09.25.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Buy-Side Firms Ratchet Up EMS Use

Open architecture and broker-neutrality are mainstays that buy-side firms are seeking in execution management systems (EMS) as they strive for greater control, flexibility and global access to industry solutions.

“Our ultimate goal is to build a global ecosystem of market participants who can access any trading technology from any broker, vendor or exchange from anywhere in the world,” Thomas Kim, CEO of UNX, told Markets Media.

UNX’s Catalyst is a broker-neutral electronic trading portal and EMS for single stock and portfolio trading for institutional clients and broker-dealers.

Catalyst also serves as a cost-effective way for broker-dealers to extend their trading capabilities without having to build their own EMS, he said. Clients can access tools and services of other providers and liquidity venues via the Catalyst Marketplace.

“It creates a marketplace where the buy side, vendors, brokers and exchanges can extend services to a broader client base through an app,” according to Mike Bradley, founder and managing partner of Bradley & Co., a private wealth management firm that has deployed Catalyst.

UNX is working with third-party vendors who wish to distribute their offerings via the Catalyst Marketplace for use by Catalyst clients. Recent Marketplace participants include QSG, International Class Actions Management (ICAM) and Titan Trading Analytics.

Built on open/modular architecture, the system allows traders to create a trading environment that meets their specific needs, and allows broker-dealers to customize their offerings to each client via the Catalyst Portal.

“Catalyst’s value proposition of providing a flexible technology framework and tools in tandem with a global distribution portal and order routing network represents a dramatic change to the existing EMS landscape,” said Kim.

It is also a cost-effective way for broker-dealers to extend their trading capabilities without having to build their own EMS. “As an independent, multi-broker EMS and portal, Catalyst gives both buy-side clients and broker-dealers more control over the speed and extent to which offerings can be integrated into their trading environment,” said Kim.

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