09.06.2011
By Terry Flanagan

SunGard Consolidates Trading Desks

The firm becomes the latest broker to consolidate its brokerage operations.

The broker-dealer operations and trading desk of SunGard Financial Systems has announced that it will consolidate its high-touch execution services trading desk into its Valdi Liquidity Solutions offering, which essentially combines the company’s human, or high-touch, and automated, or low-touch, operations.

“The consolidation of our broker-dealers will result in a streamlined business model and enhanced customer service,” said Bob Santella, president of broker operations for SunGard’s global trading business. “We are particularly pleased to offer more of our customers direct access to the NYSE Euronext, one of the largest exchanges in the world.”

Valdi Liquidity Solutions is a member of NYSE and provides customers with direct access to the exchange, reducing latency. The unit offers execution and clearing services to both buy- and sell-side institutions. SunGard’s trade desk manages agency-only equity trades for buy-side customers.

“This is the first step of a process that we plan to complete end of the year or so,” said Santella. “We have already applied for approval from Finra to have Fox River Execution merge into same single broker-dealer. Where we before had three separate broker-dealers, all with separate compliance rules and regulations, we will soon only have one.”

Fox River is an agency brokerage that was acquired by SunGard in July 2010. With the consolidation of its broker-dealer units, the company expects to generate cost savings of up to 10 percent without a reduction in headcout, Santella added.

The broker-dealer unit of SunGard is a small but significant portion of the company’s overall operations, Santella noted. It makes up about 25 percent of its Global Trading segment, which in turn makes up about one-fifth of SunGard’s Financial Systems group. The Financial Systems unit is the largest division of SunGuard, making up more than half the firm. “There is a large interdependency in all of the Global Trading segment,” said Santella.

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