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Key Takeaways from Americas Trading Briefing

Michael Heffner, Vice President, Solutions and Industry Go To Market
April 11, 2018

The FIX (Financial Information eXchange) Trading Community, Americas Trading Briefing was a fantastic event, hosted by Goldman Sachs in New York. I enjoyed conversations with several fellow financial services professionals around a variety of important topics shaping the future of financial services. There were over 350 attendees from across the industry representing sell-side, buy-side, regulators, as well as press and partners.

I was impressed to see so many large trading banks, broker / dealers and premiere global members coming together to address industry-wide challenges. The day was filled with the collaborative spirit, bringing together leading buy-side and sell-side firms to reassess data requirements and technology infrastructure. We were truly honored to be asked to take the Goldman Sachs stand at the event and to represent Appian.Here are a few of the key trends I heard people discussing during the day:

Messaging Standards Drive Collaboration

The FIXÆ protocol is a free and open standard used by hundreds of firms every day to complete millions of transactions. Without this messaging standard, it would be impossible to meet the growing demand to reduce complexity to simplicity in capital markets and find ever-elusive operational efficiencies, especially faced with today's increased regulatory pressures. The standard wouldn't be possible without the members of the FIX Trading Community represented at this event, coming together through memberships and collaborations, dedicated to harmonizing rules and regulations and creating mutual clearing arrangements.

Milliseconds Matter in Investment Banking

Some of the themes of the day included review of the benefits of co-location, not only for low latency, but, also for the operational benefits of a solution which can minimize communications costs while reducing failure points. The pain of having a lag between when an investment decision is made and when an order is fulfilled on the market cannot be overstated. In order to achieve the necessary speed, institutional firms from around the globe were discussing ways to reduce complexity. This complexity is often the result of different underlying silos across multiple asset classes equities, fixed income, derivatives, futures, FX all in need of a way to declutter and create more balance.

Technology Extends the Value Chain

A unified technology platform can help break down those silos and can help financial institutions focus operations on driving task execution to ensure alignment with regulatory mandates, corporate policy and optimizing process execution. With the focus on creating unified experiences across asset classes, the business will be able to achieve the speed it needs while unifying institutional customer needs for unified processes and visibility.

With a digital transformation platform approach, the trading community can agree on a common language and streamline processes from the front office, middle, and into back office reconciliation. My thanks to the FIX community for their dedication to this effort, I left the day hopeful that the spirit of collaboration evident during the event will help investment banks and other financial services institutions achieve high performance in global markets, resulting in a net positive effect on our economy.

Mike Heffner

Vice President, Global Banking, Capital Markets, and Insurance Industry Lead

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