Sell-Side Technology Awards 2016: Best Sell-Side Automated Trading Platform — Clearpool Group

Autonomy launched in February 2015

Vanessa Bonora, Sean Buckley, Peter King, Daniel Duffy, and Brian Schaeffer

Clearpool follows in SunGard Valdi’s significant footsteps by winning the best sell-side automated trading platform category in this year’s Sell-Side Technology Awards, thanks to the New York-based firm’s flagship offering, Autonomy.

This is Clearpool's first appearance in the SST Awards winners' circle, joining SunGard (2015), SmartTrade Technologies (2014), and FlexTrade, the award's inaugural winner back in 2013.

Autonomy, launched in February 2015, is a cloud-based algorithmic management system (AMS) that enables clients to exercise control in strategy configuration and customization, venue selection, and order routing and execution, without support from software developers or quants. The platform features liquidity sourcing, schedule-driven and dynamic/adaptive strategies, as well as agency executions across exchanges, including dark and lit venues. It is designed to enable sell-side firms to customize strategies and deliver value and service in meeting the discrete trading and execution requirements of their buy-side clients. This distinctive level of control, according to Clearpool, provides the degree of transparency demanded by buy-side clients of their sell-side providers. 

Clearpool is candid about what it believes sets Autonomy apart from the raft of similar offerings available in the automated trading space. Significantly, it is the buy side and not the sell side that holds the cards when it comes to driving service levels and innovation in the market, according to Clearpool: Buy-side firms are in a position where they are able to exert significant pressure on their brokers for algorithmic and electronic trading platforms that are a departure from what Clearpool describes as “me-too, white-labeled offerings that lack distinctiveness and are costing the buy-side in terms of poor execution performance.” 

Clearpool explains that buy-side firms are now, more so than ever, evaluating prospective brokers’ algorithmic technologies as a step in their due diligence, a factor that it believes separates the winners from the also-rans in a highly competitive market. Autonomy’s fixed monthly fee license model is also a significant departure from the traditional “pay-as-you-go” brokerage model. Autonomy clients can grow and scale their algorithmic trading businesses without incurring variable and escalating costs. 

But when it comes to crucial functionality, what matters most to Clearpool’s sell-side clients is that which provides them and their buy-side clients with control in terms of configuring their algorithms, and choice when it comes to routing and execution protocols.  

Clearpool explains that buy-side firms are now more so than ever evaluating prospective brokers’ algorithmic technologies as a step in their due diligence, a factor that it believes separates the winners from the also-rans in a highly competitive market.

What’s in the Clearpool pipeline for the immediate future? More of the same: developing and integrating new algo strategies, and enhancing the platform to provide clients with greater control and transparency. In this respect, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.   

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