How would you describe the core values of FlexTrade which govern how the business operates?
FlexTrade’s core values lie in solving complex business problems with unique solutions for our clients to give them edge. We are known in the marketplace for offering flexibility and customisation addressing our client’s unique challenges. We have successfully provided solutions for our client base for the past 24 years which has helped us build a suite of multi-asset solutions catering to all market segments. One solution set we have focused much of our efforts on is our FX and OTC solutions: MaxxTrader, a comprehensive ecommerce solution benefitting all market participants: hedge funds, banks, institutional investors, and retails brokers.
Why should people use MaxxTrader?
MaxxTrader offers a set of distinctive features to all the segments of FX markets. While it’s an end-to-end trading and WL solution, it can also be deployed in a modular fashion as per the client’s need. For price discovery and access to market, we have a multi-source, multi-market, multi-dimensional aggregator, EMS and SOR modules, which are widely used by all of our hedge fund clients. These modules are setting stones for our sell-side clients who utilise these services. Additionally, we offer price engine, distribution engine, risk management and TCA modules. Installation for MaxxTrader are dedicated in nature, which helps in maintaining complete confidentiality of client IP and data. These unique features and deployment approach have helped us position as a ‘go-to’ solution provider for hedge funds, banks, and broker-dealers. In fact, we are probably the only vendor which is one of the best across three categories.
How has the MaxxTrader solution grown over the past few years?
The market’s response to MaxxTrader has been very positive as we expand our offerings globally. MaxxTrader was always a popular product in the hedge fund and broker dealer segment, however, in last few years as we noticed that more and more regional banks were intending to invest in technology to gain market share in electronic trading, we took a strategic call to build e-FX enterprise solution for such banks. To best partner with banks we have worked on our pricing engine and market making capabilities, added a powerful sales dealing workflow with trade on behalf features and all the post-trade actions inbuilt. On distribution side, in addition to branded WL offering over desktop, web and mobile, we have also developed readymade 3rd party adaptors to all popular corporate channels and ECNs to reduce time to market. We are now reaping the benefit of these efforts with growing list of clients we are servicing in South-east Asia, Europe, and Africa.
It would be interesting to know more about your bank solution. How is that shaping up for you?
It is shaping up quite well for us. We are bringing in high degree of sophistication to broker dealer segment on the back of our very rich bank ecommerce solution. In fact, in 2-3 years, we have successfully responded to another rising trend in industry, where broker dealers due to low volatility and hence low volumes in FX and tighter regulatory control with high margin requirements for margin FX, are broadening their product offering by including index or single stock CFDs and Cryptos. To help such clients we designed solution that ties FX, OTC and Exchange listed products into one single system with common margin checks and benefits of client flows and with seamless risk management and auto hedging across products.
In what ways has FlexTrade responded to demands for new FX products from both buy side and sell side firms as the market continues to grow?
As a fintech company with more than 20 years of business, we have always been ahead of evolving market trends. Clients require access to sophisticated FX algorithmic solutions and ‘on-the-go’ access to the market. We have continued to invest in our mobile solution, MaxxGo, by enhancing key features, functions, and security (API and SSO) and we now offer a whitelabel version to interested clients. We have also seen an increased need for better risk management and streaming liquidity on all product types: spot, forwards, NDFs and swaps. FlexTrade has always been a pioneer in algo trading due to our strong background in equities. We have applied our knowledge to the FX world by offering our Algo solutions leveraging FlexTrade native algos, 3rd party brokers, or API.
Any specific changes you made to cater to new regulatory environment?
Over the years we have been making many changes to our system components, design, and deployment approach to adhere to regulatory requirements. Amid Brexit discussion and due to GDPR requirements, we started getting requests from regional banks to have a European based hosted solution for downstream client-side servers. Traditionally, FlexTrade has maintained a policy of offering hosted solutions near the client’s location, which is why we have been maintaining 10+ data centres globally. Finally, we are working with a few clients to setup WL distribution servers which are locally managed but hosted over AWS cloud.
What can we expect to see from FlexTrade FX Solutions going forward in 2020?
We have been working on a few interesting ideas for the last 2 years to create cloud-based and turn-key solutions, ultra-low latency APIs and smart order routing (SOR).MaxxTrader is a highly customisable trading solution, however, we often encounter clients who don’t need any customisation and are more inclined towards an off-the-shelf product with a very quick implementation time. We have architected this new approach to include all the same feature sets as MaxxTrader but in a pre-packaged fashion to reduce time to market dramatically. We are also working on an ultra-low latency API solutioni covering 100+ Banks, Non-banks and ECNs liquidity and access to all native Flex Algos and 3rd party algos via a single normalised API. The final solution we are excited to release is smart order routing (SOR). Over the years our clients have achieved best execution using proprietary SOR Algos. We are now combining it with business intelligence insights and machine learning models. To achieve that, we are taking a two-step approach. Phase one in this project would allow additional insights and possible shapes of execution to help hedge fund execution desks achieve better execution profiles and low transaction costs. Market makers can also benefit by accessing additional insights on their hedging profile. Phase two would see models executing orders on its own, subject to client approval, which can bring a new dimension altogether.