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June 19, 2008

4th Story Builds Technology That Builds Algos

By James Ramage

Sellside firms looking to buy the technology to build their own algorithm infrastructure have a new best friend. Software vendor 4th Story designed its 4S.Blue Ridge algorithmic trading server to let brokerages build their own infrastructure to offer their customers algos.

Blue Ridge is a platform for running algos that attaches through a broker's order management system directly, or through a FIX connection, said Steve Smith, chief executive at San Francisco-based 4th Story.

"We're not selling algos; we're helping [customers] implement their own algos, because that's what they know," Smith said. "Blue Ridge hosts them."

When a broker turns a buyside order with specific instructions over to Blue Ridge, the server runs that order in one of the broker's strategies-whether VWAP, a participation strategy or a multi-leg execution strategy, Smith said. The server does whatever that strategy wants it to do.

"Let's say the guy wants to time-slice the order," Smith said. "He sends it to his broker, and then it goes to Blue Ridge. Blue Ridge would run that order in a time-slicing algorithm, and effectively, you're going to get an order every time the time slices."

Blue Ridge can be used for equities, futures and foreign exchange.

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