Sponsored Statement: Trade/Invest/Inform, Fidessa Re-brands

Simon Barnby, Fidessa

Waters: Why did Fidessa deem it necessary to go through this brand review exercise?
Simon Barnby: It’s been 30 years since Fidessa was established and we have changed out of all recognition during that time. We started as a UK software house developing bespoke applications; now we are a truly global provider of solutions to the financial community, with 85 percent of the world’s premier financial institutions using our technology and trusting our know-how.

One of the challenges facing us is to ensure that people in that financial community have a consistent and accurate understanding of all that Fidessa now does, as well as ensuring that the image people have of us truly reflects who we are and communicates our core values.

Many people still think of us as a supplier of enterprise systems to tier-one brokers and, although that’s still a very important part of what we do, we offer a lot more besides. With software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for all tiers of the sell side, the addition of the LatentZero investment management suite for the buy side, our global connectivity order routing and trading network, and our market data and information initiatives, the Fidessa business has changed dramatically over recent years.

As we prepare for the next phase of our growth, we felt that the time was now right to review and evolve our brand identity to ensure that it presents clearly and concisely the full breadth of products, services and skills that we have to offer. The main aim of this is to convey to the global financial community what Fidessa is all about today and where we see ourselves going in the future.

Waters: What did the brand review exercise entail?
Barnby: We engaged a firm that specializes in brand identity and conducted a detailed internal and external review of Fidessa’s image and market positioning. This involved a series of interviews with staff around the world as well as input from senior management about the strategic direction of the business, discussions with our customers, analysis of our market and an audit of competitors’ images and identities.

We then developed a definition of what we felt our image and positioning should be as we move forward, and established what we had to do to bridge the gap between that and current perception. We were then able to review the visual language and messaging that we had in use and build on its strengths and evolve it to ensure it communicates the business that we are today, creating that defined image and positioning in the marketplace.

We are delighted with the result. We have evolved the Fidessa logo, making it simpler, stronger and more stylistic. We have introduced a palette of six new striking colors and an uncomplicated yet distinctive new branding style. And we have clarified our messaging to ensure it succinctly communicates all that we now do and are able to offer. We firmly believe our new identity really does convey the message we want, while at the same time showing that Fidessa is a thought leader that truly values the strong, trusted partnerships we have with our clients.

Waters: Has Fidessa changed or rationalized any of its offerings as part of this process?
Barnby: Not in the least. Naturally we are always introducing new products and services—and that will not change. However, it’s important for people to understand that we have refreshed our identity as a way of defining more clearly all that we do, as well as all that we are trying to achieve with the ever-expanding and highly valued Fidessa community around the world over the coming years.

However, perhaps it’s worth summarizing exactly what we now offer.

For the buy side, our core LatentZero product suite covers every stage of the investment process across all asset classes. It’s been designed to work throughout the marketplace, and our clients range from some of the largest investment managers in the world to the most agile hedge funds.

The sell side is probably what we’re best known for, and for good reason: It has been at the core of our business from the start. We’ll never stop developing and improving our order management system, advanced trading tools and market access to ensure our clients can stay ahead of the changing trading landscape and regulation.

Underpinning these elements sits our FIX connectivity network. Its strength is derived from its breadth, and it currently connects more than 3,000 counterparties across the world’s financial markets, carrying order flow of around $10 trillion each year.

Data is also a key part of our offering, and something we’re increasingly well-known for. It’s this strength in market data that has allowed us to develop our freely available value-added information and analysis tools the Fidessa Fragmentation Index (FFI), Fragulator® and Tradalyzer™.

Waters: What aspects of Fidessa’s branding will change as part of this process?
Barnby: The first thing people may notice is the updated Fidessa logo and its simpler, stronger more stylistic form. We have also introduced a new Fidessa symbol based on the unique shape created by the joined ‘F’ and ‘I’ letters from the logo. This symbol will have a variety of uses including becoming the new desktop icon for our products. This “Fi” symbol is very distinctive and will soon become instantly recognizable and synonymous with Fidessa.

We have introduced a new color palette which incorporates our two corporate grays but have supplemented these with a flexible range of six secondary colors including greens, blue, mauve, orange and yellow. The colors will not be allocated to specific elements of our business or product sets; they will actually be used somewhat randomly across all that we do, which we believe will in itself be quite distinctive. As with all good marketing we want to stick in people’s minds and intend to help achieve this by being a bit different.

Our literature will make use of our new branding style which features a top-right to bottom-left diagonal cut—borrowing from the line created by the touching F and I letters in the new Fidessa symbol—so all our visual material, including exhibitions stands, will have this slightly heraldic look. When it comes to colors, it’s not quite a case of anything goes, but you can expect the unexpected!

We are also introducing a corporate strapline for the first time, to convey what Fidessa does as well the breadth and depth of what we currently offer. This strapline is based on three succinct verbs defined by what our clients use Fidessa for, or in other words, what business benefit they derive from their Fidessa solution.

Our strapline is quite simply: Trade/Invest/Inform.

“Trade” refers both to the sell-side trading products of Fidessa’s heritage, as well as our buy-side trading products and the market and client connectivity that we offer. So, if you are involved in trading the world’s financial markets then Fidessa has products and services for you.

“Invest” indicates the range of investment management products we offer the buy side, as well as tools for proprietary trading on the sell side, along with connectivity to global brokers and venues. If you’re involved in investing in the world’s financial markets, Fidessa has products and services for you.

“Inform” points out that Fidessa is evolving as an information provider in many ways, not just through our market data capabilities, our reporting, analytics and compliance tools, but also through our growing range of web-based initiatives such as the FFI, Fragulator and Tradalyzer.

Waters: Will existing customers notice anything new as a result of this exercise? In other words, is this primarily an internal exercise?
Barnby: It’s certainly not just an internal initiative. We believe that we have created a platform for more streamlined, informed relationships between Fidessa and our customers. The brand refresh will give all our customers a clearer idea of all that we can offer them and what they can gain from a long-term relationship with Fidessa.

As well as creating an updated brand identity, we are also developing new internal and external processes that will bring us closer to our customers and ensure we understand all their precise business and technical needs as they find their way through an era of constant change in the financial markets.

Waters: Are there any new products or services from Fidessa on the horizon?
Barnby: Of course. We constantly evolve our entire product set to ensure that the functionality and service they supply meets the ever-changing needs of our clients. One key area of growth is around business intelligence—delivering tools and value-added information that allow Fidessa users to more fully understand the complex trading landscape that now exists, and measure their performance within it.

Just last month, we launched the Tradalyzer, a web-based trading performance analysis tool, building on the success of our FFI and Fragulator. In the absence of a European consolidated tape, this gives brokers an independent verification of trading performance; empowers buy side firms by giving them the information they need to assess execution performance; and lets trading venues demonstrate the value they offer the market. This is part of the “inform” element of the brand, which is the area that we’ll be building out most in the coming months.

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