FIX Testing Facility for Fixed Income?
As FIX Protocol Limited (FPL) revisits the idea of a centralized-certification program to support fixed income, one vendor involved in a previous certification effort is offering to provide the service for free. Sam Johnson, chief executive officer of TransactTools, Inc. - who currently runs a free Web site called Open FIX - proposes setting up a similar Web site branded and sponsored by FPL that serves as a centralized-testing facility for the industry. Johnson suggests that FPL give input on the tests that are hosted.
Johnson - a former Goldman Sachs executive who previously sat on the FPL Global Technical Committee - says he has spoken several times with Daniel Doscas, chairman of the Global Fixed-Income Committee, who is revisiting the certification issue. Doscas declined to provide details about his vision, other than to say the certification effort is in its initial stages and needs to be approved by the FPL Global Steering Committee.
"I have submitted some documentation that's not for public consumption yet that we need to vet out and then once that happens there'll be a process where vendors and firms will be invited to address that kind of program. That's when we'll be more able to address that in the public domain," he says.
A similar initiative for equities called TradeAssure was set up for FPL three years ago by a consortium of vendors including SIAC (the New York Stock Exchange's technology subsidiary), Hewlett-Packard and The Open Group (a standards body). The three companies told the FIX Global Technical Committee that their business model would allow the certification process to be self-funding, but the effort was never more specific than that.
ADP & ATS Offer Real-time Risk Tool
ADP back-office-outsourcing clients will have access to an integrated risk tool for margin-account monitoring now that ADP's Brokerage Services Group has teamed up with Advanced Trading Solutions. The duo will offer a new real-time risk-management tool to their customers.
Under the alliance, ATS's RiskMon tool will be available to ADP back-office-outsourcing clients as an ASP option.
Charlie Marchesani, senior vice president of product development at ADP Brokerage Processing Services, says that the idea originated within the vendor's client-steering committee, a consortium made up of representatives from end-user firms. "With the volatility in the marketplace, margin risk is something customers need to protect themselves against," says Marchesani. The RiskMon tool monitors designated margin accounts and e-mails users with updates on high-risk accounts.
The RiskMon tools will be integrated with ADP BPS's back-office platform and can be accessed through an intranet interface for real-time alerts and "what-if" analysis. In other words, if users are trading during the day, the updates are fed directly from the ADP BPS back-office platform into the RiskMon system.
Marchesani explains that the integration work took place at both the operational and the product level. "We worked with the folks at ATS to put their code onto our mainframe environment and then we had to do the back-office integration relative to the data being imported into the tool, as well as the market-data integration," he adds.
Townsend Analytics Set to Expand RealTick's Reach
Townsend Analytics (TAL), a direct-access trading-system vendor, plans to build electronic order-routing interfaces to the trading engines employed by the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris and OneChicago. TAL - which already provides connectivity to a multitude of electronic-communications networks and stock exchanges across the United States and Europe, via its flagship RealTick trading platform - expects to go live with its new interfaces sometime in the first half of 2003.
Stuart Townsend, president of TAL, says the RealTick links to the LSE and Euronext Paris - the French stock-market arm of the pan-European Euronext exchange - will enable TAL to penetrate further into the European market. TAL, he says, has already developed electronic interfaces to stock exchanges in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain, as well as to Eurex - the all-electronic German/Swiss derivatives market.
Currently, says Townsend, electronic order routing to European exchanges accounts for 10 percent of TAL's business. That figure should rise once TAL completes its RealTick interfaces to the LSE and Euronext Paris, but Townsend declines to make any predictions on the company's European growth.
Simultaneous to its development of new European interfaces, TAL also plans to build a RealTick link to CBOEdirect - the core matching engine of OneChicago, a recently launched single-stock-futures exchange.
Townsend says that TAL has already developed a RealTick interface to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's Globex - an electronic-trading system that some OneChicago participants are using to route orders to CBOEdirect. But TAL also wants to give its customers the option of routing their SSF orders directly to CBOEdirect, and expects to go live with a RealTick interface to that system "within the first six months of 2003," says Townsend.