Remote Trading Q&A: Jim Miller, Cloud9 Technologies
What’s the biggest technology hurdle traders are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Historically, institutional traders have rarely worked from home so having to work remotely during the pandemic has been a major shift in their day-to-day dynamic. Cloud-based ‘soft turret’ voice trading systems allow traders to remain efficient and collaborate with colleagues and counterparties, regardless of their location, while staying within regulatory and compliance parameters. With these capabilities, participants have greater interoperability and real-time community access, as opposed to having all of their resources tied to one physical trading desk.
How has working remotely impacted efficiency and the adoption of new technology solutions?
The industry is becoming increasingly more mobile and market participants want the flexibility to be able to work from different locations without having to replicate an actual trading desk each time. In order to move beyond the traditional legacy technology, institutions need greater interoperability, access to rich metadata, and seamless connectivity to a wider community of industry participants. A cloud-based architecture provides the highest level of workflow efficiency and 24/7 access to a ‘virtual trading desk’ and the tools traders need to access liquidity and generate optimal results.
Due to firms realizing the need for these resources, Cloud9’s business increased by over 30% in March alone, with a major uptick in asset classes across the buy and sell-side that we’re servicing. We’ve had half of the world’s top global banks come to us for support over the last month, along with 28 new firms that have never done business with us prior to the outbreak.
Will the pandemic have a long-term impact on the way traders and financial institutions approach technology?
We have already been seeing a major structural shift taking place in institutional trading where cloud-based trading solutions are allowing traders to access a virtual trading floor. While the COVID-19 pandemic is serving as a catalyst for this development, it is not the primary reason it is unfolding. Enterprise-wide, cloud-based voice solutions enable anytime/anywhere access to trading capabilities, even if employees are confined to their homes for weeks at a time. This is not just a temporary solution that will disappear once the pandemic subsidies. This is a long-term shift to cloud-based communications and we expect to see the number of people on physical trading floors diminish in the years ahead due to more traders wanting to leverage these solutions to work remotely.
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