Outlook 2019: Chris Hollands, TradingScreen
Chris Hollands is head of North American and European sales and account management at TradingScreen.
What was the most important lesson of 2018?
In an industry that was undergoing a massive regulatory shift especially with MiFID II and a wave of consolidation, that having a trusted, long-established and stable technology provider partner that had worked closely with its clients to prepare for the changes in the run-up to 2018, would be massively important.
The wave of consolidation brings with it some upheaval and potential switches of strategic focus and, in the EMS world specifically, puts an added premium on independence and broker neutrality.
Do you expect investments in fintech to rise, plateau, or trail off in 2019?
We fully expect the investments trend in fintech to continue to increase. The demand for better analytics to inform each stage of the trading lifecycle on a cross-asset class basis coupled with the need to integrate them more tightly into the trading workflow will continue to be key drivers.
The ability of proven and established technology providers to partner with new entrants will equally be a facilitator of the adoption of these fintech solutions.
Also, factors such as consolidation on the buy-side trading desk, the spread of the best execution imperative into the newly electronifying asset classes and the increasing demand from the larger, geographically dispersed asset managers for standalone, best-of-breed EMS solutions to overlay and to aggregate disparate OMSs, will continue to drive this investment.
Will Wall Street return to focusing on innovation to drive alpha in the new year?
Yes, 2018 was very much a year of regulatory compliance, but we do expect a renewed focus on innovation to drive alpha in 2019 and beyond.
The growing appetite for richer analytics to inform the investment and trading process, as mentioned above, and the need for increased automation and the interrelationship between the two, will be at the heart of this innovation.
Best execution is here to stay and is extending itself into a broader set of asset classes, which when married to the consolidation of buy-side trading desks is forcing them to become more productive with fewer resources while being able to demonstrate alpha. This necessitates the adoption of more genuinely multi-asset class execution tools that offer more sophisticated automation capabilities powered by more widely available data and analytics.
FlexTrade calls it the industry's first cloud-based execution management system.
EMS upgrade includes a global, pre-trade risk analysis model.
SaaS-based offering covers portfolio, order and execution management.
Traders now get real-time data sharing and workflow automation.
Aim is to gauge and adjust the performance of past trading strategies for real-time use.