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FOW International Awards winners revealed

07 December 2012

All the winners at last night FOW International Awards ceremony.

Read more: FOW Awards

FOW is delighted to unveil its 2012 award winners, which were announced at a Gala Dinner in London on the 6 December. Chicago Board Options Exchange was the big winner on the night taking home the US Options Exchange of the Year and the Exchange of the Year, North America with Eurex and BM&F Bovespa also among those picking up multiple gongs.

FOW overhauled its awards process this year with the launch of new categories. The period of judging ran from the end of the last awards period on April 1 2011 to August 31 2012.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the judges for their time and consideration.


The award winners were as follows:


Category: Individual

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Mr John Barkshire

John Barkshire, founder of Liffe 


John Barkshire was the first chairman of Liffe and is credited with bringing financial futures to London. Barkshire founded Liffe in 1982 based on ideas he had learned from watching futures markets in action during a trip to Chicago in 1979.

With tacit support from the Bank of England, Barkshire successfully navigated the politics of the City to launch the first financial futures exchange. Barkshire was chairman for five years and appointed Michael Jenkins as its first chief executive, but it was his vision and understanding of the workings of financial futures that brought Liffe to fruition and with it financial futures to Europe.

FOW is delighted to honour the career of one of the industry's pioneers in the year of the 30th anniversary of the exchange that brought financial futures to London.



CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR                                                                                                                                                          
Martin Abbott, London Metal Exchange

 
 Martin Abbott, LME

With Charles Li, the chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing taking home the award for Chief Executive of the Year for Asia in September and Martin Abbott taking the gong for the International Chief Executive of the Year, it is clear what the big story of 2012 has been.

In little over a year, Abbott solicited bids for the London Metal Exchange following a hostile approach and sold the exchange for £1.388bn to Li's HKEx. The only question facing the judges was weather Li should take the accolade for the International chief executive as well.

However, they unanimously decided that Abbott's tireless work to sell the exchange for a knock-out price delivered a coup to its shareholders and members.




Category: Exchanges and CCPs


NEW CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
Index and equities

Bombay Stock Exchange, BSE-100 Index

Taking on the Nifty 50, one of the world's most liquid index contracts, is no mean feat. Neither is trading over 30m lots in the first month of trading. The Bombay Stock Exchange's July launch of options on the BSE 100 traded 32m times in August building up open interest of 1.8m contracts in its first full month of trading.

The contract was launched to rival the Nifty 50 and the exchange claims that it has a 99.4% correlation to the Nifty, which is traded on rival the National Stock Exchange of India. It was launched following a rebasement of the BSE index to 5000.

The notional is small at around $5000 and the trading fee is over 90% lower than trading the Nifty on the NSE but the retail take-up in this new contract has been immense and it could establish itself as a viable alternative to the Nifty.


NEW CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
Interest rates

NYSE Liffe US, GCF Repo Futures

 
 Tom Callahan, NYSE Liffe US

In the same month the Libor scandal went from the inside pages of the Financial Times to the front pages of the world's media, NYSE Liffe US launched its GCF Repo Futures suite of contracts, based on the DTCC GCF Repo index.

The additional publicity in the wake of the Libor scandal provided a boost for the contracts but the take-up of over 68,000 trades on the most liquid US treasury contracts in the first full month of trading is proof that the concept is more than an anti-Libor flash-in-the-pan.

Being based on actual transactions, the underlying is seen as a more accurate reflection of funding costs than Libor and other benchmarks that are based on estimated costs and, as the importance of the repo markets increases with more OTC clearing, these contracts provide a better hedge against real exposures.


NEW CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
Energy

ICE Futures Europe, Low Sulphur Gasoil Monthly

As regulators across the world increasingly mandate lower sulphur gasoil and diesel, the need for the market to hedge continues to grow. In September, ICE Futures Europe launched futures on low sulphur gasoil.

