Outlook 2019: Mazy Dar, OpenFin


Mazy Dar is CEO of OpenFin.

Mazy Dar, OpenFin

How should 2019 be known?

It will be known as “The Year of Digital Transformation.” Professionals from across financial services world know innovation is vital to the long-term success of our industry, but thanks to many game-changing new regulations – MiFID II being perhaps the most significant example – it is safe to say many executives have been focused on other issues over the past 12 months.

As the industry grows closer to accepting its new normal, I think we will see firms of all sizes allocate more resources to digital transformation projects necessary for long-term success. More and more firms are choosing to effectively unbundle their trading desktop by leveraging the best solutions for them, regardless of which vendor provides them. This will drive demand for platforms built on a culture of collaboration, efficiency and, above all, interoperability.

With the looming presence of cyber threats, firms also will prioritize finding new solutions to ensure their data is secure so that their clients and counterparties can have peace of mind. As far as our industry has come, there is still so much we can do to keep up with the latest advances, and I believe 2019 will see many firms emphasize this area.


Do you expect that the trader’s desktop will change in the coming year?

One of the most remarkable things about my job is as far as we’ve come in helping traders develop smooth, highly customizable workflows, there’s still so much to be done.

I think this mainly is because interoperability has become an essential part of our day-to-day lives. The iPhone is an excellent example of this. Apple’s operating system can host a vast range of applications from a variety of third-party developers, yet these programs can communicate with each other and share information, resulting in a seamless experience for the user.

People want and often expect this same level of interoperability at work, but attaining it is easier said than done, especially when it comes to highly complex trading solutions. Because of these forces, I expect more trading desks to gravitate towards applications that are interoperable by default, just as I suspect the most innovative new fintechs will continue to build collaborative, flexible software that can be integrated into open platforms rather than single system silos.

At OpenFin, we’ve seen a tremendous response to our Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3), sort of like a FIX Protocol for the trader desktop, and we believe initiatives like this are the future of the trading technology space.

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