07.18.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Deutsche Bank Makes Play With ‘Revolutionary’ New FX Trading Platform

Foreign exchange, which at $3 trillion in daily turnover is one of the largest and most liquid asset classes, is a hotbed of activity among sell-side market participants, who are building out electronic trading platforms.

Deutsche Bank yesterday launched its next-generation FX trading platform on its Autobahn system.

Separately, Thomson Reuters is to acquire FXall, a provider of electronic foreign exchange trading systems to corporations and asset managers. The combination will enable Thomson Reuters to provide management of trades though the entire lifecycle, delivering a more streamlined trading process and more efficient execution, the company said.

The Deutsche Bank platform, meanwhile, is expected to increase efficiencies and volumes. Deutsche Bank has targeted the trading of €1 trillion every week within the next two years.

“We are the largest bank in FX and we continue to grow,” said Maria Prata, head of hybrid FX sales, North America, at Deutsche Bank. “We have had the last four record quarters in volume. We see continued growth for our platform and for the market.”

The platform features a combined electronic and voice trade blotter across all execution channels, and direct access to Deutsche Bank’s FX and cross-product research and real-time commentary alerts directly from the trading floor.

The platform was developed in close consultation with users to meet the diverse needs of Deutsche Bank’s broad FX client base.

“The platform is designed to work for different clients who have different requirements, for example institutions versus corporate,” said Prata. “There are built-in features that tailor to different segments. It is more modular with more component bases.”

FX is attracting new classes of traders, from high-frequency trading firms to institutional investors.

High-frequency traders look for speed, updates and more technology-related features, while hedge funds, banks and corporations might be looking for faster login times and the ability to be able to customize their user interface or plug into their own treasury systems.

“FX is a very interesting asset class of late,” said Emmanuel Carjat, managing director of TMX Atrium, a trading and technology firm. “With the onslaught of regulations in equities, we are seeing more hedge funds moving into FX, which is less regulated. We are starting to see more firms looking at models that were developed for equities markets, and applying those to the FX market.”

Cortex FX, BNP Paribas’s recently launched multi-product FX trading platform, acts as a single point of access to electronic FX products, tools and services.

It enables BNP Paribas’s corporate and financial institution clients to develop FX strategies, access market-leading research and execute, monitor and evaluate their foreign exchange trades.

Cortex augments the bank’s existing electronic trading offerings, such as OTC eTrader (structured products, interest rates and FX) and Secondary eTrader (secondary market trading across multiple asset classes).

The Deutsche Bank platform will be rolled out in staged releases over the coming months. Over 300 clients already use the new Autobahn platform. Deutsche Bank will continue to support its existing Autobahn FX platform until clients are successfully migrated.

“We have taken the best of the old system and blended new features that adapt to new requirements,” said Prata.

The Autobahn FX platform “is redesigned to meet the changes we discussed, covering FX, spot, forwards, swaps and options,” said Prata at Deutsche Bank. “Traders can create their own orders for more than 200 currency pairs and there are reporting and post-trade capabilities.”

The platform is accessible via the Autobahn App Market, “which we see as revolutionary in being able to deliver research, execution and post-trade to clients through one platform”, said Prata. “Research, market data and trader commentary are all updated in real time,” she added.

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