Speed remained a key differentiator during 2010, with firms prepared to loosen their purse strings for low-latency solutions that deliver a competitive edge.
Citigroup deployed a low-latency messaging layer from middleware vendor Real-Time Innovations to support its algorithmic trading operations, expanding an existing deal with Citi’s Automated Trading Desk subsidiary (IMD, Jan. 11). Agency broker UNX enlisted Activ Financial and SpryWare to meet its low-latency data needs (IMD, May 24; Oct. 4), while high-frequency trading firm and hedge fund incubator Asperatus Capital enlisted Fixnetix to provide low-latency data for international markets (IMD, Nov. 8).
Firms were equally focused on monitoring these low-latency infrastructures, such as Schneider Trading Associates, which deployed technology from Corvil to manage data and order-routing latency (IMD, Dec. 6).
Some firms were bullish about new technologies, such as Nomura’s algo trading group in London, which began looking at application and ticker plant consolidation and new delivery mechanisms, after implementing Intel’s Westmere-EP processors slashed order-processing latency by up to one-third (IMD, April 5). Online derivatives broker OptionsXpress also invested in hardware to support low latency and high throughput, deploying Activ’s MPU hardware-accelerated ticker plant (IMD, May 3), while hedge fund Two Sigma Investments dipped its toe into hardware messaging, migrating applications and messaging layers to technology from Solace Systems (IMD, June 7)—as did Standard Chartered (IMD, Sept. 20), while hedge fund IVC America plumped for Tervela (IMD, Sept. 20).