01.14.2014
By Terry Flanagan

FastMatch Taps Caplin for Front-End Technology

FastMatch, a foreign exchange ECN co-owned by BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, and FXCM, has chosen Caplin, a web trading company, to develop the new electronic distribution platform for its spot FX matching service.

Launched in September 2012, FastMatch offers access to a large pool of diversified liquidity. It is powered by data centers in New York and London, with a third site, Tokyo, going live in 2014.

FastMatch is based on the technology underpinning the world’s largest equities crossing system, the Credit Suisse Crossfinder matching engine, re-tooled and tailored to the needs of the global foreign exchange markets.

FastMatch’s primary competitors are other ECNs like EBS, HotSpot, and Currenex, all of which have a front end through which traders can transact. When FastMatch started it didn’t have a front end, so the only option for connecting to FastMatch was via FIX API.

“In order to be competitive and to expose the latest features, we needed a front end,” said FastMatch CEO Dmitri Galinov. “We wanted to control the development process so that we could make any enhancements ourselves. We wanted also to use HTML5. Caplin was in a unique position because they just came out with a new product. Caplin was able to license the source code to us, so if we need to make further changes we can.”

Caplin’s technology is used by banks such as Citi, RBS, Standard Bank and UniCredit. In September 2013, Caplin launched FX Motif, a customizable FX web trading system that reduces costs and time to market. The technology will be the core of the FastMatch platform.

FastMatch is not a typical Caplin customer. To date, Caplin has been dealing with large banks, like Citi, which uses it throughout its FX business. The crucial difference is that FastMatch is an agile, nimble technology firm that can move very quickly.

FX Motif is a key product. “It opens up a whole new class of customers. In FastMatch’s case, we are looking to go live in six weeks. That’s groundbreaking,” said Richard Leader, Caplin’s executive vice president, Americas. “The win is significant because it marks Caplin’s entry into a new arena: front ends for non-bank trading platforms, a compelling segment given the regulatory push and the proliferation of firms offering these services.”

“What’s important for FastMatch is not only the basic functionality but the opportunity to offer things like depth of market or specific algo functionality,” he said. “Extensibility was one of the key criteria.”

Emin Tatosian, Caplin’s chief consultant in the Americas, added” “FastMatch is an inherently lean and agile organization whose approach closely mirrors our own. This project moved from successful prototype to signature in a matter of weeks. We’ve set aggressive deadlines for implementation, to prove that a transformational project can with speed and efficiently.”

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