As more firms look to expand their global presences, operations and technology units are being tested in new ways as they try to support a 24-hour business.
Even after covering this industry for the past four years, I'm still surprised at how communication can breakdown at global firms.
On Thursday I attended the TSAM North America event in midtown Manhattan. I was unfortunately unable to stay for the full duration of the event, as I find it to be far more informative a conference than that of the Sifma Tech show, which also took place this week. But while I was there I did get to sit in on a panel discussion that looked at, among other topics, "enabling communication between time zones and teams to make the most of 24 hours".
I'll be writing more on this in the near future, but it was fascinating listening to top-level technologists describe the difficulties and inconveniences that firms experience as they try to expand their global presence.
Since 2008 there has been an industry-wide drive to grow into new geographies simply to hedge against decreasing liquidity in the US. Some view it as a 21st Century gold rush.
As a result, I've heard a lot of people expressing their desire to get into Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and Mainland China. Some do this through acquisition; other through steady organic growth. Both models, though, present vast difficulties: when to run batch cycles; when to hold meetings; how to consolidate systems; outsource v. in-source, etc.
This would seem like one of those areas where the business leaders say, "We must expand! To the Far East we shall go!" and the IT guys are mumbling under their breath, "And I thought I wasn't getting enough sleep before..."
Have horror stories of your own? Give me a call (646-490-3973) or shoot me an email ([email protected]).
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