BST Awards 2018: Best Broker-Supplied Tool—Dash Financial Technologies

The win in this category by Dash Financial Technologies marks a double-header for the company in the 2018 Buy-Side Technology Awards, with its other win coming in the algorithmic/direct market access product category (see page 28).

That write-up details the somewhat disruptive path the company has taken over the past two years, as well as Sensor Suite, a product which is effectively symbiotic with Dash360, the offering that this year’s judging panel voted as the best broker-supplied tool for the buy side. Dash360, first released in early 2016, is a real-time analytics and transparency measurement tool for traders. It ingests order flow information that passes through Dash’s pipes and presents it to traders in close-to-real-time, allowing them to view their orders routing through the various exchanges and venues that Dash connects to. “It provides transparency surrounding our clients’ experience in terms of what venues they’re going to, what prices they’re paying at those venues, and what kind of liquidity capture and execution performance they are getting at those venues in live time,” explains Glenn Lesko, chief growth officer at Dash Financial Technologies. “They can literally watch themselves trade and access venues.”

Delivered via a web interface, any Dash client is able to access Dash360, regardless of whether they are using an execution or order management system sponsored by Dash, Lesko says. Analytical tools are built around the performance visualizations that can feed back into applications such as Sensor Suite, which one Dash official describes as working “hand in glove” with Dash360.

While performance is, perhaps, the most important measure of a portfolio manager’s success—from the client perspective, at least—the way in which trades are executed has taken on a new and urgent level of importance in trading firms on both sides of the Street. With the advent of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II) in January 2018, many firms have come under stringent new guidelines that require them to show how they achieved best execution for clients. Tools such as Dash360 are almost tailor-made for this requirement, even for those buy-side firms that aren’t necessarily subject to Mifid II, but which might view the Directive as an example of best practice. “The spirit of Mifid II is not just around owning your best-execution policy, but completely understanding top to bottom your best execution process, feeding the data you find back into your process, and constantly optimizing it,” Lesko says. “I feel Dash 360 is really helpful in that endeavor.” 

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