Digital Transformation: Beyond High-touch versus Low-touch


The Philosophy Underpinning Technology Vendor Cross-asset E-trading Solutions

This white paper report explores the strategic, commercial thinking that GreySpark believes buyside firm, non-bank brokerage and sellside institution trading businesses must undertake in 2021 before making buy versus build decisions regarding how to improve the functional capability and, eventually, applicability of the franchise’s trading technology outlay to its existing and future prospective client base.

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Since the installation of the first transatlantic undersea cable, trading technology providers were tasked with simple mandates:

  • Deliver information faster, from as many sources as possible and help investors and market operators to make better decisions and implement them quickly.

Fast forward to 2021 and the imperative for financial services firms of all ilk has moved away from just raw speed and toward the systematisation of trading decisions and the industrialisation of their implementation. Moreover, banks are still engaged in a struggle to regain competitiveness and bring down the cost / income ratios of their trading businesses. Therefore, the drive for automation and for the optimal allocation of human capital to the most value-added tasks now extends to all phases of the trading and client lifecycles.

This imperative – borne out of mounting regulatory constraints in the wake of the financial crisis – created an opportunity for technology vendors to alter their approach to systems architecture such that expenditure on both trading desk personnel and corresponding technology resources can be constrained or unleashed at will. Herein, the belief is that trading systems must be designed to preserve the ability of human traders to manually intervene in the operations of complex, automated execution programs when they deem it necessary to do so on either a pre-trade or at-trade basis, and that there is no other more optimal arrangement of functional capability – but there is.

In this white paper report – produced in partnership with Itiviti Group – GreySpark explores the current dynamics of the long-running debate over the dominance of high-touch versus low-touch trading systems design, arguing that the distinction between the two types is no longer necessarily relevant from an end-user perspective.

Published on: 12 Aug, 2021

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  • 1.0 What Investment Banks & Non-bank Brokers Need to Run their Trading Business
    • 1.1 The Need for Differentiation & Efficiency: Remaining Relevant in a Competitive and Capital-constrained Environment
    • 1.2 The Need for Agility: Reconfiguring the Business at Will
    • 1.3 The Need for Velocity: Unshackling Change
  • 2.0 Fit-for-the-Future Technology
    • 2.1 Buy & Build Modularity: The Best of Both Approaches
    • 2.2 Asset Class Agnosticism: Trading Infrastructure that Works for All or Most Asset Classes
    • 2.3 Automation of Trading Activities
  • 3.0 Automation-as-a-Service
    • 3.1 The Ideal, Non-functional Attributes of a Cross-asset E-trading Vendor Solution
    • 3.2 Analytics-based Trading: Realising the Benefits
    • 3.3 Front-to-Back Operational Coverage: Building Holistically to Do More with Less
    • 3.4 The Platform Concept: Solutions that Anticipate & Resolve Real-world Problems
  • 4.0 Appendices
    • 4.1 Table of Figures


Report Data & Figures

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