Sell-Side Technology Awards 2019: Best Sell-Side Front-Office Platform—Bloomberg

Bloomberg is back on top in the best sell-side front-office platform category, thanks largely to its Trade Order Management Solutions and Multi-Asset Risk System products.

Bloomberg wins this year's best sell-side front-office platform category, thanks to its combined Trade Order Management Solutions and Multi-Asset Risk System offering.

At the first two Sell-Side Technology Awards, it was Bloomberg that got the nod in this category. Then Fidessa took the next three editions and Pragma Securities won it last year. This year, Bloomberg is back on top, thanks to its integrated data, communications, trading, risk and analytics platform featuring its Trade Order Management Solutions (TOMS) and Multi-Asset Risk System (MARS).

With TOMS it has a robust multi-asset sell-side trading platform. More than 450 firms around the globe use Bloomberg’s suite of sell-side solutions, so consolidation makes sense. Mark Flatman, global head of sell-side and electronic trading solutions at Bloomberg, says post-crisis regulations such as Fundamental Review of the Trading Book, the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and various new rules handed down by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority require firms to improve risk governance and oversight on front-office desks. As a result, banks have had to rethink their technology stacks and incorporate integrated workflows across the firm. “It has become obvious that in an increasingly competitive environment, where banks still have significant challenges with balance sheets and capital requirements, your technology stack can be a differentiator,” Flatman says. “By integrating our order management system, TOMS, with our multi-asset risk solution, MARS, we have been able to support our clients in a constantly evolving market. Clients can reduce the number of systems and connections they need, while accessing a fast, real-time, intuitive risk [management] and market-making workflow solution at their fingertips.”

The platform offers real-time risk calculations and also helps match buyers and sellers automatically in such a way that the sell side’s balance sheet does not need to be impacted. Jose Ribas, global head of risk and pricing solutions at Bloomberg, says firms are also increasingly looking to consolidate their systems across desks to lower their total cost of ownership. “Front-office trading desks can use our consolidated system for pre-trade idea-generation, pricing and structuring to trade capture, and to monitor intra-day and end-of-day risk, all within the same system,” he says. 

So, for example, Bloomberg’s pricing, scenario analysis, Greeks, margin, and value-at-risk engines are integrated workflows that deliver calculation consistency across all solutions and provide application programming interfaces that clients can use to query results or feed their back-office needs. Bloomberg’s win comes as it is refining its sell-side technology focus—while TOMS and MARS are leading its drive on this front, WatersTechnology reported in April that the data and technology giant intends to exit two key lines of business in the coming months: its equities-focused Sell-Side Execution and Order Management Solutions (SSEOMS) unit and its know-your-customer business, which includes Entity Exchange and Entity Intelligence.

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