07.09.2015

MillenniumIT Eyes Post-Trade

07.09.2015
Terry Flanagan

The efficiency of capital markets firms’ front and middle offices has greatly increased over the past couple decades, in conjunction with the ascendancy of electronic trading and its associated technological advances.

But the back office, the bastion of post-trade, remains comparatively archaic. In post-trade processing, the buyer and the seller of a security compare trade details, approve the transaction, change ownership and arrange for transfer. Certain areas of post-trade have been automated, but overall the infrastructure is dated and the process is far from seamless.

One aspiration is for straight-through processing, which as its name implies, would enable the equivalent of non-stop flights for a trade, as opposed to the current system of layovers.

“Market participants have been talking about the pre-to-post-trade STP story for 20 years now but things are actually starting to happen, especially in post-trade and in the real-time clearing space,” said Mack Gill, chief executive officer of MillenniumIT, the financial software and technology services arm of London Stock Exchange Group.

Mack Gill, MillenniumIT

Mack Gill, MillenniumIT

“There has been consolidation post-crisis, and coupled with regulation-driven changes we believe the opportunities in post-trade solutions are huge,” Gill told Markets Media in a June 25 interview at LSE’s New York office. “If you can provide a cross-asset, real-time pre-to-post-trade platform, it’s a good place to be because we are seeing a lot of investment in this area as firms set about replacing legacy systems.”

MillenniumIT was founded in 1996 as a systems integrator and Sun Microsystems authorized reseller, and the following year, the firm won business from Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange. After expanding in Asia and moving into Europe, MillenniumIT established a beachhead in the U.S. in 2001 with the opening of a Boston office.

Some time later, London Stock Exchange tapped MillenniumIT to develop a new equity-trading platform, and LSE bought the company in 2009.

“MillenniumIT is known primarily for equities matching, but the Millennium Exchange platform is a multi-asset trading venue,” Gill said. “We have a big equities footprint, but we also do a lot in fixed income, commodities, and derivatives.”

The tech provider is expanding its product offering, while also pushing across borders in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Regarding broad trends in the space, Gill said “latency and resilience are key drivers for our industry and as much as you don’t sell products purely because of latency, you have to make sure you continue to push the envelope on that.”

“Software will continue to be managed and improved on, but really the focus now is on hardware acceleration,” said Gill, who noted a specific focus on Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) technologies.

Feature image via Auris/Dollar Photo Club

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