Sell-Side Technology Awards 2017: Best Sell-Side Front-Office Execution Platform—Fidessa

James Blackburn Fidessa
James Blackburn, global head of equities product marketing, Fidessa

Fidessa has positioned itself as a leader in execution platforms for over 20 years, providing access to 220 markets for more than 300 sell-side firms, globally. The London-based vendor’s dominance in a perennially competitive category is reflected by it winning the award for best front-office execution platform at this year’s SST Awards for the third consecutive year. 

Fidessa’s electronic execution platform covers multiple asset classes, allowing users to outsource the commoditized aspects of execution, such as exchange interfaces and connectivity, and to take advantage of advanced execution tools, including those supporting smart order routing and smart crossing to facilitate higher fill rates. 

A significant aspect of Fidessa’s ongoing success is its effort to stay relevant in a constantly changing market. In 2016, it identified a trend within its user-base where half of its clients were trading electronically through low-touch execution channels. In order to adjust its service to meet their current needs, the vendor introduced low-latency gateways to normalize the trading workflow across markets. 

Two additional features launched over the past year allow users to achieve better trading performance: First, the Order Performance Monitor functionality oversees the performance of low-touch order flow in real time by identifying outliers and altering trading strategies to optimize outcomes, while the Prospector feature was designed specifically to allow sell-side firms to identify trading opportunities concealed within their client order flow, and by so doing provide their buy-side clients with better services. Prospector is designed to monitor both live and historical client trading activities, client watch-lists, shareholdings data, and traders’ interests. The functionality is integrated within Fidessa’s order management system (OMS), with no need to move between applications or re-key data. 

Of particular note is Fidessa’s expansion to markets outside of Europe and the US. In 2016, the Fidessa front-office execution platform was rolled-out by 14 mainland Chinese brokers as part of a strategy to elevate their business to an international level. Another 17 brokers opted for the firm’s Hong Kong-Shenzhen Connect link, while three major Malaysian banks chose the platform to support their expansion plans in Southeast Asia. 

Fidessa’s plans for 2017 focus largely on the regulatory challenges facing its sell-side clients by providing them with an execution platform that will help them meet their regulatory obligations. The vendor has invested significantly in the platform in order to develop new capabilities ahead of the upcoming regulations in both Europe with Mifid II and the US with the tick size pilot program launched by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in October last year.

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