Why do buy-side clients come to smartTrade to solve their trading challenges?

Part 2 - Why do buy-side clients come to smartTrade to solve their trading challenges?

This revolves essentially around 2 aspects: Efficiency and Credibility.

What I mean by efficiency is that our clients need systems that are easy and quick to integrate. At smartTrade we do that by being experts in connectivity, with relationships with many venues. We have a system that is kept quite open, with several APIs to integrate with other systems. And finally there’s hosting, an option most clients chose to take. Why? Because it gets them live faster than with a traditional “entreprise” setup, while saving them substantial costs.

The second reason is credibility. smartTrade is almost 20 years old now.
We have a large client base with offices, support and data centres in key locations around the world.
And we’re not just a vendor. We have functional and industry experts, along with research and development teams.
This way we can keep this technology edge that many of our larger competitors have lost, and most of our smaller competitors can’t do because of their size.

Part 1- What are the challenges faced by buy-side firms when trading Fixed income today?

Buy-side firms can face a number of challenges. Usually it depends on how deep they want to electronify or automate their operations. And although each firm is different, we’ve found that they tend to follow the same sequence when adopting technology for trading. This is essentially a 3-step process: Electronification, Aggregation and Analytics.

At the electronification stage, they are replacing manual and voice workflows. This usually starts with RFQ negotiation and straight-through-processing (or STP).

At the aggregation stage, they want to simplify access to multiple liquidity pools. This can start with RFQ staging, aggregation of market data, and moves to advanced execution logic, using tools such as an EMS. We also see more requests to provide liquidity and not just be a price taker.

Finally, buy-side firms want to use more of the data that is now available to them. This can be to look at current and historical prices or to analyse their trading. At this stage they tend to look at analytics tool. Ideally those should also help them with the regulatory requirements they have to fill. And help them be more cost-effective on the long run.