The lights were bright; the panelists were eager to spar; and the audience was hostile (not really, but we did stand between them and the refreshments) at the recent FISD Real-Time Technology Roundtable held in Chicago where IPC was one of the sponsors. The objective of our panel was to discuss various perspectives on the topic of achieving, if not improving, the ability for firms to identify alpha capture opportunities given an array of strategies which require increasingly sophisticated – and expensive – technical architectures. Yes, I know it’s a mouthful, but this was our plan, nonetheless.
Informed perspectives and strong opinions were exactly what we got as our five panelists contemplated the discussion at hand. The expertise and diversity of angles on the stage were stellar: Joe Bigane from IDC 7tick, Mustafa Maqbool from Infinium Capital Management, Joe Resnick from Tradelink, Craig Mohan from CME Group, and Tom Watson from NYSE Technologies all contributed to the exploration of current challenges and opportunities for tuning technical infrastructure in a world in which strategies decay quickly, technical innovations are difficult to keep up with, liquidity bears little resemblance to a recent era, political sabre rattling has achieved a new decibel level, and the discovery of new sources of profitability are arguably more elusive than ever.
The specific topics and questions that we explored were based on my recent research in this space, namely a report entitled, “Quantitative Research: The World After High-Speed Saturation” (June 2011), and the many years that I have spent designing and managing highly automated trading systems for proprietary trading firms. Some of these touch points included the following:
Perspectives on the current drivers of technology and market data management in highly automated trading firms;
Challenges in running single or multi-parallel infrastructures in light of strategy diversification;
Issues surrounding the relationship between historical and RT data come into play;
Proprietary development vs. off the shelf vs. mixed: optimizing resources;
Future-proofing technical architecture today for high turnover trading strategies: Is it possible?; and
Emerging technologies which are useful in dealing with increasing performance needs, costs and integration with existing infrastructure, among several other topics.
If you missed the event and/or care about any of these topics – or others that are related to them – keep in touch and keep an eye on other upcoming events
. With transformational change in our midst, these topics are sure to keep coming up – but the answers may never be the same.
Paul Rowady is a senior analyst at TABB Group, and has 20 years of capital markets experience with a background in research, risk management, trading technology, software development and hedge fund operations. Paul can be reached at prowady@TabbGroup.com