Trading Technologies (TT), a Chicago-based independent software vendor (ISV), is segmenting its flagship front-end workstation software into four separate products aimed at different target audiences in the trading community. That community consists primarily of futures commission merchants (FCMS) and equity brokerage firms.
Gary Kemp, chief executive officer of TT, says that by the end of this summer, the vendor expects to have four versions of its flagship X Trader product: the incumbent system, which is used by the likes of J.P. Morgan and Bear Stearns; X Trader Web, an online trading tool targeted at FCMs and brokers that want to distribute an Internet solution to their clients; X Trader Pro, a sophisticated system that will be bundled with risk management and real-time quoting capabilities; and X Trader Mercury, a high-end, optimized system aimed at proprietary traders who do business on exchange floors.
X Trader Web and X Trader Pro, says Kemp, will be launched in mid-May. X Trader Mercury, he says, is scheduled to go live sometime this summer. X Trader Web is expected to be appealing to brokers and FCMs that want to put a Web-accessible, interactive, front-end interface to exchanges on the desktops of thousands of their clients.
X Trader Pro, on the other hand, is being targeted at proprietary traders and market makers at brokerage houses. Pro, which is currently being beta tested by a handful of TT clients, will come bundled with a pair of new applications--X Risk and X quote. X Risk is a risk management tool and X Quote is a real-time pricing system that enables clients to make "two-sided markets" for a variety of instruments, says Kemp. "X Quote enables you to set up quoting rules to automatically quote any kind of product--stocks, bonds, options, futures and so on," he says.
Besides deploying X Trader Pro in support of their proprietary traders and market makers, brokers might also deliver the system to the desktops of their clients. Kemp says that two "large" clients of TT plan to deliver Pro via extranets they are developing to accommodate their customers. However, he declines to specify those firms.
Though Pro is sophisticated, X Trader Mercury is TT's fastest and most expensive product offering. Kemp says that Mercury, which costs $2,000 month per terminal, is a "highly optimized graphical user interface that enables a trader to trade directly inside the market depth of a given product." It is being marketed to exchange-floor-based proprietary traders who want to be able to execute orders in sub-millisecond times, as well as view the depth of the order book for a specific security.
Kemp says that in addition to licensing fees, a firm will have to cough up "between $100,000 and $200,000" to install Mercury's hardware and software. Currently, he says Mercury is "in beta tests at three customer sites." But due to the high costs of implementing and licensing the software, Mercury's complete audience will be limited to "500 to 1,000" individuals worldwide," says Kemp.
To date, TT has primarily targeted the European financial markets. TT's software currently provides a gateway to all-electronic derivatives markets in Frankfurt, London, Paris and Stockholm, as well as for equity and options markets in London and Paris. In addition, TT provides an interface to Xetra--the automated trading platform used by the German and Swiss stock markets--and Globex2--the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's electronic trading platform. TT intends to provide
Most recently, TT also unveiled its plan to provide front-end access to the International Securities Exchange (ISE), the all-electronic U.S. options market scheduled to launch in May (ETW, 12/20/99). Soon after it goes live with its ISE link, TT also expects to incorporate U.S. equity connectivity into its front-end software.