On June 6th, FlexTrade picked up “Financial Technology Innovation of the Year” for the second consecutive year at Financial News London’s “Excellence in Trading and Tech Awards” for its recent work with UBS Asset Management and J.P.Morgan which resulted in the first bond trade in Europe on a bilateral stream via FlexTrade‘s Fixed Income EMS, FlexFI.
The winning initiative, launched in December 2022, delivers a highly sophisticated, transparent way of streamlining workflows and simplifying interactions between the buy and sell side in fixed-income trading.
Who does the initiative benefit – Buy-Side trading
The demand for bilateral connectivity, an emerging protocol in fixed-income trading, has been gathering pace from both the buy-and-sell side for several reasons. Firstly, from a buy-side perspective, streaming and incorporating actionable sources of liquidity into the trading workflow gives trading desks a unique view of the market. It enables buy-side firms to interact, and source differentiated high-quality liquidity directly from their key providers, improving efficiency, enhancing trading-decision making, and positively impacting best execution.
Who does the initiative benefit – Sell-Side trading
From a sell-side perspective, the new initiative expands the digital distribution of liquidity in fixed-income to buy-side clients by connecting liquidity directly into client workflows through EMS solutions like FlexTrade. Doing so delivers significant efficiency gains and cost savings to asset managers and provides trading desks with greater choice in the ways they can execute with sell-side firms like J.P.Morgan.
What does the initiative deliver – Technology
From a technology perspective, bilateral streaming delivers “point and click” liquidity, removing the need for voice or IM chat to trade, bringing manual, opaque processes into a machine-readable format, and offering a first step toward improving transparency and efficiency with technology. Further, streaming actionable liquidity into an EMS gives clients the flexibility to create innovative smart order routing strategies that include multiple protocols offered via the EMS alongside real-time pre-trade data. The data and protocol boundaries of a single venue don’t restrict them.
What does the initiative deliver – True industry innovation
The initiative is a true example of industry collaboration to deliver innovation, with teams from J.P Morgan, UBS and FlexTrade coming together to design, develop, test and bring the functionality to market. It has delivered true innovation – at speed – in the fixed-income EMS space and is the next big step in electronifying bond and credit trading activities. This will be crucial to driving price discovery, cost reduction and workflow efficiency, ultimately benefiting the end investor.