The contract is based on a 0.001% (10ppm) sulphur diesel barge specification compared with the existing gasoil futures contract, which is based on 0.1% sulphur content, and traded from the January 2012 delivery month out to December 2016. The contract traded over 10,000 lots in its first full month and by the end of September 2012 had built up open interest of almost 5,500.

Regulators in Europe in particular are mandating lower and lower sulphur content in diesel for a number of vehicle classes and this contract will become an increasingly important hedging tool for the global distillate market as the move towards lower sulphur content gathers pace.


NEW CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
Agricultural

Tokyo Grain Exchange, Rice

Futures trading began on the Dojima Rice Market in Osaka, Japan, in the 1730s so it is perhaps surprising that in 2012 a best new contract award would go to a Japanese rice contract. However, rice futures in Japan were relaunched in August 2011 after a 70 year ban on futures trading in the staple commodity.

The joint launch on the Tokyo Grain Exchange and Kansai Commodities Exchange on August 4 was a historic moment in the history of rice trading and marked victory in a significant battle by the exchange against agricultural unions in Japan.

The launch was not as smooth as it could have been with trading being halted within hours following a surge in the price of rice futures over fears of contamination following the Fukushima nuclear accident. However, trading stabilised afterwards and the contracts are proving their worth during the two year trial period.

NEW CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
Currency

Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange, Indian Rupee Options

Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange followed the enormously successful launch of its Indian Rupee futures contract with the launch of options in September 2011. The contracts were the first offshore Rupee options contract to launch outside India.

The options contracts provided a product for Gulf-based retail investors who were previously unable to access India's domestic options market and provided a hedge for the numerous companies based out of Dubai importing into India.

Previously the market was dominated by over-the-counter trades and this launch brought a lot of that business onto exchange. The exchange engaged in significant educational work to support the new contract launch and it marked a further diversification away from the exchange's traditional commodities hub.


NEW CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
Metals

London Metal Exchange, LMEswaps

The sale of the London Metal Exchange to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing may be the headline story of the year for the LME but its suite of swaps contracts won the judges votes in the hotly contested metals category.

At the end of 2011, LME rolled out its LMEswaps suite of swap contracts on eight underlying metals. LME swaps enable physical market participants to enter into a fixed price and settle against an unknown floating price (the Monthly Average Settlement Price or MASP) at the end of the averaging period all in one trade.

The contracts are traded on LME Select and through the 24-hour telephone market and cleared at LCH.Clearnet and were hailed by the judges as bringing greater transparency to the market and taking an important step forward in moves to bring swaps onto exchanges.


EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR
US and Canada

Chicago Board Options Exchange

 
 Paul Stephens, CBOE
Chicago Board Options Exchange took home the award for the US Options Exchange of the year this year but it has superseded that by winning the US and Canada Exchange of the year as well.

In a year of volume declines across the board, CBOE has been a relative bright spot. In general, options have seen less of a decline in volume than equities and futures. In options, CBOE has seen less of a decline in volume than the industry overall (-9% v -14%).

But its futures exchange continues to go from strength to strength. One judge said that in addition to being the strongest performing options exchange, "CBOE's futures exchange, CFE, is doing something unheard of lately, it is growing".

Indeed, volumes on the CFE are up 77% based on the strength of suite of CBOE's innovative volatility products. The exchange is also taking the lead in futurising OTC contracts with the relaunch of variance swaps planned.


EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR
South America

BM&F Bovespa

 
 Sergio Gullo, BM&F Bovespa

It has been a busy year for South America's largest exchange culminating in record volumes in May 2012 of over 85m contracts for the month. The record volumes were spurred by a number of new contract launches during the judging period.

In August 2011, the exchange launched a suite of new currency futures including the mini US-dollar futures contract, which was one of the most traded new contracts of the judging period. The launch marked the exchange's continued diversification of asset classes.

The exchange has also been overhauling its technology with the implementation of the CME Puma trading system, which was introduced for derivatives towards the end of last year. And the company has reinforced its reputation as the unrivalled market leader in the region with plans to unveil an OTC trading platform next year.



EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR
Europe

Eurex Exchange

 
 Renaud Huck, Eurex

Eurex started the year poised to merge with its London-based rival Liffe. It ends the year in a commanding position for the new world order of derivatives trading. Eurex was boosted by the fact that it was predominantly its platform that would have formed the basis of the Liffe integration but that does not diminish from its achievements.

In April 2012, it launched the French OAT contract, an innovative contract that enabled investors to take a bet on the French election and a contract that's success has continued since its launch. Open interest on the contracts reached 100,000 six months after their launch.

The ongoing technology upgrade saw the establishment of a new data centre and the testing phase of its world-class client clearing service. Also during the year, the success of the Kospi-KRX link continued to grow and the exchange launched more dividend products as well as readying its clearing service for the influx of OTC clearing.




EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR
Australasia and MEA

Dubai Mercantile Exchange

 
 Christopher Fix, DME

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange piped its Dubai rival, the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, to the post in a tightly contested battle for Exchange of the Year Australasia and MEA.

The exchange has spent the year setting new records on its flagship Oman Crude Oil contract and has taken great steps in the establishment of the contract as a new global benchmark. It has continued to win new clients and gained significant credibility among local refiners.

However, the big development for the exchange during the year was February's deal with the CME Group that saw the Chicago-headquartered exchange increase its stake to 50% while the Oman Investment Fund upped its stake to 29% marking a significant vote of confidence in the exchange and its aim of building out a global oil benchmark from the world's largest exchange group.



EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR
Asia

Singapore Exchange

The Singapore Exchange picked up its gong for Asian Exchange of the Year at the Awards for Asia in September. The exchange was recognised for significant advances it had made in expanding its clearing services and launching new contracts, including the Nifty launch as part of the Brics Alliance.

In April, the exchange opened its new co-location service as part of its $250m technology upgrade under the Reach Initiative. The exchange also launched its rubber futures, which were the most traded agricultural and 19th most traded new contract in the world during the judging period. It also enhanced its reputation as a leading gateway to Asian markets with the launch of an index on Indonesian equities.

SGX has pioneered the global push towards OTC clearing with the continued expansion of its SGX AsiaClear clearing house during the year.


BEST INNOVATION BY AN EXCHANGE
US and Canada

Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CME Direct

 
 William Knottenbelt, CME

The G20 mandate of 2009 to trade OTC derivatives on electronic platforms where appropriate looks set to fundamentally change large swathes of the industry and so it is no surprise that the an initiative designed around these reforms takes home a gong this year.

However, the fact that it is an exchange that is honoured is significant as the focus for SEF platforms and aggregators has been predominantly on banks and brokers. CME Direct was launched in May as a platform to trade OTC and exchange traded energy products on one platform.

The launch threw the gauntlet down to other exchanges also looking at how to capitalise on the shift to electronic platforms and was hailed by one judge as "a significant step forward in the move to more transparent trading of OTC derivatives".




BEST INNOVATION BY AN EXCHANGE
South America

BM&F Bovespa, Puma Trading System

BM&F Bovespa takes home its second award for the implementation of the Puma trading platform for derivatives, which was completed in the final quarter of 2011.

The CME Group and BM&F Bovespa jointly developed the Puma trading system. The system, which replaced the GTS matching engine in August of 2011, has been rolled out to replace the Mega Bolsa, Bovespa FIX and SISBEX systems, integrating all the exchange processes into a single multi-asset class system with high processing capacity and low latency.

The new system is seen as a boon for high-frequency trading and arbitrage strategies and provides the Brazilian exchange with a world-class trading platform on which to further develop its business. The exchange is also in the process of merging its co-location facilities as part of the technology overhaul.


BEST INNOVATION BY AN EXCHANGE
Europe

Nasdaq OMX Geniu

 
 Lars OttersgÃ¥rd, Nasdaq OMX
m INET expansion


Nasdaq OMX has long been a pioneer of technology in the industry and has provided technology to over 70 markets worldwide since it was founded in the 1980s. In March 2012 it completed the migration of commodities onto the trading platform finishing a four year process to offer all asset classes on a single trading platform.

Commodities was the final asset class to be migrated onto the Genium INET platform and includes a wide variety of power derivatives, carbon emission and natural gas derivatives that are now traded on the same technology platform as stocks, bonds, equities and fixed income derivatives.

Based on Nasdaq OMX's INET technology, Genium INET is a comprehensive multi-asset trading and clearing system with ultra low latency performance and high reliability and operating capacity and is a pioneer in what one judge touted as “the holy-grail of single platform, multi-asset class trading".



BEST INNOVATION BY AN EXCHANGE
Australasia and MEA

ASX, Equity OTC Clear

Another innovation that came about as a result of the G20 mandate, the Australian Stock Exchange's Equity OTC Clear caught the judges eyes this year as the exchange seeks to ready its systems for the new world of OTC clearing.

ASX's Equity OTC Clear was launched over the summer and provides investors with flexibility and anonymity in clearing OTC equity options contracts. No ISDA agreement is required, simplifying the process and ASX acts as the central counterparty to trades. Participants can enter a trade with one counterparty and exit via another and positions are netted for back-to-back transactions, reducing the collateral burden.

Being able to specify the strike and expiry means investors can benefit from the flexibility of an OTC contract with the security of an exchange traded option. ASX launched the service on the top 19 ETO classes plus the ASX200 index and will roll out the service further in 2013.


BEST INNOVATION BY AN EXCHANGE
Asia

Bursa Malaysia Derivatives clearing upgrade

Bursa Malaysia Derivatives is one of the world's most exciting derivatives market today. Since its 2009 deal with the CME Group, it has exploded onto the international scene and become one of the most talked about emerging markets.

Bursa Malaysia launched its clearing new system, developed in conjunction with KRX, the Korean exchange, and CME Group in February and said promised it would “pave the way for the introduction of new derivative futures and options products".

The new system incorporates real-time risk management and monitoring of participant exposure and uses Span margining to calculate margins. The upgrade also significantly increased the capacity of the exchange's clearing services.

Bursa Malaysia was also awarded the Highly Commended Derivatives Exchange of the Year in the FOW Awards for Asia in September.


BEST NEW EXCHANGE OR TRADING PLATFORM

Eris Exchange

Another launch designed to capitalise on the transition of OTC products onto electronic platforms, Eris Exchange's ambition cannot be doubted. The exchange futurised interest rate swaps and has designed a series of contracts that offer more standardised versions of complex OTC interest rate swaps.

Eris was launched as a designated contract market in November 2011 and has steadily built up open interest in its 0-2 year interest rate futures contracts. Trading volumes on the exchange have not been overwhelming but the exchange has set up a platform that is both innovative and set to grow significantly once the Dodd-Frank rules come into force.

One judge said that “Eris has taken the lead in doing what everyone else is going to be trying to do over the next few years and has a significant first mover advantage".

US OPTIONS EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR

Chicago Board Options Exchange

In a year of volume declines across the board, CBOE has been a relative bright spot. In general, options have seen less of a decline in volume than equities and futures. In options, CBOE has seen less of a decline in volume than the overall industry average.

This is largely attributable to CBOE's innovative products. For example, VIX is the 6th most actively traded option and VXX is the 11th. These two new products combined account for 4% of all options trading now and have provided a valuable hedge against recent market volatility.

The exchange has also been pioneering new concepts such as the SPXpm, an S&P 500 contract that settles at the end of the day, which launched in September last year on its C2 options exchange. It has also expanded the VIX franchise during the year with the launch of an emerging markets index among others.


CLEARING HOUSE OF THE YEAR
The Americas

CME Clearing

CME Clearing is the undoubted front runner in the race to gain traction in client clearing ahead of the new OTC regulatory framework that will come into force next year.

