Asset managers looking to do automated trading will find that platforms are moving to the cloud environment. At SIFMA, we spoke to Portware about deploying its global trading technology on the Elektron community, a private-cloud-based infrastructure managed by Thomson Reuters.
I am not sure if Portware's order and execution management system is running in the cloud. But Ary Khatchikian, Portware’s president and Chief Technology Officer, said the company’s cloud-based offering will bundle three major features: market data, securities classifications and access to 450 venues (for equities and FX). Cloud is “just not a rack and hosting. It’s much more,” said Khatchikian. For instance, most of the industry uses Reuters RIC codes. The security classifications enable firms to verify the security they are trading and which exchange they are routing to, he explained.
With the proliferation of automated trading strategies requiring cross-border algorithmic executions, there is a lot of software, data and analytics that must come together, not to mention, speed-to-market, and security and reliability issues. The cloud enables Portware to provide a hosted turnkey solution for its buy/sell-side and hedge fund clients that pulls together access to global liquidity sources without the operational overhead, says Khatchikian.
One asset management firm is using Portware's new cloud service, and a few European clients are making the transition, but Khatchikian couldn’t reveal their names. High frequency trading firms that can use Portware’s tools to build automated trading solutions are also part of the equation. With the cloud deployment, market data is there. “We didn’t want the extra hop for our high frequency clients.”
As for storing client information in the cloud, Khatchikian emphasized the high resiliency and security of the Thomson Reuters infrastructure. He also said Portware has its own cloud technology within the Thomson Reuters Elektron data centers. “There’s no central area that has everyone’s information. With virtualization you’re pulling up walls between every single customer,” he said.
What's up next? Data visualization and analytics is another high-value service that Portware is planning to bring to the cloud. It will enable the buy side to analyze transaction data with historical data from the brokers. Right now, clients using Portware's algorithms have to go back and query results and past history. Today, this is a resource intensive and costly process. But in the cloud, "It will be cost effective to provide clients with a grid of these analytics," said Khatchikian.