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Automation Moves Up Buy-Side Agenda

Using technology to improve order processes and workflows has moved up the agenda in the current market environment according to Dan Shepherd, chief executive of BTON Financial, the independent outsourced dealing desk for asset managers.

Dan Shepherd, BTON Financial

Shepherd told Markets Media: “In the current environment automation has become a focus and using technology to improve order processes and workflows has moved up the agenda. Outsourcing is clearly a part of this and we have had a lot of incoming calls from buy-side firms looking to outsource equities and exchange-traded fund trading.”

In order to increase automation for asset managers, BTON Financial and genesis, the low code application platform for capital markets, have launched a smart broker router.

“Smart order routers analyse the liquidity at each exchange and push orders into the market,” added Shepherd. “A smart broker router is a level above as it finds the most appropriate broker and execution algo at that broker.”

Shepherd added that the fintech ecosystem is becoming essential in helping firms manage their business continuity plans by automating more procedures, so the collaboration with genesis will bring immediate benefits in the current climate.

The Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on movement have meant that many staff have to work from home, so automated workflows are vital in ensuring efficiency, especially as volatility and volumes have increased.

James Harrison, chief operating officer of genesis, told Markets Media: “Remote working may not become the new normal in the long term but I believe we are unlikely to go straight back to the previous ways of working and instead looking to build on the positives with remote working. Technology is a great enabler especially in our need to work and collaborate remotely; we’ve also seen improvements in our internal processes such as the need for paper contracts to be replaced with digitally signed media.”

Low code

In October last year genesis launched the low code platform designed specifically for capital markets to enable the building of robust, secure products by radically reducing the amount of coding required.

Shepherd said: “We looked at a lot of technology providers but genesis was by far my favourite collaboration and best suited to our needs.”

The BTON Smart Broker Router is fully integrated with the other genesis trading solutions built on the platform, allowing orders to flow securely from the Smart Broker Router through to the receiving broker and into the trading workflow in real-time. The Smart Broker Router also provides real-time metrics to monitor trading performance and best execution requirements.

James Harrison, genesis Global

“BTON provided the quantitative brains for their smart broker router which we developed as a partners using our low code platform in a matter of weeks,”added Harrison. “There will be future iterations as the product is used and refined.”

He continued that genesis’ technology is cloud-based and focussed on capital markets, so the platform has held up well as volumes have increased.

Low code was highlighted in the latest annual Nasdaq Tech Trends Report at the beginning of this year.

Brad Peterson, executive vice president and chief technology & information officer, and Lars Ottersgård, executive vice president and head of market technology, said in the report: “Low code no code (LCNC) is simplifying the process of building and testing of mobile and web applications.”

Low code no code allows users to build and test applications such as mobile or web apps by dragging and dropping application components, and connecting them together without knowing traditional programming languages.

“We are moving away from delivering historical market data in a downloadable file that consumers have to figure out how to read,” said Nasdaq. “The new LCNC approach involves API access to the data that is also self-discoverable.”