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May 31, 1998

SIA Tech Fest's Trading World: Trade-Group Technology Conference is Mecca for the Pros

By John Edwards

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  • SIA Tech Fest's Trading World: Trade-Group Technology Conference is Mecca for the Pros

Some of the most important technological changes on equity-trading desks are only a few years old.

New systems and procedures, meanwhile, constantly enhance the productivity and performance of every trader.

Paperless trading, electronic order routing and a computer protocol dubbed the Financial Information Exchange, or FIX, are good examples.

Innovation is absolutely breathtaking, and the speed at which machines become obsolete is more stunning than ever before.

Wall Street is a hotbed of technology spending. The spending is of gargantuan proportions. And it shows no sign of slowing down.

Not convinced? Just consider the Securities Industry Association's Technology Management Conference and Exhibit at the New York Hilton, June 23 to June 25.

Visitors will discover vendors presenting products and services in areas such as wireless communications, workstation furniture, training, information storage and disaster recovery.

The conference is not short on variety, or of attendees with checkbooks stuffed into bulging briefcases.

As Pim Goodbody, the SIA's vice president of management services, wryly observed to Traders Magazine, "This is the place where industry pros can come to get answers to their most pressing technology questions."

Of hundreds of products exhibited, traders and trading-floor managers will be eagerly eyeing the next generation of trading systems, which promise to streamline operations and boost productivity.

OMR Systems Corp., based in Princeton, N.J., is showcasing the Trading Assistant, its front-to-back trade-processing engine that supports multiple trades from a single-entry screen.

The engine's processing capability includes trade validation, advice and payment processing and accounting usages.

The technology is compatible with the Financial Trading Network, which links individual trading-assistant systems on a trading floor or in seperate locations via messaging technology.

Midas-Kapiti International will highlight its Windows NT-based Front Office DBA trading system. The London-based company says its product is designed to eliminate the expense and confusion of running different applications for a series of specific tasks.

Consisting of independent but integrated components, Front Office DBA delivers real-time and historical market data and news, performs sophisticated pricing and market-risk calculations and automates deal capturing and position keeping all on a single workstation.

Front Office DBA offers traders access to real-time spreadsheets, graphic technical-analysis capabilities, free seating and support for occasional users. Other features include straight-through processing to the backoffice, market-risk management and the ability to expand support into various financial markets.

Trintech Systems, based in Stamford, CT. is showcasing a wide range of trading technologies. FloorLook is the company's electronic quote-routing system, connecting traders to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Trintech's FloorReport supports the management of orders and executions between traders and exchange-floor operations, while its FIXTrader provides order management and routing for both buy-side and sell-side institutions.

Other Technologies

While trading systems take center stage, other technologies will certainly draw the attention of this year's crowd. Several companies are presenting new desktop display technologies.

Acton, Mass.-based Pixelvision is demonstrating its SmartGlas flat-panel display, which maximizes display space while minimizing eye strain.

Designed to replace bulky CRT monitors, SmartGlas resembles a thick sheet of glass and can be mounted on a desktop or wall.

The device allows traders to control more than 30 inches of high-resolution screen area from a keyboard or mouse. SmartGlas is designed to let traders view multiple applications simultaneously, and work collaboratively.