,” Nangalia said. “Last year for us as an independent company was really short — only five months. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Nangalia also noted that as part of the July separation deal, REDI acquired the InstaQuote EMS from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We have completely integrated their offering into REDIPlus,” he said. “We have already started the process of migrating every client off the InstaQuote platform onto REDIPlus. Soon, this year, we will have completely integrated the InstaQuote offering into REDIPlus and we will have one platform that we support, not two. That was a huge project.”

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