New York-based inter-dealer broker GFI Group has launched a new electronic trading platform for the professional trading community. GFInet is currently in use at GFI Groups international equity business and is in the process of being installed at 15 client sites. GFInet will also be expanded beyond equities into global financial instruments such as, bonds, commodities, currencies and derivatives. The Web-based windows application will operate as an Alternative Trading System for users accessing GFInets limit order book to monitor and execute trades in real-time.
GFInet is unique because it mimics the professional trading community, says Michael Gooch, chairman and CEO of GFI Group and GFInet. Unlike retail-type transactions where there are very limited ways to work an order, the professional community works orders in block transactions and in a more complicated fashion, he explains. There are more complicated spread transactions and transactions dependent upon other events, which means that we had to build an extremely complicated and robust trading system that has many layers of programming and code.
The GFInet trading platform can be customized for the user and has an interface into the National Market System via Nasdaqs SelectNet. When a user signs up, they answer a number of questions about trading practices and they would have a number of default options that would automatically default to the users normal trading practices, says Gooch. For example, if every time I put in a certain order, say I like to increase my orders in multiples of ten lots, then the system would automatically remember that every time and would default to that unless the user overrode it.
GFI Group plans to ultimately extend the availability of the GFInet trading platform to all of its clients, which total more than 400, and expects at least 75 of those to be fully electronic within the first six to nine months of this year. GFInet also features an analytics package, which captures data from the entire GFI Group. The analytics and pricing models update in real-time, adds Gooch. Were using XML remote scripting so the user can open our windows set up and customize his page to whichever financial products he wishes to view and access historical data, live data and pricing models.
Users can access the GFInet system either through the Internet or through a network connection. Gooch adds that typical users include large financial institutions, particularly global banks, securities houses and trading companies. While orders are currently received by phone and entered into the system by the broker, once more users are live with the system, orders will be directly routed into the system for straight-through processing. GFInet is also used for trading telecommunications minutes and in the electricity market.