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Australian Stock Exchange Picks Cameron Systems to Introduce FIX-based Market Data

Cameron, Archipelago Sells Brokerage Arm, and more

Australian Stock Exchange Picks Cameron Systems to Introduce FIX-based Market Data Services

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) will launch low-latency market data services in 2006 based on the FIX (Financial Information) Protocol.

The ASX has picked the CameronFIX Market Data Server Platform to support these new market data services. The move corresponds with the migration of equities trading to ASX's new integrated trading system in October 2006. In addition, Cameron will provide FIX trading interfaces into both the current SEATS system and the integrated trading platform.

Cameron says ASX will be the first exchange to offer a fully integrated FIX trading and market data platform for all ASX-traded instruments, covering equities, warrants, options, futures and interest-rate securities.

The new FIX data services are designed to deal with greater trading volumes, much of which is derived from increased algorithmic and DMA trading activity. Collin Scully, group executive of ASX Markets, states in the release it's important to extend the high efficiency, low latency associated with trading on ASX across to its market data services.

According to John Cameron, founder and chief technology officer for Cameron Systems, who is quoted in the release, "With the growth of algorithmic trading, more and more traders are driven by current market-data prices, so the worlds of trading and market data are merging. One standard for all makes compelling sense," he stated in the release. The challenge was to make FIX fast enough for market data, said Cameron in the release. To meet the challenge, Cameron developed proprietary accelerator technology, which boosts FIX performance by up to a factor of 10. Cameron will use the accelerator technology to provide higher performance with existing FIX messages, and then it will adapt its technology to take advantage of FIX Adapted for Streaming (FAST) standard as it becomes available, he stated in the release.

Archipelago Sells Brokerage Arm to Parent of OES

Order Execution Services Holdings is buying Archipelago Brokerage Services, LLC, (ABS) from Archipelago Holdings Inc., the owner and operator of the Archipelago Exchange. (ArcaEx). The firm will be renamed ABS Brokerage Services.

Both parties entered a definitive agreement for the sale of ABS Brokerage to OES, according to Monday's announcement, on Dec. 23, 2005. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006, subject to regulatory approvals. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Archipelago has operated ABS as an introducing broker providing broker-dealer customer access to ArcaEx for securities traded on the electronic exchange. Order Execution Services Holdings is the parent company of Order Execution Services (OES) LLC, an independent introducing and agency broker.

Archipelago was obligated to sell the brokerage subsidiary by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a condition of Archipelago's acquisition of the Pacific Exchange, Inc., in September of 2005, according to the release.

"We are confident that customers previously served by Archipelago will be well served under the growing umbrella of OES," stated Mike Cormack, president of Archipelago, in the release. As part of OES, ABS Brokerage Services Customers will be the beneficiaries of enhanced connectivity and customer service," further stated Cormack in the release.

According to David Scheckel, CEO of OES, who is quoted in the release, "ABS will deliver to its customers a competitive trading platform with competitive pricing, FIX connectivity, new order types and complete anonymity."

FIX Protocol Ltd.'s Releases FAST Protocol Source Code

FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) is making the reference code and supporting documentation for the FAST Protocol—a data compaction technology—publicly available and downloadable from the FPL Web site (www.fixprotocol.org/fast).

FAST—which stands for FIX Adapted for Streaming—was developed by the FPL Market Data Optimization Working Group in response to increasing electronic trading volumes and market data messaging rates. The FAST reference code is being made available on an 'open source' basis in accordance with the W3C software license. The reference code includes the FASTAPI code set, giving users access to the FAST functions for compressing data streams.

The purpose of the FAST protocol is to help the financial-services industry reduce the size of market data messages rates and manage the trade-offs in processing high volume order routing volumes, according to the release. Proof-of-concept tests that concluded in December 2005 demonstrated that the FAST Protocol was capable of improving the communication efficiencies for several exchange data feeds without incurring material trade-offs in processing and latency, according to the release.

"The degree of message size and bandwidth reduction that FPL's market data effort has achieved is nothing short of amazing, especially since this is accomplished without incurring the offsetting computational processing costs that one would typically see with regular compression algorithms," comments Scott Atwell of American Century Investments and Co-chair of the FPL Global Steering Committee. "Now the source code that these brilliant programmers used is being made freely available.

According to Matt Simpson of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, who is Co-Chair of the FPL Market Data Optimization Working Group and quoted in the release, the release of the FAST Protocol source code is: intended to encourage adoption, promote standard usage and provide a leg-up for those firms looking to build a FAST-based feed.

Schwab Signs Enterprise License for Nasdaq's TotalView Data Feed

Charles Schwab secured an enterprise-wide license for the Nasdaq TotalView data product, which is The Nasdaq Stock Market's premier data feed. Initially, Schwab will incorporate TotalView data into CyberTrader, its online brokerage service for very active traders. In the future, it will make the data available to its mass trading market through the Street Smart Pro software application.

CyberTrade clients with access to Level II data will be able to take advantage of Nasdaq TotalView without any additional fees, according to the release. "TotalView has emerged as the standard Nasdaq data feed for serious traders," stated Adena Friedman, eVP of corporate strategy and data products for Nasdaq, in the release. "Schwab's decision to provide its clients with TotalView in a cost efficient manner reinforces Schwab's position as a market leader and confirms its commitment to give customers the tools they need to successfully implement their trading strategies," Friedman further stated in the release.

TotalView provides the aggregated size of all quotes and orders available for execution for every price level in the Nasdaq Market Center for each Nasdaq-listed security, as well as net order imbalance information for Nasdaq Opening and Closing Cross-eligible securities. Nasdaq has integrated the full depth of Brut liquidity in Nadaq-listed stocks into TotalView. Now that Nasdaq has completed the acquisition of the INET ECN, Nasdaq plans on fully incorporating INET liquidity into TotalView in 2006.

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