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May 9, 2008

UL Reach Cuts the Wait for Algos

By James Ramage

ESP Technologies wants the buyside to get new algorithms faster. Often, the buyside has to wait months for brokers to properly integrate their latest algos onto desktop applications. But ESP's latest software platform, UL Reach, should speed up the process significantly.

The order-routing and post-trade management technology firm designed UL Reach to let brokers distribute their newest algorithms directly onto buyside traders' desktops through its front-end, said Robert Sher, head of trade operations and customer service at ESP. Generally, new algos' specifications are integrated into buyside systems using a lengthy process that involves the trading system's existing IT infrastructure.

"One of the major problems that the industry has had to deal with as a result of the proliferation of algorithms is that every time algos change, the technology behind it has to change," Sher said.

Brokers are producing more complicated algos that have more parameters and more unique settings, Sher added. UL Reach lets brokers easily modify their algorithms' parameters so they can be sent to clients with less delay.

"The basic purpose of UL Reach," Sher said, "is [to allow] a customer who wants to get the latest and greatest broker product on their desktop in a very rapid fashion."

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