Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My generation

Despite all the hoopla around the internet it is only in the last four to five years that online trading of FX and equities has really taken off. Even then, despite the proliferation of online platforms for trading FX, as I reported from Miami a few weeks back, a surprising number of companies still prefer the sound of a voice on the other end of the phone rather than the click of a mouse.

Having said that, it seems the e-trading 'bug' is catching on and is encompassing other asset classes such as fixed income, at least that is what Paul Caplin, CEO, Caplin Systems is telling us. "We are seeing a wider requirement particularly in fixed income and FX for a high-function web front-end for trading," says Caplin.

But hang on a minute, haven't most banks already built web trading front ends particularly in the FX space where there is a multitude of single bank and multi-bank sites for trading FX online? Well, yes, says Caplin, but he describes some of these single bank web front-ends as 'primitive', mainly because they only support Request For Quote (RFQ) when the market is moving towards 'streaming' prices.

Also he says a number of traditional web trading applications were built using Java, which, according to Caplin, is considered to be no longer viable for trading front-ends.

Caplin says the next generation of e-trading platforms will feature richer web applications but around AJAX and "enterprise mashups" or web aggregation where multiple content is aggregated on one screen or web browser.

What all this amounts to effectively is that the next gen of e-trading applications are likely to be much more richer in functionality, with banks being able to more easily and dynamically display multiple content (prices, research, news) on one screen across multiple products (FX, fixed income).

Press embargoes prevent me from going into any more detail at this stage, but Caplin will be making an announcement on Monday concerning the next generation of e-trading applications it is working on.

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