Mostly… fixed income and cross product eTrading

November 30, 2007

MarketAxess still 0, Tradeweb 1?

Filed under: etrading, Nuts and Bolts, OMS / EMS — holky @ 9:40 am

As Techrockies tells us (also finextra), MarketAxess has bought “substantially all the assets of” Trade West Systems, a Utah-based provider of pricing, execution, connectivity and compliance products for the fixed income and equities markets. 

While the announcements seem to focus on ProOMS – which is the “Connectivity solution using XML, FIX or other protocols to transfer data between trading or other applications” , their product range (as on TWS site) includes a thin, ultra-thin, or web-based client front-end supporting real time updating fixed income and equity inventory.

Does the fact that the news articles are not mentioning a new & improved MarketAxess client gui on the way mean that the platforms are acknowledging the writing is on the wall for them having their own gui, or at least that the critical mass of buyside will in the forseeable future be integrating liquidity venues into their own desktop (no real surprise, eh, other than it’s taken quite so long to get there?). 

Of course if that’s the case then yes there are advantages in being able to offer easy integration – and an acquisition such as this could make a great deal of sense, but wouldn’t MarketAxess still be missing a big trick?   Tradeweb are talking the talk of combining [tradeweb] fixed income and [thomson] equity offering at the customer desktop.  If MarketAxess have really bought some technology (assuming it’s good -anyone know?) that lets the dealers that can get their fixed income and equity inventory out to customer desktop now, shouldn’t MarketAxess deploy a better gui now (perhaps especially as the existing MA gui is so often criticised), and try and use this genuine product improvement to keep the hearts and minds of its customers?  …offering equity (or whatever) as a coming-soon.

Once buyside really start integrating Tradeweb into their own desktop, why would they also need Marketaxess?  Fusion can certainly be spun to make a good reassurance that TW will have dealer liquidity, but even making the assumption that enough of the right dealers continue to provide same credit liquidity to each venue, if buyside have a Tradeweb connection just for govvies anyway, and the Tradeweb credit connection is at least adequate, and you’re not emotionally attached to the MarketAxess gui which you’ve built your trading workflow around … if there is a material running cost for the MarketAxess connection, then why keep both? 


1 Comment »

  1. Someone else who reads this would refer to this as a “landgrab”.

    MA know that their front end sucks. So they go and buy a nice little firm that has a modern stylee AJAX front end. Hmm, now where have I heard that idea before???

    I am not sure that the current big two OMS vendors can really handle a genuine RFQ (or heaven forbid – RFS) workflow since neither really understands the way that FI works. But if you have a quick integration to a new fangled FI only EMS then why not ‘stick to your knitting’ and let the clever FI chaps continue while you rake in the moolah from your equity OMS that sorts of handles FI but does not properly…

    Comment by John Greenan — December 3, 2007 @ 3:25 pm

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