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execution, to post trade reporting, to client profiling and trade research.”


Andrew Ralich


“A broker has three very distinct responsibilities: continue to bring on new clients; maintain the existing relationship with clients; and manage internal operations. In all three of these categories, liquidity bridge solutions continue to provide added value for brokers.”


While Ralich states: “When we first entered the liquidity bridge market three years ago, the value-add for brokers was the ability to provide single provider A-Book execution to platforms traditionally designed for internal risk management, and to do this extremely fast while still being stable. Nowadays, to maintain our position in the bridge space, we’ve had to continue to innovate. Brokers now look to our technology not only as a means of offsetting risk, but as a gateway to their entire platform operation, from real time


“Te biggest addition to our line of products has been coupling our STP routing technology, which has grown from a single provider solution to a multiple provider aggregate solution, with a fully functional back office system, our ARMS Platform,” continues Ralich. “We’ve really focused on putting information in front of the broker, rather than have the bridge act as a behind the scenes piece of software that simply routes trades. Our monitoring, settings controls and reporting functionality has migrated away from the server itself and onto the web, where brokers can now access trade data, performance metrics and configuration options by simply opening a browser. Tis really frees up our customers to focus on how they want to use the Bridge without needing an IT degree to manage the software.”


New clients and customer loyalty


Functional liquidity bridging solutions improve customer loyalty and handle increasing trade loads more efficiently, says Ralich. He remarks: “A broker has three very distinct responsibilities: continue to bring on new clients; maintain the existing relationship with clients; and manage internal operations. In all three of these categories, liquidity bridge solutions continue to provide added value for brokers. In attracting new clients, a broker can advertise its stable, 24/5 feed and market access. Of course, this requires the right bridging technology as not every solution out there has the same reliability.”


82 | INSTITUTIONAL FX SERVICES - THE BROKERS HANDBOOK 2012/2013


“In maintaining existing relationships, brokers can provide direct market access for clients who do not fit their standard risk profile,” Ralich continues. “Tis helps brokers who traditionally would turn away scalpers, high frequency algo systems, and predatory flow catering to a broader range of clients. With the right bridge solution, brokers can be confident their technology infrastructure can handle the increased burden of high frequency clients, without risk to them or their existing business. Lastly, the better routing and subsequent reporting and research technologies a broker has available, the more efficient and streamlined their operation can become. By freeing up resources in IT expenditure via hosted, fully managed solutions, or lowering support ticket burden by increasing uptime, a broker has more time to focus on marketing, customer retention and other client-facing aspects of their business,” says Ralich.


Scalability and reliability


Scalability is an important issue that needs to be addressed to ensure that a bridging solution can meet future volume growth and expected demand. Higgins says very high performance and low latency are vital and are now demanded by all brokers. He states: “Any liquidity bridge with a latency of more than a few milliseconds is just not acceptable any more. Advanced techniques like memory, resource and thread management and developing in pure C++ allow massive performance potential, giving a superb trading experience to brokers’ clients and the lowest possible slippage.”


Technology and Connectivity


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