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December 8, 2009

UNX's New EMS + Business Model

By Peter Chapman

The latest version of UNX's execution management system has been completely reworked to reflect the agency broker's new business model.

Catalyst, formerly known as Metabook, has been written to permit UNX's customers and sellside partners to integrate their own applications into the EMS by themselves. The move to an open platform reflects a new approach by UNX that emphasizes the provision of technology over the selling of brokerage services.

To a certain extent, the firm is becoming more like a vendor and less of a broker. It will, however, remain a broker-dealer in order to get paid. Thomas Kim, UNX's new chief executive officer, explained that the new approach will make it easier for Catalyst users to add "content" such as pre-trade analytics, research and prime brokerage. "We want to give both the buyside and the sellside a tool they can build on top of, underneath, alongside, whatever," Kim said. "We'll give them all the documentation and even some resources, under the right circumstances, to help with the build."

Kim noted that additions are difficult to make under less open platforms where, to add content, the user must pay the vendor and wait for it to complete the project. With Catalyst--built using Microsoft's .Net technology--the code-writing is easy and can be done in-house, Kim said.


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