TradingLinx.com, a new application service provider for cross border trade confirmations, has hired Joel Gallo---former vice president of investment administration & technology---to focus on buy-side relationships. His title will be vice president and director. Gallo joined the company two weeks ago.
Gallo left Scudder for a new opportunity. He says he saw the need for a vehicle like TradingLinx to help both buy and sell sides automate confirmations in the post trade, pre settlement process. Gallo's speciality is in back-office technology as at Scudder he oversaw testing, implementation and workflow analysis for the firm's trading and back-office systems. He also managed national trade support operations.
Gallo was excited by the opportunity to assist the buy side in its automation process as many of the buy side's processes are still to this day manual. Justin Lowe, founder and co-CEO, adds that 26% of trade allocations are done manually. In addition 20% of confirmations are still done through the fax machine at buy-side institutions. These statistics refer to the U.S. environment, and they point out that the situation only gets worse when discussing cross border trades.
TradingLinx, which provides an automated confirmation system that was just introduced a month ago, is in the process of soliciting clients for its service. First it is reaching out to European clients as it will focus on cross border trades initially. By the first quarter of 2001 the company will begin to focus on building a U.S. clientele. The system will automate confirms for all asset classes, including equities, commodities and fixed income.
Lowe emphasizes that TradingLinx.com's intention is to work with the GSTPA's Transaction Flow Manager. "Many firms need a way to automate their confirmations and then send them to the GSTPA's TFM. TradingLinx will help them do that." Lowe adds that he has had conversations with GSTPA representatives, but until the GSTPA has a tangible system they cannot talk specifics about how they will work together. In addition, Lowe believes the TradingLinx solution will also be able to work with Thomson/DTCC's solution--another solution that is not yet off the ground.
TradingLinx's system uses an open architecture so it will be interoperable with any other systems that crop up as well, Lowe notes. The confirmation engine is linked to clients' order management systems and follows the same workflow and process that traders are used to--only in an automated fashion. The initial focus of TradingLinx is cross border, but it will also open up to U.S. trades. The technology that the TradingLinx system is based on was developed in France. It was purchased by TradingLinx while it was being alpha tested there.