Buy-Side Technology Awards 2016: Best Low-Latency Trading Network—Ullink

This is Ullink's first win in the category.

ullink-bst2016
Ian Robertson, Jack Mills, Gil Guillaumey and Jonathan Davies

The best low-latency trading network category has only been a part of the Buy-Side Technology Awards for three years, but in that short time, the evolution of what is required of a provider of low-latency trading networks has greatly evolved.

Speed, reliability and connectivity are all still major factors, but recent changes in the market have led the buy side to adopt more power and responsibilities from the sell side. Ullink's Nyfix network has been able to scratch both those itches, meeting buy-side firms' day-to-day requirements, while evolving its offering to address their upcoming requests.

Nyfix currently has more than 1,500 firms as members of the Nyfix community and transmits more than 20 million FIX messages across the globe, according to Richard Bentley, chief product officer at Ullink. The network has a low-latency capability called Order Routing Direct, which offers all the benefits of a direct peer-to-peer connection but without the need for dedicated infrastructure. 

Ullink also recently completed a major development to support multi-hub architecture. This means local hubs will support in-region message flows, while still being interconnected for cross-region flows, according to Bentley. The network also continues to grow as Ullink looks to add regional and international providers of buy-side order management systems/execution management systems. In 2016, Ullink doubled the number of partners that connect to Nyfix. 

However, perhaps the most interesting work being done by Ullink is where it perceives the industry moving. 

“We see FIX pervading more asset classes and areas like post-trade, and the real need from our community is to access services like real-time transaction-cost analysis (TCA), trade reconciliation and matching, reporting, surveillance, and so on, exploiting their existing FIX message flows,” Bentley says. “Our core strategy is to transform Nyfix from a network into a platform for delivering these kinds of on-demand services.”

The network also continues to grow as Ullink looks to add regional and international providers of buy-side order management systems/execution management systems. In 2016, Ullink doubled the number of partners that connect to Nyfix.

Ullink is already in the process of making this shift, having launched integrated TCA reporting and other services like real-time status and order monitoring, according to Bentley. All of this comes via a new front-end, called Nyfix Portal, which provides on-demand access for the Nyfix community. 

“Due largely to regulatory change, the buy side needs to take more ownership—in areas like best execution, market abuse monitoring and reporting—and this is driving the demand for new services, typically delivered in an application-service provider (ASP)-type model, direct to the buy-side desktop,” Bentley says. 

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