ING Investment Management Americas upgraded its buy-side trading floor in New York City recently, deploying IPC's IQ/MAX trading turret there and in Hartford, Conn. The 10-person trading floor, located at 230 Park Ave. in New York, made the move to the newest version of the turret last November. In addition, the firm installed the new turret for a single individual trader located in Hartford, Conn."We looked at going strictly with IP (Internet Protocol) technology," says Martin Ratajczak, telecommunications manager at ING Investment Management Americas. "The simplest function they wanted was a caller ID function. MAX provides a caller ID function so the traders are able to scroll and see inbound and outbound telephone numbers," he says.
The buy-side floor support the firm's internal products - hedge funds and fixed-income products. Portfolio managers and traders work directly with certain products. "Because of the type of businesses that our traders work with and the fact that they're dealing with internal products, the actual floor is relatively small," says the telecom manager.
ING upgraded from a 15-year IPC TradeNet system, an entirely analog device, according to Ratajczak. Though ING looked at other manufacturers, it stayed with IPC. "The response from the prior relationship was excellent," he says. "Even though the floor is small within ING, they still treat us like JP Morgan," he emphasizes.
The buy-side firm was able to integrate its existing Nortel Option 61C TDM/PBX telephone system with the new turret desktop. "The PBX provides the outbound dial tone and speed dialing and it enabled us to upgrade without a complete overhaul of our telephone numbers," says Ratajczak. "It made our integration much faster and much more efficient," he says.
From a turret perspective, the asset manager didn't have to install new DID (direct inward dial) numbers and circuits to provide the DID service. "When a call comes in, it routes from the Nortel switch to the IPC turret, (and) it rings on the turret. If the trader doesn't answer, it comes back to Nortel, he says. This allows them to do forwarding of messages from the traders to the portfolio managers, he points out. . Because the new system is VoIP (voice over IP), ING is able to integrate the turret into its existing data networks. "We're using our current data infrastructure to not only provide PC traffic (but) to provide voice traffic," he says.
One of the key features that IPC offers is redundancy. Instead of having a central processor, the processing is spread between all the circuit cards, not over a single card. On the IP system, if there's a problem with a circuit card within the IP system, another circuit card is able to take over the processing that is able to run the IPC telephones. "If we were to lose individual lines coming into one of their circuit cards, then we would have additional redundancy on our lines," says Ratajczak.
ING can also reroute its telephone calls. "If it were to lose New York, I could have the same lines running in Hartford. It allows us a lot of flexibility," Ratajczak says. "We can run off of a single back-end system and have offices spread across our network," he adds. Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio