I thought it would be useful to compile a short list of the main differences found when trading OTC (over-the-counter) FX with an STP (Straight Through Processing / No Dealing Desk) “Prime of Prime” and a Retail brokerage.
The MetaTrader 4 Bridge is one of the most popular add-ons for MT4 Servers. It was created in early 2000 and, ever since then, there have been many rumors as to who actually developed the first commercial version (of course, many industry veterans know the name).
Natallia Hunik, Global Head of Sales at Advanced Markets and Fortex, Inc. and Andrew Saks-McLeod of FinanceFeeds sat down during the iFXEXPO 2017 in Limassol to discuss the state of FX industry in Cyprus and what future will bring.
FX is the most liquid market in the world with over 5 trillion USD in daily turnover, and 1.6 trillion USD in OTC spot transactions executed each day on average. Volatility makes it an attractive investment vehicle for many traders around the world, institutional and retail. Retail FX has been around for longer than 2 decades now, but we have yet to see the industry reach a mature state.
Do you think 2017 will be another big year for prime of prime? If so, you’re in very good company.
Our view is that, as the Chinese market matures, the 2017 trends in China could boil down to the following:
- Quality over price: sourcing liquidity from real prime of primes
In 2016, we have seen some incredible market dislocation due to various global events (BREXIT, US Elections, OPEC, GBP Flash Crash, FOMC to name a few). Having experienced my fair share of these moves, I find myself in a unique position to be able to speak with a diverse group of market participants, ranging from Fund Managers to Hedge Funds and individual traders, each of them trying to successfully navigate through these turbulent markets.
It’s no secret that we live in a technological world; a world where mobile has long become the prevalent vehicle for communication and business for all of us. Mobile now dominates the world’s search queries and mobile trading is reported to be responsible for around 30% of all trading at FX brokerages, with even higher percentages in Asia. As the world is adjusts to this new reality, the release of mobile apps, for its products, is now a must for FX brokerages and platform providers alike.
New technology is transforming how we do business in the 21st century, from the way we communicate, to the route we choose when we drive home from work and even the way we check our fridge for the food that we need. In the same way, the tech revolution has significantly changed things for sales professionals and the sales process. It seems that, every day, new platforms emerge that continue to transform the ways in which we communicate with prospects and that, undoubtedly, impact the way we structure our days.
Major market events are generally accompanied by periods of massive uncertainty, volatility and downright fear. It doesn’t matter whether these events are expected, like the Brexit vote, or unexpected like the SNB move last year, the outcome is the same. Many market participants have a few options on how to survive the dislocation. Fear of the unknown creeps into every financial exchange, instability reigns and price action is violent. These events has the potential to affect every trader, brokerage and bank for days, weeks and even years depending upon their severity and the resulting market fallout. Below, I will outline a few possible risk/reward strategies along with how to attempt to control the uncontrollable.
Throughout my career I have encountered many different sales personalities. Each of them had their own network, their own approach to dealing with prospects, their own strategic vision and their own way of handling the sales process. However, just ask any sales manager and most will agree that the majority of sales people could be categorized as “openers”, rather than “closers”.
More times than not, an interested client inquiring about liquidity will ask the quintessential question, “What is Advanced Markets’ spread in EURUSD?” My standard, truthful response is always that, “the spread is dependent upon market conditions, as Advanced Markets is a true STP Prime of Prime and only provides aggregated liquidity from top tier, global banks. With that being said, EURUSD spread should normally sit within an average range of 0.3-0.5 given our ability to provide very deep liquidity due to our favorable bank relations”. Generally, when someone asks me this question, I will always follow up by mentioning our GOLD offering. In my opinion, Gold has the potential to offer a prospective brokerage (or Fund Manager) more than the EURUSD spread can when looking at future revenues. Many people look at the EURUSD first due to the fact that many brokers aggressively market their “tight” EURUSD spread in order to attract clients and get them in the door. Once they have them in, however, they tend to pile on the mark-ups across the other pairs in their offering.
2015 has now wrapped up, and it is time to reflect on the year passed.
The year of 2015 will be remembered by the FX industry for so many different reasons. In the aftermath of the SNB rate decision, many brokerages had no option but to re-evaluate their business models, their risk management practices and, to tighten their belts.
This article originally appeared on Finance Magnates.
I have worked in the FX industry for the past 16 years but I believe that 2015 will stand out most as the year when the market was taught a very valuable lesson. When I look back upon this year, I can’t help feeling that, by applying a simple life principle, many of 2015’s pitfalls might have been avoided.
Topics: Thought Leadership
FIX (Financial Information Exchange) API (application programming interface) is a highly scalable electronic communication protocol to facilitate the real-time exchange of information related to financial markets. It has become the de facto standard method of pre-trade, trade and post-trade communication. Market participants including banks, hedge funds, prime brokers and “prime of primes” utilize FIX for their own trading needs or to connect directly to clients.
Topics: Thought Leadership
Having just returned from the recent B2B Expo in London and the Money Fair in Shanghai we are now looking back and are discussing the merits of attending these B2B and B2C FX industry events. Unless your budget allows you the freedom to attend all events, it’s prudent to prioritize and to choose those that will best benefit your business.
Topics: Thought Leadership
New electronic solutions for FX block trading are emerging as this last bastion of voice trading is being reshaped by increased regulatory capital requirements, tighter internal credit standards and fallout from the fixing quagmire.
Over the past few years the traditional FX Prime Broker industry has been thinning out, creating a demand for the types of services they provided. The loss of the institutional big bank Prime Brokerage services has occurred due to credit risk, small profit margin, risk aversion and new regulation. This reaction by those larger prime brokers has been clearing the way for specialized FX Prime of Prime (PoP) firms to gain market share. A Prime of Prime brokerage is a one stop shop for retail brokerages, hedge funds, money managers and wholesale traders to access top tiered global bank liquidity, cutting edge technology, cost effective rollover rates and clearing services.
On January 15, 2015, the SNB (Swiss National Bank) caused a massive upheaval in the FX industry when they manipulated the exchange rate of the franc and unpegged their currency against the euro. This action threw the markets into complete panic, ultimately producing capitulation with the CHF pairs and creating catastrophic losses throughout the industry. Market participants were affected across the entire spectrum, all the way from the top tiered global banks down to individual investors. The large banks and market makers were able to absorb the losses (or major gains if B Book), but the smaller, more vulnerable, participants could not. Some brokerages were forced to close their doors due to negative balances as a result of the losses sustained from their client’s positions. A multitude of firms such as Alpari UK, Boston Prime, Excel Markets and Liquid Markets became insolvent, just to name a few.
Our team has a combined 100 years plus experience in institutional FX and prime brokerage fields. We use that experience and proven insights to work with FX brokerages and asset managers to enhance their offerings and achieve better operational efficiencies. At Advanced Markets and Fortex our focus will remain on helping you to solve complex problems and grow your business by leveraging superior Fortex technology and best of breed liquidity from Advanced Markets.