Chicago Trading in Focus

Terry Flanagan

Ground-breakers in trading technology convened in Chicago June 13 to debate pressing topics such as low latency across asset classes, the latest microwave developments, the future of cloud computing in the financial sector, ‘big data’, high-speed connectivity, risk, compliance and more.

Roundtable panelists included Henrique Hablitschek of Equinix, Gene Davidovich of Direct Edge, Steve Crutchfield of NYSE Euronext, Patrick Hickey of Optiver, Craig Mohan of CME Group, Jamie Oschefski of Embium, Mike Persico of Anova Technologies, and Jock Percy of Perseus Telecom. Delegates  represented North and South America, Europe and Australia.

Technologies that are changing the landscape in global trading and investing and the triangle of managing speed, costs, and control were front and center.

One attendee talked about a trend toward latency randomizing, and said wireless in combination with free space optics is gaining ground. “Is it OK to be 100 percent faster 80 percent of the time?” this person asked, noting that reduced variability remains a work in progress.

Davidovich of Direct Edge said choices in technology partnerships are important for the exchange operator. “We chose the C4 Chicago Equinix data center for disaster recovery. It’s a phenomenal financial ecosystem,” he stated.

Perseus Telecom sees the continuation of utility functions of networks and the movement of utility functions up the stack a bit, and gave a nod to the increasing development of 3-D transistorized components.

Embium’s Oschefski noted that participants across markets and geographies will expand utilization of the cloud. “The hub and spoke model makes the most sense with multi-asset classes traded all over the world. The data era is here,” he said. “We’re doubling the data used every 19 months, and that is where the cloud will be absolutely huge.”

Citing studies that show the cloud trend will grow exponentially in its usage to reduce risks for the trading infrastructure providers, another attendee noted that a new trend is OTC scanning.

Panelists agreed that utilization of existing technologies will be a key in the shifting market landscape. “People will take existing technologies like (field-programmable gate arrays) and use them in new ways,” said CME’s Mohan, adding that credit controls and messaging are examples of areas where improved systems reliability will come into play.

Data embedded in social media will also be critical for those navigating the future trends in markets technologies, another conference attendee said.

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