First Published: WatersTechnology/July 2020
Jersey City-based IPC Systems wins this year’s best sell-side trading communication system category thanks to its uniﬁed communication and application platform, Unigy. To those who have followed these and WatersTechnology’s other awards programs over the years, this result will come as no surprise: A cursory glance at the annual Waters Rankings shows that IPC has a string of 14 consecutive wins in the best trading ﬂoor communications system provider category, a record that no other technology vendor can come close to matching.
All that success is down to Unigy, a platform designed to record, archive and monitor sell-side ﬁrms’ trading and communication activities to ensure employees comply with global regulatory mandates. For an industry currently in a state of ﬂux that has experienced unparalleled volatility over the course of the last six months, together with record trade volumes and steadily increasing quantities of voice and electronic communication, a platform with the scalability and functionality to accurately monitor all communication for suspicious behavior is essential.
According to Dave Brown, COO of IPC, the ﬁrm experienced a signiﬁcant spike in communication volumes in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, not only because of increased volatility leading to a surge in trading activity, but also due to ﬁrms’ staff members being scattered across multiple locations.
“We saw a huge increase in trade volumes with a renewed emphasis on voice communications,” he says. “We actually saw people moving away from electronic trading platforms and reverting to voice execution, particularly when the markets were very volatile, and we saw a signiﬁcant increase in activity, both on the platform and on the network.”
Brown explains that IPC has a number of pivotal initiatives that it is currently working on, key among which is what he describes as an “API-ﬁrst approach,” which will ultimately open up Unigy to other third-party providers and applications, and by so doing provide its 140,000 users with deeper, richer functionality.
“We’ve made a big strategic shift over the past several years towards a broader and more open platform-based strategy,” he says. “We’ve embraced an API ﬁrst approach and are working with best-of-breed strategic partners to bring greater capabilities to our clients. We’ve also invested time in things like real-time audio gateways to allow customers to leverage third parties’ or our own transcription engine, as well as delivering enhanced monitoring and surveillance capabilities, though many of these initiatives predated the current Covid-19 environment.”