The clearinghouse has set the standard in The Americas with innovative products, portfolio margining and its technology, which offers “top-of-the-class speed and confirmation" according to one judge praising its straight-through-processing and real time confirmation services.

In March, the CME announced its portfolio clearing service, which it claims will offer margin efficiencies of up to 85%. The following month, CME announced that it had cleared interest rate and credit default swaps with a notional value of $500m since launch and more than 1,800 buyside accounts had cleared through the service in the first quarter of 2012.

During the year it has been building out its clearable products, launching new currencies and expanding its NDF services.


CLEARING HOUSE OF THE YEAR
EMEA

LCH.Clearnet

 
 Alberto Pravettoni, LCH Clearnet

LCH.Clearnet cleared its first interest rate swap following the launch of SwapClear in 1999 so it is no surprise that it is leading the field for the European, Middle East and Asia region in clearing for OTC derivatives.

In a year that saw announcements of the departure of two big clients from the CCP, LCH has had to compensate on other fronts to win out in this award and it has certainly done so. The clearinghouse has expanded its ETD clearing services winning new clients in Asia, including the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange and began accepting gold as collateral in October last year, an initiative that will ease the collateral squeeze faced by many market participants in the coming months.

However, it is for its OTC clearing services that it has stood out this year according to the judges who hailed the enhancement of its US client clearing offering and the launch of ForexClear, its OTC FX clearing service.




CLEARING HOUSE OF THE YEAR
Asia

Singapore Exchange

Singapore is not a member of the G20 and, after the 2009 mandate, many in the market predicted that Singapore would relax its standards to gain from what they perceived as over-reaching regulations across the G20.

However, rather than seek to gain from regulatory arbitrage, the Singapore Exchange has instead focused on building out a world-class OTC clearing house. It is succeeding in that goal.

Initiatives during the judging period include the commencement of clearing Asian foreign exchange forwards including in the Yuan, becoming the world's first exchange to clear the OTC contracts. In addition, it has added to its OTC commodity clearing with the launch of coal and naptha swaps clearing.

In total, SGX has cleared more than £150bn notion of interest rate swaps and in September volumes were up almost 70% on the previous year.

EXCHANGE DEAL OF THE YEAR

LSE acquisition of FTSE

It has been a quiet year for exchange deals after the raft of failed mega-mergers last year but this deal caught the judges' eyes during the year, with one hailing it as “a forward looking deal that will being new revenues outside the LSE's traditional business".

The acquisition comes as exchanges are seeking to diversify from their core business in the face of falling volumes and tightening margins. It also comes at an exciting time for the international index business as emerging markets seek to expand index trading and competition grows in the sector.

Since the acquisition FTSE has won a number of notable contract wins including deals with Vanguard and Lyxor, two of the world's leading ETF providers. The £450m deal to acquire the remaining 50% of the business LSE did not already own is looking like a shrewd move from the London exchange.

CTAs FUTURES EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR

Eurex

The European exchange of the year also emerges as the CTA's futures exchange of the year as voted for by managed futures houses. Casting his vote, the head of one CTA said that Eurex “understands the needs of the managed futures traders".

Eurex has long been successful among CTAs but recent initiatives have provided innovative new contracts and services that have been relevant to managed futures. The French OAT contract, for example, is the latest in an expansion of European debt contracts that recognised the need for CTAs to hedge European exposures with more than just the German debt contract.

Many Eurex products are still not available to US CTAs but the number of US funds voting for Eurex shows their confidence in the exchange as it seeks approvals to increase its offering to US traders. Also hailed by the judges was Eurex Clearing's individual client segregation model.


BROKERS AND FCMs EXCHANGE OF THE YEAR

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

CME Group won the vote of international brokers and FCMs as exchange of the year with the head of derivatives at one large bank saying the exchange group had “significantly alleviated concerns over the migration of OTC contracts onto exchange platforms" and another praising the company for “staying ahead of the game in a very challenging environment".

