BST Awards 2022: Best buy-side EMS—FactSet

Product: Portware

Overview

FactSet’s execution management system (EMS), Portware, is a multi-asset trading platform designed to help asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds manage the challenges of complexity and scale with embedded analytics, decision support and automation. Portware is configurable to the workflow requirements of buy-side trading and is designed to scale in order to handle firms’ peak trade volumes.

“Faced with greater demands and complexities, our traders need consistent workflows across asset classes, smart automation and embedded analytics for decision support. We worked with FactSet to develop strong fixed-income trading capabilities that enable our teams to make fast, informed decisions, capture data, and track trade performance, helping us achieve best execution.” 
Jeffrey Tan, head of global trading, GIC

What problem does it address?  

  • Scale and efficiency: Portware’s data-driven order routing logic enables trading teams to handle large volumes and route orders to the market quickly and consistently.
  • Data volumes and analysis: Portware aggregates and filters data from diverse sources and graphically represents critical order and execution data at each stage of a trade.

Secret Sauce 

Portware is configurable to clients’ workflow requirements and offers access to electronic liquidity for multiple asset classes. Its vendor-neutral/open architecture enables integration of proprietary and third-party data and analytics for use within Portware’s buy-side trading blotters, providing execution desks with detailed pre-trade insight. 

Recent milestones

  • The release of aggregated bond pricing data from Bloomberg, Ice, and Trace.
  • Enhanced liquidity discovery via integration with Neptune for streaming axes data.
  • Improved graphical reporting capabilities with flexible analysis of executions using time-series data and fill-level details.
“FactSet continues to invest in and enhance Portware, including the introduction of fixed-income trading capabilities. This strategy differentiates our world-class, multi-asset class platform and helps our clients seamlessly surface new insights and trade across asset classes with greater speed and efficiency.” 
Rob Robie, head of analytics and trading solutions, FactSet

Future objectives 

  • Continued focus on the firm’s delivery-agnostic platform with further investment in cloud-centric access points, including the migration of Portware to the AWS cloud.
  • Collaboration with BlackRock to enhance the interoperability of Portware and Aladdin and make implementations faster and more standardized.
  • Expanded collection and integration of critical data such as private markets, deep-sector metrics and ESG.

Why they won 

Portware has a long pedigree in the EMS space, especially in the North American buy-side market. Less well-known is the fact that since late 2015, it has been part of the FactSet stable, which positions it perfectly to service the firm’s substantial buy-side clientele. From a trading perspective, no other technology is more critical to the buy side than an EMS, which, when combined with Portware’s AWS cloud-centric model and its collaboration with BlackRock, make it a no-brainer for appreciable numbers of buy-side firms.

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