Andrew Ralich

oneZero: The award winning Fintech firm that’s making a big splash in the institutional FX market

September 2022 in Cover Interviews

oneZero is a leading innovator in multi-asset class trading technology. Its liquidity-neutral solutions enable brokers, prime brokerages and banks to thrive in global markets through reliable connectivity, infrastructure, market access and analytics. e-Forex spoke to Andrew Ralich, CEO and Co-Founder of the firm, and Phil Weisberg, EVP of Strategic Planning and Partnerships, to get an update on the headway the company has made in the institutional market after its decision to adapt its retail brokerage solutions.

Last October you told us about the strides you’d been making in the institutional space. Can you update us on what’s been happening over the last year?

Andrew: A few years ago we made the decision to take our technology which had been used primarily for retail brokers, and expand our solutions to cater to the institutional market, making it relevant to institutional brokers, prime of primes, execution desks at proprietary trading firms and asset managers. We made significant investments in R&D, we built a team that had the experience we needed, and we designed a UI that would appeal to the new audience. We have been seeing the result of that decision, as more and more institutional clients make the decision to discontinue legacy technology, and move over to oneZero. They are excited by our award-winning solution that keeps up with market data rates, offers sophisticated pricing, hedging and real-time risk management, as well as cloud based analytics.

oneZero’s Institutional Solutions

Why is it that so many prime of primes, prime brokers and agency desk brokers are moving over to oneZero?

Phil: There are many reasons. Firstly, unlike a marketplace or venue, oneZero is a market-neutral technology provider that puts you in full control of how your risk and orders are managed. We offer award-winning modular trading technology solutions for price formation, distribution, risk management and quantitative trading analytics. Due to industry wide technology processes and increased volatility of markets as a result of some of the unprecedented macro economic events, there has been a rise in the number of trades and data flowing through FX markets. Given that oneZero’s background is in retail markets, our technology is used to handling a high volume of transactions, with millions of transactions flowing through the technology every day. Also, our solutions are used to processing high levels of automation and are therefore naturally more performant.

Additionally, clients can customise liquidity and pricing functions for a wide number of use cases. Given that oneZero’s liquidity aggregation technology captures and analyses the data that flows through the Hub, clients are able to gain a better understanding of their flows. Unlike other aggregators, the data that flows through oneZero is recorded and analysed, and the results of that analysis are fed back in to improve the performance of the Hub. The data is ultimately used to segment the liquidity flow and build liquidity pools that best suit clients’ different customer segments. As such, oneZero actively works with clients to analyse the data emanating from their liquidity flows and finds ways to make the system more efficient.

You recently won FX Markets e-FX Award for Best Liquidity Aggregator, why was that?

Phil: Yes, this was a milestone for our company, as it validates all the work we have being doing to cater to the institutional market. Essentially, our solutions provide both liquidity aggregation and analytics, with a feedback loop between the two, and that’s why we won. Stuart Brock, Head of Institutional Sales at oneZero, received the award on the 28th of June at the end of the FX Markets Europe conference held in London.

What innovations are in the pipeline for the Institutional Hub?

Phil: We continue to invest in wholesale real-time market risk management, where we allow our clients to build configurable, unique pricing functions and implement more advanced price formation techniques via our programmable Algorithmic Pricing Module, which is an advanced price creation tool that allows clients to enter in their proprietary ‘secret sauce’. Clients leverage a real-time decision engine for segmenting flow and routing it to the right execution mechanism, and customize systematic hedging and other macro trading mechanisms with their own rules. They can even incorporate ‘skew safe’ liquidity into hedging without feeding it back into pricing, and use a micro trader that will trade in the situationally appropriate manner to support productive liquidity supply chain relationships.

And with Kevin Verardi joining the team, we are also making great advancements to our credit management offering. oneZero currently supports pre-trade NOP and DSL credit calculation methodologies, as well as margin capabilities. Real-time credit risk is monitored, and a variety of intermediaries are enabled. Additional calculations are being added to suit credit providers’ needs including ‘shorts only’ and the ‘greater of long and shorts’. Daily trading limits, liquidity provider limits, currency and currency pair limits, tenor limits and kill switches are also on the roadmap.
What advancements have you made to your data offering, Data Source?

Andrew: Data Source Insights is our interactive, visual web-based analytics that enables you to answer key questions that help you understand the characteristics of your flow and associated hedges, and the relationships you hold with your liquidity providers. There have been a variety of updates to our Insights suite, producing not just reports to look at retroactively, but advanced analytics that help clients operate their business better.

