Opening Cross: Pump Up the Volume

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As a new parent, I’ve become obsessed with volume: not just trying to figure out how to dial back the volume of a screeching baby at 4am in a New York apartment with walls apparently made of nothing more substantial than empty cereal boxes, or controlling the volume of everyday noises that might set them off again once they finally go to sleep, but also the volume of their, um, output. Yes, folks, it seems that the best gauge of a healthy baby isn’t whether they cry, sniffle or suck their thumbs, but rather how much and how often they poop (and lucky me, I’ve got two!). And it seems this philosophy has also reached the world of financial market data, where people are rooting around in their data diapers to find brass in all that muck.

For example, Vesel Interactive is rolling out different ways of leveraging volume data, allowing brokers to basically advertise their proficiency at dealing with trades in volumes that demonstrate their liquidity and expertise in specific option symbols, while also allowing clients to query brokers specifically based on volume-related criteria—and not only for single options, but also for an entire industry or sector to elicit the broadest response from brokers able to work orders in similar symbols. Not content with just applying this to options markets, the vendor is working on ways to expand its capabilities to different asset classes—though chief executive Joseph Wesley says details of that project are strictly under wraps for now.

Volume isn’t such a big deal for Flex options, which still account for a small portion of the traded options market. But that small portion is growing in popularity and sufficient that New York-based Trade Alert has integrated Flex options trade data—painstakingly sourced directly from each options exchange, rather than from the OPRA consolidated feed—alongside regular listed options.

However, like the Vesel model—which one observer described as “Autex for options”—Tradeweb recently added different types of trade data to its exchange-traded fund platform, as a way of advertising the trade data generated by its exchange-traded fund market, to not only create a more transparent ETF marketplace, but also encourage more participation by demonstrating liquidity levels that can be achieved.

Aside from volume, another thing that all new parents seemingly become obsessed with is celebrating baby’s achievements, no matter how minor (and yes, healthy poops are a big cause of celebration, though sleeping for several hours at a time is even better), and taking immense pride in what to others would seem hardly noteworthy. So speaking of taking pride in one’s achievements, allow me to shamelessly plug this year’s Inside Market Data and Inside Reference Data Awards, which take place on May 20 in New York, and for which the voting cutoff and deadline to submit in the call-for-entry categories have just been extended to close of business on Friday, April 10, giving you a little extra time to vote for the supplier that’s impressed you most over the past year, or to complete your nominations.

And if you haven’t submitted a nomination in our call-for-entry categories, why not? There’s a category to recognize everyone’s achievements. End-users and vendors can both submit entries (vendors can even submit client projects—with the firm’s approval, of course—or individuals and teams that have made an impact at client firms), and I’d like to call everyone’s attention to our Above & Beyond Award, which recognizes what data professionals do outside work that contributes to a greater good.

So get voting in the online poll, and get nominating yourself, your colleagues and the projects you’ve worked on via our call-for-entry page. And rally a volume of support from your colleagues. Because if you win, you’ll find yourself onstage collecting your award from this year’s celebrity guest. Last year, it was basketball legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier. Who will it be this year? Like the final winner list, you’ll just have to wait and see!

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