Jonathan Clark is CEO at Luminex.
What were the key themes for your business in 2019?
This year, block trading continued to be a cornerstone of the industry, but as with all parts of the capital markets, you need to stay current to compete.
The numbers are somewhat deceptive: since FINRA began publishing ATS Data, Block Trade Volume (10k+ shares category) has seemingly been a mere sliver of ATS trade activity – just .08% of overall ATS trades. But that “sliver” actually represents 11-12% of ATS share *volume*; block trading is as relevant as ever.
To maintain the engagement of our subscribers, in January we rolled out “Luminex 2.0” upgrades to our buy side-only ATS, greatly improving the user experience and rebuilding our UI architecture with OpenFin technology to streamline workflows and speed implementation of future enhancements. In November, we announced additions to our sales and technology teams in response to growing engagement with our platform.
What was the highlight of 2019?
Looking beyond Luminex, this year seemed like the rise of the outsourced trading desk. While these providers have existed for a long time in various forms, this year they were certainly in the spotlight. This is a development to watch. Will these services will grow and gain share versus the more traditional buy side constructs? We’ve seen many new entrants this year: will there be a shakeout in favor of specific providers?
What are your customers’ pain points and how have they changed from a year ago?
While talk of regulatory uncertainty still seems to dominate industry conferences, this year what we’ve heard most from clients is a back-to-basics complaint about the need to streamline workflow for traders. Now, trader “workflow” can include anything from how orders are raised and sent to the desk, to how they are received and ultimately managed. But while Luminex is neither an OMS or EMS, we have done our part in 2019 to upgrade and improve our front end product to make interaction with our platform easier and more seamless.