October 2012

FRONT-OFFICE TECHNOLOGY VENDORS: Who does what

wheelFunds Europe surveys vendors about which asset classes their main execution management systems cover for fund managers, and their development plans.

BLOOMBERG – BLOOMBERG ESMX

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused execution management system (EMS) cover?Bloomberg EMSX offers direct routing for equities, ETFs, futures, equity swaps and listed options. In addition to direct routing, EMSX also offers a multi-dealer platform for listed and listed lookalike options, ETFs and futures. EMSX enables traders to implement complex basket trades, equity pairs and multi-leg options strategies.

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
Yes. Bloomberg is continually working to update and innovate its products.  

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
Yes. On Bloomberg EMSX, we offer the ability to trade multi-leg options with underlying equity trades (delta neutral trading and buy-write strategies) in addition to cross asset pairs and baskets through our application programme interface.

Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS?
EMSX is a hosted solution available with the Bloomberg Professional service.

When was it launched?
The latest version EMSX was launched in 2008. The EMS platform has been a part of the Bloomberg offering since the early 2000s.

How widely is it being adopted?
Bloomberg is the largest EMS in terms of active users.  We have over 11,500 global users across the buy-side and sell-side.

 CHARLES RIVER – CHARLES RIVER TRADER

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused EMS cover?
Charles Rivers’ 350-plus buy-side clients can trade across all asset classes including equities, fixed income, derivatives, FX, options, commodities, futures and swaps.  The system is highly flexible and adapts to any investment workflow (for example, portfolio manager as trader or portfolio manager to trading desk).

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
Charles River already supports the full range of asset classes as well as custom-defined instruments, and we continue to work to support new/complex instrument types.

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
Yes, our EMS, which is tightly integrated with our OMS, supports multi-asset, multi-currency trading electronically via FIX network or more manual methods (trader to broker by phone).
 
Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS? When was it launched? What functionality does it provide?
Charles River’s execution management software capabilities have been available on a hosted basis since 2005 and are seamlessly integrated with our order management capabilities into a single trading blotter.  It provides the same functionality as the locally deployed solution.

How widely is it being adopted?
More than 80% of new clients use managed services for execution management and other functions.

CONVERGEX – REALTICK

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused EMS cover?
RealTick provides coverage for true global, cross-asset class trading in equities, futures and options, FX, and fixed income.

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
RealTick continues to expand its coverage in the derivatives space, particularly in FX and fixed income. Additional feature enhancements we are exploring revolve around swaps, swap execution facilities/organised trading facilities, whole block trading, and the means by which RealTick’s capabilities can help our customers stay abreast of regulatory demands and to mediate transaction-related liabilities.

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
Absolutely. The recently launched RealTick Strategy Server offers users the ability to trade one or more asset class in products in conjunction. For example: trading equities against futures, or futures against options.

Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS?
RealTick is a fully-hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution delivering real cost-savings to customers by reducing expenses in infrastructure and maintenance. RealTick was one of the first electronic trading solutions to provide access to services over the internet without a dedicated connection.  

When was it launched?
In 1985.

How widely is it being adopted?
There are close to 200 brokers in the RealTick global broker routing network, and we have added 50 new brokers in the first half of 2012.

FIDESSA

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused EMS cover?
Equities, futures, options, FX and some fixed income.

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
Yes, we are looking at over-the-counter instruments and more financial institution functionality.

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
Yes.

Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS? And when was it launched?
The EMS is hosted whether it is  run with our enterprise clients or not. In 2005.

How widely is it being adopted?
The hosted version is on site at over 200 clients and is proving more and more popular with enterprise clients as market change imposes a rapid speed of change on trading systems.

FLEXTRADE – FLEXTRADER

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused, EMS cover?
The asset classes it covers includes equities, FX, options and futures.

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
Yes.  We will soon be branching into fixed income when FlexTRADER becomes certified to trade US Treasuries.

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
Yes. Over the years we noticed an increase in the number of buy-side traders interested in trading multiple asset classes simultaneously while considering the relationships between the asset classes. For instance, many were looking at trading futures versus a portfolio and then trading the FX as a hedge against an international execution.  FlexTRADER can facilitate such trades electronically from one platform using real-time market data, which allows for more effective hedging through currency exposure, and smarter trading based upon futures and the stock prices.

Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS? And when was it launched?
FlexTRADER, with all its functionality, can be implemented as a fully hosted solution via data centres in the US, South America, Europe and Asia. The hosted version has been available for nine years.

How widely is it being adopted?
It is utilised by about 50% of our clientele.

PORTWARE – PORTWARE ENTERPRISE

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused, EMS cover?
Portware Enterprise supports equities, futures, options and FX.

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
We may add additional asset class support in the future. Right now, we are focused on the expansion of our core product suite and our new Alpha Vision predictive analytics/algo optimisation solution.

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
Yes. Portware allows traders to execute true multi-asset trading strategies — auto-hedging, cross-asset arbitrage, and so on.

Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the  EMS? What functionality does it provide?
Yes. Portware Enterprise can be deployed locally (that is, client site) or via our cloud. Our cloud-based option is by far the most popular deployment strategy for new clients. Unlike traditional application service provider EMSs, Portware’s cloud solution offers the same levels of performance, customisation and workflow integration that our locally deployed solutions deliver. This is critically important for larger buy-side firms with more complex trading and integration requirements.

When was it launched?
Portware introduced its cloud-based offering in June 2011.

How widely is it being adopted?
It has been widely adopted by new clients. A number of existing clients are transitioning from on-site deployment to the cloud.

SUNGARD – VALDI EMS

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused, EMS cover?
Listed equities, fixed income, futures and options globally (150-plus markets).

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
OTC derivatives coverage if/when electronic trading of these becomes significant.

Does your EMS also cater for multi-asset trading in addition to multiple asset classes?
The Valdi EMS supports multi-leg strategy trading across asset classes.
 
Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS? What functionality does it provide?
The EMS (a Windows app) is deployed and supported via the Web; it can be used as a direct market access screen on 110-plus markets where the trader has memberships, or route orders to 500-plus brokers providing service on 120-plus markets worldwide.

When was it launched?
More than ten years ago.

How widely is it being adopted?
Several thousand in the field – some cloud-based as above, others distributed by individual brokers to their clients and often white-labeled.

TRADINGSCREEN – TRADESMART

What asset classes does your main buy-side focused, EMS cover?
TradingScreen’s EMS TradeSmart supports all major products, listed or OTC, and includes global equities and equity linked products (ETFs, warrants), listed derivatives – including commodities, fixed income, and FX, including spot, forwards and swaps.

Are there plans to include additional asset classes?
As the electronic markets continue to evolve and span a wider set of asset classes and instrument types, our development and connectivity plan certainly aims to bring them onto our platform.

Do you have a cloud-based/ hosted version or service for the EMS?
TradeSmart is a cloud-based execution management system. Using a SaaS model, TradeSmart can be deployed quickly and updated in real-time to reflect unfolding market conditions, such as currency changes.

What functionality does it provide?
There are no restrictions on the TradeSmart functionality when delivered via SaaS.

When was it launched?
When TradingScreen launched TradeSmart in 1999, it helped create the execution management space. Since then it has become a universal platform for global trading.

How widely is it being adopted?
TradeSmart has more than 5,000 users worldwide.

©2012 funds europe