Monday, January 22, 2007

Raising the competitive stakes

Further to my earlier post on State Street's acquisition of Currenex, I promised you a comment from Simon Wilson-Taylor, managing director and worldwide head, State Street Global Link. In response to my question as to what State Street's acquisition means for the remaining multibank platform FXall, Wilson-Taylor said he would rather have his job than Phil Weisberg's, FXall's CEO.

With State Street FX Connect exceeding $108 billion in a single day’s trading volume in December, combined with Currenex's highest daily trading volumes reaching roughly $58 billion, Wilson-Taylor says FX Connect/Currenex will clearly be the market leader in the online FX trading space. (Unlike FXall, State Street FX Connect does not regularly publish trading volumes.)

No one was available from FXall this afternoon to comment on the State Street acquisition of Currenex. Meanwhile Wilson-Taylor confirmed that Currenex and FX Connect will operate as separate platforms under the State Street Global Link multi-asset class platform, although for some clients, he says the two platforms may be more closely integrated.

Wilson-Taylor says it has already bundled applications connecting Currenex with FX Connect and it was from these projects that it got to know Currenex. "I always thought we would like to buy them," he told FinancialTech Insider.

Integration work between the two platforms will be carried out in the coming months, but Wilson-Taylor says it does not entail 'heavy lifting'. "There is very little incremental investment we will need to make that integration happen," he says. He envisages that State Street FX Connect and Currenex will provide different solutions for different markets, particularly in developing markets that are looking for infrastructure to trade FX.

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