The Fimat Group, a European brokerage subsidiary of French investment bank Societe Generale, has launched Fimatrade--a front-end workstation software device targeted at the broker's institutional investor clients. Fimat, which expects to begin rolling out Fimatrade at client sites in July, has already linked the electronic interface with the trading engines of the Matif SA, Eurex and the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe).
Patrice Blanc, general manager of Fimat's Fimat USA unit, says the firm built Fimatrade to give its clients--which include commodity trading advisors and mutual fund companies--the ability to access to multiple markets via a single PC. Thus far, he says, the firm has built Fimatrade connections to Liffe's Liffe Connect, Matif's NSC and Eurex.
By the end of the year, Fimat expects to go live with Fimatrade links to the electronic trading platforms employed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Oslo Stock Exchange, Sydney Futures Exchange, Hong Kong Futures Exchange, Singapore Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange and MEFF--the Spanish derivatives market.
In anticipation of Fimat's scheduled June client rollout, Blanc says that a handful of customers are currently performing beta tests of Fimatrade. However, he declines to specify any of the clients that are running tests.
In addition to providing an electronic gateway to multiple derivatives and stock market, Blanc says, Fimatrade comes equipped with real-time position monitoring and risk management capability. Taking that functionality into account, he says, Fimat thinks the product may not only appease its existing clients but also help the company reel in some new European buy-side customers.
Moreover, for clients who still do some open outcry business, Fimat also intends to install Fimatrade on the floor of at least one exchange. Blanc says that before the end of the year, Fimat intends to install some Fimatrade terminals on the floor of the CBOT. Instead of phoning in their orders to one of their exchange-based brokers, he says, clients will electronically send their orders to a floor-based PC running Fimatrade.
But Blanc says that clients connecting to floor-based Fimatrade PCs will only be receiving a temporary order-routing solution. "The U.S. exchanges are still trying to defend open outcry. But they will lose anyway, because sooner or later, all of those markets will be electronic," he predicts.