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June 6, 2006

GL Trade to Enter OMS Biz

By Peter Chapman

GL Trade is entering the U.S. market for sellside order management systems.

The French financial technology vendor has signed contracts with four or five undisclosed brokerage houses operating in the U.S. to develop a full-blown order management and trading system. The final product, expected to be ready by the end of the year, will compete with offerings from industry leaders Sungard/Brass, Royalblue, NYFIX, Lava Trading and Bloomberg.

"There is a window of opportunity here," Christophe Dacre-Wright, deputy chief executive of GL Trade Americas, told Traders Magazine. "We aim to become one of the major players."

Wright believes there is room for another player because of the shortcomings of the existing order management platforms. He cites dissatisfaction among brokerages on three counts: weaker, older technology; lengthy installation periods for newer products; and an inability of newer products to handle trading of both Nasdaq and listed securities. GL Trade already offers a bare bones order management platform in the U.S. that is largely limited to order routing and order monitoring. The vendor is adding functionality necessary to upgrade the system for full-blown trading.

GL Trade considers Royalblue its biggest competitor worldwide, according to Dacre-Wright.The British vendor has made great strides in the U.S., and GL Trade is eager to beat them here, he adds. Royalblue, which has taken much market share from Sungard/Brass, maintains a larger presence in the U.S. than GL Trade, Dacre-Wright agrees. GL Trade bought order routing vendor Davidge in 2004. It has 100 U.S. staffers and is hiring OMS specialists.