One broker said that the exchange had been very successful this year growing liquidity on their FX futures adding that “this trend may well continue with the move of OTC to Futures". CME was also hailed for maximising distribution through the Globex platform and exchange partnerships and the launch of CME Direct.

Also praised was the CME's pioneering technology which made the exchange group by far the leaders in the risk space, delivering what the industry has asked for, including FIX drop copies, the Firmsoft GUI for cancelling trades and the Globex credit controls.

Categotry: Banks, brokers and FCMs

DERIVATIVES HOUSE OF THE YEAR
Banks

Deutsche Bank

 
 Edward Allen, Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank returns to the pages of FOW awards winners for the second year following on from last year's award for its dbClear Listed Derivatives Matching product.

Deutsche Bank was hailed by judges as "the most forward thinking derivatives house this year". The judges viewed new launches from DB's derivatives and clearing divisions between May 1 2011 and August 31 2012.

The judges highlighted a number of initiatives during the year such as the bank's innovations in bringing its OTC and ETD clearing operations closer together, the dbClear Limit Monitor, the continued success of the dbSelect, and connectivity and expansion in new markets such as Israel and moves to ease the convertibility of the RMB.

In addition, one judge hailed the "brave and progressive" call for the sharing of technology investment across competitors as "essential to realise the potential of the industry".




DERIVATIVES HOUSE OF THE YEAR
Non-bank FCM

Newedge

 
 Saleha Dao, Newedge

It has been a tumultuous year for Newedge, which was reportedly touting for potential buyers early in the year before saying that it was no longer up for sale. However, the distractions in the board room have not stopped the FCM from innovation and the firm was recognised by the judges this year for its innovation, with one judge saying it was “positioning itself well to deal in the new derivatives regime".

Earlier this year, Newedge was approved as for membership to clear OTC interest rate swaps at CME Clearing becoming the first FCM and non-traditional IRS swap dealer to offer central counterparty clearing of OTC interest rate derivatives.

It has also invested in technology with a deal with Fidessa and the subsequent launch of a new multi-asset trading platform and new smart order routing platform for US equity options and cash equities.



INTERDEALER BROKER OF THE YEAR

Tullett Prebon

 
 Angus Wick, Tullett Prebon

At a time when all the media coverage points to diminishing volumes and the interdealer broker community being under the cosh from regulatory change, Tullett Prebon stood out among its peers for its innovation and pioneering new launches.

Judges pointed to the recent gains in market share in existing and electronic hybrid offerings, in particular with respect to the Asian and Chinese markets. In addition, they hailed the fact that Tulletts had consolidated and increased its leading position in the global power markets. Innovative launches during the year included tpSWAPDEAL, tpMATCH NDF and tpSPOTDEAL and the successful acquisitions of Convencao and Chapdelaine in the Americas.

The judges also highlighted two other noteworthy areas for the IDB: the notable strides made in increasing market transparency by Tullett Prebon Information and the "strong innovation" displayed by the TP Alternative Investments team.


Category: Technology

BEST NEW PRODUCT FROM A TECHNOLOGY FIRM
Risk management

Ffastfill

 
 Keith Todd, FFastFill


Having scooped a gong for connectivity last year, Ffastfill is back this year picking up the award for the best new risk management product of the past year with its Orbit Risk real time pre- and post-trade risk system.

The system enables users to manage trading risk efficiently, in real-time, especially is situations where traders are executing across multiple platforms. Orbit offers granular monitoring/metrics in relative and absolute values across the client hierarchy. Proactive alerting provides meaningful and actionable information in real-time. This allows firms to manage risk better, with fewer people, interfaces and systems.

In a competitive category the Ffastfill pipped its rivals to the post with one judge saying the product was "customer driven and includes things like give ups which are normally not thought about".




