08.13.2013
By Terry Flanagan

FX Universe Expands

Institutional currency traders are getting a boost through new messaging and trading platforms that are transforming the once almost exclusively phone-based FX business.

Thomson Reuters has expanded its Eikon Messenger community on the buy-side through the integration of its FXall clients. All FXall customers will be able to connect, interact and collaborate with Eikon Messenger’s global community of 190,000 financial professionals directly from their FXall toolbar, via the latest release of FXall Trading.

Instant messaging has become a critical part of the financial community’s price discovery and pre-trade operations. Instant messaging communities, however, are traditionally allied to a particular company or technology platform which can make them siloed, disparate and closed by design.

As a result, financial markets professionals are currently limited to making contacts within their chosen messaging network or forced to manage the complexity of multiple messaging systems.

“Financial professionals depend on instant messaging tools to interact with the wider financial community and want tools that allow them to interact, irrespective of their choice of provider. This is why we’ve always been focused on using open standards and with connecting with other widely used instant messaging systems,” said David Craig, president of financial & risk at Thomson Reuters. “By opening up Eikon Messenger to the FXall community, we are enabling the sell-side and buy-side to communicate more efficiently within networks they already trust. This is about helping our customers find new counterparties and unearth new business opportunities while reducing complexity.”

Separately, ParFX, the new Tradition-owned wholesale electronic spot FX trading platform, has launched from Equinix’s London Slough International Business Exchange (IBX) data center campus.

The ParFX trading platform provides market participants with a low-cost, easy-to-access, transparent and equitable venue for sourcing FX liquidity. The platform’s unique matching mechanism applies a randomized pause to all order elements, creating a level playing field for participants, regardless of location, technological sophistication or financial strength.

“The ParFX founder banks came to us because they believed there was a need for change in the FX market ecology and for the creation of a truly level playing field,” said Roger Rutherford, chief operating officer at ParFX.

ParFX is open to all professional institutions able to settle via Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) and provides Equinix’s customers in the London Slough data center campus with easy access to FX liquidity.

Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger (formerly Thomson Reuters Messenger) is an enterprise-level instant messaging and real-time collaboration service, specifically designed for the financial markets. It is open to all financial markets professionals, regardless of the desktop they use, and available either via Thomson Reuters Eikon or as a standalone instant message tool.

FXall clients, which number approximately 1,300 institutional firms across a range of traders, asset managers, corporate treasurers, broker-dealers, prime brokers, and market makers, can access the live feed of continuous cross-asset global macro data, news and market expert commentary available over Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger’s 27 global chat forums.

“The integration of Eikon Messenger with the latest version for FXall Trading unlocks a number of exciting opportunities for our clients,” said Phil Weisberg, global head of FX at Thomson Reuters. “It not only broadens and diversifies the information available to our client base but also deepens their exposure to a wider community that can be tapped for their daily business trading operations in FX. It also builds on Thomson Reuters move towards bringing together the buy side and sell side to serve a broader universe of institutions with more competitive, compelling end-to-end solutions for the FX markets.”

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