In March 2022, our Data Source offering won the A-Team Innovation Award 2022 for Most Innovative Cloud-Based Trading Analytics Initiative. For the same reason we won the FX Markets e-FX Award for Best Liquidity Aggregator. This award further validated the investments that we’ve been making that allow data to be utilized not only retroactively and analytically but also feeding back into the system, on the back of making our real-time aggregation and risk management systems more relevant.

Phil: We continue to innovate with Data Source Insights and have recently released sophisticated reports including Top of Book Maker Comparison, that allows you to compare the amount of time that each maker spends at the Top of Book and break down your liquidity providers by the quality and frequency of their Top of Book quotes and prices, and Maker Pool Replay, that allows you to test markouts and PnL in a sandbox environment before making changes to your real-world risk configuration. We also now include tick level charting, which allows clients to see every processed maker quote at the tick level. In September 2021, oneZero launched analytics that help clients evaluate the impact of last look.

oneZero has been expanding the team. Please tell us more about some of your recent hires.

Andrew: oneZero’s strength is our experienced and dedicated team. We have made a number of important hires over the past 12 months that bring to the team extensive experience gained from working at top tier banks, exchanges, prime brokers and large data and analytics companies. Jim Sullivan joined us as General Counsel, responsible for the company’s global legal function. Indu Maheshwari joined as Product Manager, responsible for the development of oneZero’s extensive OTC liquidity ecosystem. Kevin Verardi joined as Product Designer, focused on oneZero’s credit offerings and the Institutional Hub’s trading user interface, Agne Piktoze joined as Institutional Relationship Manager, based in London, and Jake Ahearn as Director of Business Operations. In addition, we continue to invest in the engineering, QA and assurance teams that drive the core of our business, in what has been a record hiring year.

Andrew continues: We have many open roles, particularly within our global Trade Operations team as we have been expanding our support operations from 24/5.5 to 24/7. oneZero offers a true follow-the-sun support model with engineers in Asia, Europe and the United States. Our support team are all professionals – the person who picks up the phone knows how to solve your problem, and won’t simply take a message. Due to our expanding team, we now have offices in London and New York, in addition to our offices in Boston (our headquarters), Canberra, Cyprus, Singapore and Sydney. Actually, we are currently moving to bigger premises in Boston to suit our growing team there. We also operate from satellite locations in Seattle, Chicago, Austin, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.

oneZero continues to innovate with its Data Source Analytics

Please tell us about the development of your provision for liquidity providers.

Phil: Since Indu Maheshwari joined the firm, she has been building out our offering for liquidity providers. There is a large opportunity for LPs since they have access to over 200 global FX brokerages through both shared and tailored streams, with direct liquidity provider to customer relationships and reporting that only strengthens those relationships.

We’ve added functionality that enables LPs to provide different streams, including full amount and skew safe varieties, that better match the characteristics of each type of liquidity consumer so clients with more difficult flow to risk manage can be priced accordingly. As mentioned previously, clients can also choose to decouple their pricing function from their hedging function, which makes LPs more comfortable to provide skew safe feeds which may show their market axes without risking information leakage that could disadvantage the LP.

oneZero’s strength is its experienced and dedicated team

oneZero was listed on Inc.5000 as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies. What did this mean to you?

Andrew: Jesse and I, and the rest of our executive team, are elated that we have reached this milestone of being on the Inc. 5000. This achievement represents a lot of determination and hard work from our entire team. We are so thankful to all of our clients and partners that continue to support us. We are overjoyed!

Is oneZero back to in person events and if so where can we meet the team?

Andrew: Yes, we are back in full swing at in person events. Our global team has been at attendance at industry events for both our retail and institutional segments. Upcoming conferences include iFX Expo Asia, TradeTechFX Europe. Forex Expo in Dubai, FX Markets USA and FMLS. We’ve actually just hosted our own midyear event in person in Boston, and I was pleased to see so many of our co-workers in person. A focus at oneZero is giving back to the community. We feel privileged to have been able to support many charities that do really important work.

What can we look forward to from oneZero in the second half of 2022 and beyond?

Andrew: We are excited about the continued expansion of our institutional business, ensuring Data Source drives client decisions. For retail, our focus is to maintain our position as the leading technology provider for retail brokers and retain a thought leadership role. And we are looking forward to ushering our clients into the age of digital assets with 24/7 best in class customer support.