May 11, 2006

FPL Forms Exchanges/ECN Working Group

FIX Protocol Limited has reestablished an Exchanges/ECN Working Group to gather global and multi-asset class exchanges and market centers together to broaden FIX adoption, according to a release distributed on Tuesday.

The working group will be lead by representatives from three geographic regions: Matt Simpson of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (Americas region), Kathleen Grey of HSBC (Asia Pacific/Japan region) and Hanno Klein of Deutsche Borse (EMEA region). In gathering exchanges and market centers together, the group will focus on implementation success, challenges and opportunities. A number of smaller subgroups will be established within the working group to focus on specific initiatives. In general, the subgroups will focus on business practices, education and marketing and technical initiatives.

Recently, OMX and Deutsche Borse announced a plan to from a ‘harmonized exchange standard’ using FIX. In that announcement, the two exchanges stated, “FIX has the potential of becoming a common standard across exchanges and we invite other market operators to contribute to the initiative.”

OMX and Deutsche Bank envision the FPL Exchanges/ECN working group as a vehicle to involve other global exchanges, their participants and further interested parties with a view of moving the implementation of FIX for access to exchanges forward, states the release. Klein states in the release, “FIX has reached the point of maturity where it provides good coverage for a wide range of exchange services, especially in the areas of core trading and market data distribution. Harmonized usage of FIX across exchanges will be key to realize the benefits of standard access that exchange participants have been asking for,” he further stated in the release.

The education and marketing subgroup will capture and document FIX usage by exchanges throughout the world, market success stories, provide education and encourage marketplace adoption. Another area of focus will review the technical requirements that appear to be unmet from an exchange’s perspective. These efforts will seek to identify gaps and recommend solutions to support a universal set of messaging requirements and needs, stated the release.

Williams Capital Partners With FutureTrade

The Williams Capital Group, L.P., a leading minority-owned institutional brokerage firm, struck an agreement with FutureTrade allowing Williams’ clients to use the electronic trading platform for self-directed direct market access and algorithmic execution. In addition, FutureTrade’s clients will have direct electronic access to Williams Capital’s equity desk.

Under terms of the private-label agreement, Williams Capital will market the latest FutureTrade offering, Version 3.3, which features advanced algorithms, transaction cost analysis, commission management and integration with all of the major-buyside order management systems (OMSs).

“We are very pleased to offer our clients the host of trade execution and liquidity enhancements provided by the FutureTrade Platform,” states Christopher Williams, chairman and CEO of the Williams Capital Group. “The equity market’s increased use of technology based trading applications makes FutureTrade an excellent partner as Williams Capital seeks to enhance the service that we provide to our institutional relationships,” Williams further added in the release.

Through the FutureTrade platform, which provides electronic equity, option and algorithmic trading execution services, Williams Capital users’ can execute single stock and list trades through their choice of electronic execution venue or through a suite of algorithms including VWAP, implementation shortfall and BLOCK.

Recent upgrades to the FutureTrade platform include support for list trading, order staging and symbol-based order management preferences in equities as well as integrated independent transaction cost and commission analysis.

BAS Names Harts to Oversee Strategy for Equities

Bank of America Securities (BAS) hired William Harts as managing director and head of strategy for Equities. Harts reports to Peter Forensic, global head of Equities.

Harts is responsible for electronic trading services strategy and product development, including algorithmic and quantitative strategies, as well as oversight of the design, integration and development of technology across the equities platform. Harts previously worked as a consultant to BAS.

Prior to starting his consultancy, Harts was EVP for corporate strategy at the Nasdaq Stock Market and was closely involved with the implementation and deployment of Nasdaq’s SuperMontage trading system. Earlier in his career, Harts held various positions with Salomon Smith Barney, now part of Citigroup, including managing director of strategic business development for global equities and co-head of global program trading. He also established an automated equity market making and trading operation for Lehman Brothers. He began his career in information technology before transitioning to Wall Street, according to the release.

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