Sell-Side Technology Awards 2017: Best Automated Trading Platform—FlexTrader

Sell-Side Automated Trading Platform - FlexTrade

FlexTrade wins this year’s best automated trading platform category, an award it won at the first Sell-Side Technology Awards back in 2013. Since then, four different companies have won the award, but FlexTrade—with its FlexTrader platform—takes the crown once more as it enhances its capabilities to offer solutions for cross-asset and multi-asset trading. 

FlexTrader is an order and execution management system for institutions that trade in equities, foreign exchange, equity options, futures and fixed income. Jamie Benincasa, senior vice president of global sales at FlexTrade, says winning the award again shows how much its clients have come to rely on FlexTrader and take advantage of the algorithms it offers. “FlexTrade has a long-standing pedigree of providing advanced functionality to broker-dealers. This goes back to when I used it on JPMorgan’s Program Trading desk in 1998. At that time, we chose FlexTrade because of the complex rules infrastructure and back testing framework, the robust FIX and analytics engines, as well as the ability to make customizations on the fly,” Benincasa says. “Add to that the deep bench of talent that we’ve put together and our rigorous quality assurance cycle.” 

In the past few years, FlexTrade has added a number of new capabilities to FlexTrader, including a strategy server and an algorithm container, which allows firms to develop new algorithms within the container framework and scale them up quickly. This update has allowed broker-dealer clients to process large transaction volumes, and quickly produce, test, and deploy new customized algorithms to take advantage of fleeting arbitrage opportunities in shortened timeframes. It also provides users with standardized and streamlined access to FlexTrader’s pairs trading, options dispersion, or futures spread trading algorithms. Benincasa says the vendor is also planning on adding new functionality around reducing latency, which will be released in the next few months. 

The updates help FlexTrader meet increasing demand for more cross-asset and multi-asset trading as well as more exposure to exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Benincasa notes that broker-dealer clients are always looking for more effective ways to execute strategies. “What we’re seeing is that more desks are looking to add ETF market-making and Delta One trading due to their popularity. Of course there is always interest in cross asset and multi-asset strategies, where our product’s advanced capabilities give clients access to sophisticated execution algorithms,” Benincasa says.

In addition to the sell side, FlexTrade also serves traditional asset managers and hedge funds, and, according to Benincasa, wants to continue providing outstanding services to all three constituents. 

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