Tom Roche Managing Director, BWA Ltd
Tom Roche Managing Director, BWA Ltd

Rise of the machine? Specialist recruitment helping to meet demands of the FX new world order

In the early 90s, had you suggested to an FX spot broker that his job could - and might - be replaced by a machine, or you told a spot trader that he or she could buy or sell currencies instantly, at the touch of a button, at an amount and price pre-screened for credit and displayed on a computer screen, you would have been told in no uncertain terms that ‘a computer can’t buy you a beer’. Or, put another way, that machines would never replicate the essential element of personal relationships that determined what prices were offered by the traditional ‘sell side’ banks and brokers to their ‘buy side’ customers.

In reality, this meant an unwritten ‘pecking order’ for buy side customers predicated on how much a bank liked you at any particular time (the value of your business to them) and/or how much they thought they could get away with in the spread (the value of their credit to you).    Evidently, the need for human interaction in the execution process has been disproved by the rise and rise of electronic FX trading systems, starting with Reuters and EBS interbank matching and resulting, today, in the large and growing number of single and multi-bank trading venues that serve an increasingly broad and diverse global FX community.    Just as history shows that ‘the voice’ (who remembers voice lines on trading floors?) can be replaced by machines, so too has it demonstrated that giving buy side ‘customers’ direct access to electronic liquidity - unthinkable in the early days of electronic interbank matching - has resulted in an overall (and...continued

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