Buy-Side Algos ‘Their Way’


Expanding one’s horizon’s is one of life’s pursuits. And when it comes to trading, the buy-side trader wants the biggest horizon scanned in order to fill his order.

And traders want to fill their orders their way. Now they can.

Horizon Software, based out of London, is offering the institutional traders the ability to “buy and build” his algos, putting the trader into the programmer’s seat to make his own custom tailored trading strategy. The firm has also added new algo trading strategy templates that traders can build off of and customize – shortening his development time and minimizing costs – and allowing him more time to actually trade.

Adrien Mastronardi, Horizon

This new found control over the creation of electronic trading strategies starts with the firm’s ready made boilerplate templates found in the Horizon Platform for Automated Trading. The three new templates which can be modified are Quote Reply Market Making, Hedge Volatility Order and Options Arbitrage.

This new bespoke capability joins the firm’s stable of existing execution algorithms such as VWAP, TWAP and Percentage of Volume,but according to Adrien Mastronardi, North Asia Sales Director at Horizon, it’s the new creation and customization feature for traders that should intrigue traders and firms. He told Traders Magazine in an interview that this is the first time that financial institutions will have the ability to use Horizon’s scripting framework to modify these new, advanced strategies. This means that not only will clients have control over the source code and the ability to customize these templates, or create their own trading strategies, but they will also own the intellectual property, without having to build algos from scratch.

“Horizon is the only provider to give its clients such powerful tools,” Mastronardi began. “Financial institutions no longer have to decide whether to buy or build – they can have the best of both worlds. From a technology perspective, this is where financial institutions are going: buying core, standard, exchange-certified components from fintech providers for a fast time-to-market, with the flexibility to build their own algos, incorporating custom and proprietary business and technical logic.”

This approach fits perfectly with the firm’s ‘Trade Your Way’ philosophy, which Mastronardi said is unique in that it enabling individual users to create their own version of algos to fit their individual trading styles. No longer is the trader or firm hamstrung necessarily by technology budgets, programmer availability or a trader’s wish list in his own language getting lost in translation to fintech-speak.

“Our approach can also be described as an ‘algo glass box’, as it allows clients to see and modify the code inside the algo server,” Mastronardi told Traders. “The whole point is to get the trader up an running as fast as possible. He can use our templates, add hiss own coding, and then get up and running.”

And the coding stays proprietary and Horizon doesn’t have access to it – that is unless a trader chooses to have Horizon customize the algo for him.

Mastronardi added that Horizon has predominately been involved in the European and Asian financla markets but is now making a press into the U.S., where it does have some clients.

Horizon provides a complete solution for derivatives trading and algo design, from equities to fixed income, ETFs, currencies and commodities. Horizon’s Platform can be used to create strategies, scripting, views and charts; the source code is available to clients for customization.


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