BEST NEW PRODUCT FROM A TECHNOLOGY FIRM
Connectivity

SunGard

 
 Philippe Carré, SunGard


With all eyes on new markets at the moment to offset the declining volumes on many Western exchanges, Sungard's extension of its Global Network to cover the four Chinese exchanges won plaudits from the judges this year.

SunGard has provided software and connectivity to support electronic trading since exchanges began to offer electronic access in the 1980s. The company has steadily expanded this offer over the years, aiming to be present wherever electronic trading is developing and actively participating in that development.

Brokerage customers in China are already using Sungard's software to access the three major commodity futures exchanges (Dalian, Shanghai and Zhengzhou) and the CFFEX financial futures market, and they also offer DMA and care order services to investing institutions via the SunGard Global Network. Full connectivity for each of these four exchanges was established during the twelve-month period from April 2011 to April 2012.



BEST NEW PRODUCT FROM A TECHNOLOGY FIRM
Trading and execution

Trading Technologies

 
 Steven Stewart, TT
Trading Technologies claims to have “democratised algorithmic trading" following the integration of the drag-and-drop algo builder ADL into its X_Trader platform. The judges agreed, with one hailing this initiative as “bringing algos to the masses".

X_Trader 7.11, which was released in March this year, represents “the most significant upgrade to the X_Trader platform in its 18-year history", according to TT.

The version features ADL, the visual programming platform that allows traders and programmers alike to design, test, and deploy custom automated trading programs without writing a single line of code, which TT acquired last year.

In addition to ADL, the new platform incorporates new synthetic order functionality, order slicing capabilities, advanced spread trading features and powerful usability enhancements as well as an upgrade of its Strategy Engine (SE) family of execution servers.

FCMs' ISV OF THE YEAR

Fidessa

 
 Katie Birch, Fidessa

It has been quite a year for Fidessa with a number of notable contract wins, including CIti, and so it is perhaps no surprise that banks and brokers' voted the ISV as their ISV of the Year.

Fidessa expanded from its equities base seven years ago and the move into derivatives has taken the industry by storm. Recently it has been developing its platform with the addition of new features such as its "Follow the sun" global order management system, which enables users across the world to view the same order book and the expansion of its market data risk management platform.

Fidessa was pipped at the post in both the Trading and Execution and Risk Management categories this year but its overall impact on the industry has rightly been recognised by its clients.


Category: Proprietary trading


US PROPRIETARY TRADING HOUSE OF THE YEAR

Virtu Financial

The old traders' adage of “buy when others are fearful" was put into practice by the directors of Virtu Financial this year who have gone on a one company crusade to consolidate the proprietary trading market.

It is no secret that life is tough for prop houses who are faced with increased technology costs and less liquidity in the market but Virtu have countered the downturn by going on the offensive acquiring the ETF market-making business of Dutch prop house Nyenburgh in September. This follows on from its merger with Madison Tyler in May 2011 creating one of the largest trading groups in the world.

Virtu recognises that scale is going to be increasingly important in the new age of market making and is well positioned to capitalise on the expected growth of market making by prop trading houses as banks pull out of markets.


PROPRIETARY TRADING SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

Marex Spectron

 
 Ollie Jones, Marex Spectron
Another company that has taken steps to consolidate the market in 2011 and 2012, Marex Spectron has continued its rapid growth since it was acquired by the JRJ Group in 2010.

Highlights for the year include the establishment of an ultra-low latency link between London and Hong as part of a major programme of upgrading and enhancing its technology platforms, which has also included the launch of a co-location offering in Dubai and enhanced connectivity to the LME.

However, it was the acquisition of Schneider Trading Association's pro-trader division in May that won the judges praise. The deal elevated Marex's pro-trader division to over 1,100 traders across the world trading in excess of 200m contracts a year.

Marex Spectron's electronic trading and DMA services (of which the Pro Trader division is part) offers traders high performance delivery of trading solutions, global locations, and a choice of connectivity solutions based on where and what is traded.













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Poll

How will volumes on derivatives exchanges this year differ from the last?

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20%
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58%
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8%
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7%
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