Targeting North American floor traders and automated European traders, patsystems, a London-based independent software vendor, has launched a wireless handheld trading application. Dubbed H-Trader, the Windows CE-driven application, which runs on a Compaq Pocket PC, provides electronic connectivity to a large group of exchanges--including the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Euronext, Eurex, Sydney Futures Exchange, Singapore Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Meff (the Spanish derivatives market) and London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange.
Via H-Trader, traders will have the ability electronically to route orders to these markets, from any remote location, and receive real-time executions and speedy fills--or detailed confirmations of their trades. The wireless handheld, says patsystems CEO David Jones, will also provide users with the ability to enter automatic stop-loss orders and see, simultaneously, the best bid, best offer and last traded price for a specific contract.
The primary target audience for H-Trader, he says, is pit traders who operate on the floors of North American futures exchanges, like the CBOT and CME. "This product was designed and developed with the support of active floor traders, so the principal drive (for this handheld) came out of the North American environment," says Jones. "We see a great opportunity to provide this facility to pit traders who are now ready to take that first step towards automating some of the crucial parts of their activity."
H-Trader, he says, will enable floor-based traders to not only eliminate paper tickets but also speed up processing and improve accuracy. After a floor trader enters an order, says Jones, the order will then get routed to his exchange's trading engine, where it will be executed and sent back to the handheld within fractions of a second. "With this facility, floor traders can get a feel of the market in a normal ... (while) automating some elements of their tasks," he says.
In addition to North American pit traders, patsystems will also try to pitch H-Trader to European derivatives traders who want to supplement their trading capabilities with a remote device. Jones says that H-Trader should appeal to traders who want the ability to perform real-time trades while they are away from the office. Instead of just being tied to a workstation in an office block they will now be allowed to trade wherever they are," he says.
Lastly, Jones says, H-Trader may also prove enticing to trading firms that want to have a back-up system in the event of either an emergency or a failure of their main trading system. "In London, for example, we're use to having bomb scares, and if you have to evacuate a building for 10 or 20 minutes in the middle of a busy trading day, and you can't get access to your trading room, you're exposed. But with (H-trader), you're not exposed," he says.
H-Trader links to different exchanges via either a wireless local area network or an Internet interface. The connectivity method, says Jones, is left to the discretion of each individual customer. "It comes with both of those options available and you choose which one you deploy," he says.
Clients can also choose whether they want to pay for a full package--which includes the H-trader software installed on a Compaq Pocket PC--or buy their software and hardware separately. For more details, go to www.patsystems.com.