04.22.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Futures Traders Seek Total Market View

Capital markets firms are using advanced technology to maximize the quality of execution.

Mandara Capital, a hedge fund specialist in crude oil and derivatives, has implemented a hosted trading service Tbricks OnDemand for its futures trading requirements.

The service, which is powered by S&P Capital IQ’s QuantLINK and QuantFEED, improves speed and quality of Mandara Capital’s futures trade execution.

“We set out a rigorous evaluation of trading system vendors, looking for the fastest trading software with the capability of supporting our future plans for in-house trading development,” Muwaffaq Salti, CEO and head trader at Mandara Capital, said in a statement. “An absolute requirement from our side was a fully hosted solution as we choose to focus on our core business rather than system support and maintenance.”

Tbricks provides a unified and normalized direct access to electronic exchanges, MTFs, brokers and market data vendors. Tbricks’ futures trading platform will help improve the quality of Mandara Capital’s execution fills, as well as enable it to develop proprietary strategies in a framework designed to support in-house development.

“Mandara Capital is the first client to take full advantage of Tbricks OnDemand, which we recently launched with S&P Capital IQ,” said Jonas Hansbo, CEO of Tbricks. “They needed a very fast and flexible trading system, but did not wish to manage a technical infrastructure. Mandara Capital will also be able to execute their plans for in-house trading development using the Tbricks trading app framework.”

A January 2013 report from Aite Group found that in the realm of futures e-trading, speed remains the leading concern. Vendors are competing to reduce the speed of routed orders to the exchange’s matching engine, and server colocation is now almost required for the competitive futures trader.

The report profiled two types of trading platform major trading platform providers in the futures and options on futures space: vendors dedicated purely to derivatives products, and market data/OMS firms that track cash and derivatives products across multiple asset classes.

Important changes impacting futures e-trading are direct market access, the growth of algorithmic order-routing processes, and the arrival of GUI-less, high frequency trading shops.

“Ongoing, transparency-promoting global regulatory changes and the centralization of clearing and trading for OTC derivatives instruments will force more electronic trading in the futures and options space,” said Howard Tai, senior analyst with Aite Group and author of this report. “Aite Group predicts that this movement will drive steady growth of listed derivatives volume for many years to come.”

Salti, the head of London-based Mandara, has more than 20 years of oil industry experience, having served as managing director and global head of fuel oil trading at JP Morgan Chase, where he ran an international team of traders from London after first developing and managing the bank’s Asian energy trading business from Singapore. Muwaffaq also ran crude oil and fuel oil books at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

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