Over the last few months it’s been interesting to hear how conversations have changed in the trading community, and see the focus shift in the post MiFID world to a different set of priorities. There is still a lot of talk about timestamping and clock synchronisation, but it’s less about compliance and more about optimising trading and trade plant performance.
At last week’s STAC Summit in London it was hardly surprising that the hundreds of delegates were treated to a deep dive into emerging technologies. This is, after all, is one of the more technical events in the financial trading calendar. As the STAC name suggests – Securities Technology Analysis Center – it is an organisation that carries out benchmark testing in their labs and publishes the results for their members, many of whom are the technology arms of banks, hungry for information on new ways to drive competitive advantage.
There was much for them to absorb in sessions that ran through the day, kicking off with the very welcome panel discussion “Women in Technology”, discussing an important and often overlooked topic. There was a session on cloud computing, comparing workloads on public, private and hybrid platforms; another looked at FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array), and how banks are building algorithms straight into these chips, circumventing the need for traditional IT architecture.
The pursuit of better performance was also the theme of “Rethinking networks in finance”, a session that explored the evolution of hardware solutions that are reducing latency to single-digit nanoseconds. This was another sign of the times as algorithms become more sophisticated and the ability to analyze data and react the fastest continues to be key to competitive advantage.
Now that we’re in a more regulated world, the pendulum has swung back and it’s okay to get back to performance again. Just as well, because at the Corvil booth it was almost always the topic of conversation. It is always great to catch up with clients at these events, hear how projects are progressing and get feedback on the way our technology is being applied in real world scenarios to improve trading outcomes, deliver better experiences for our clients’ clients, and to reduce overhead on technology and compliance teams..