As the curtain rises on yet another FIA Expo in TT’s hometown of Chicago, I’m reflecting back on everything that’s transpired since last year’s event. As seems to be the case every Expo, a lot has happened in our little corner of the world at TT.
Most recently, we announced the acquisition of Neurensic, a Chicago start-up that developed a trade surveillance system based on machine learning. The technology, which has its roots in artificial intelligence, is already being used by a handful of our customers. In the most simple terms, it identifies and flags trading activities or patterns that may be viewed as problematic by regulators. It does so before they become an issue, which is something no other trade surveillance product can do today.
Within the next six months or so, we plan to have the Neurensic offering integrated with our TT platform. This means we’ll be able to help every TT user—from compliance officer and risk manager to the individual trader—quickly identify potential risks and take action to help avoid violations along with the headaches, expenses and—in extreme circumstances—jail time that can result from regulatory infractions.
We are incredibly excited to bring this groundbreaking technology to TT because we see its applications reaching beyond compliance and into trading. But I’ll save that topic for another day. For now, we’re focusing on integration. If you’re attending Expo, stop by our booth to see the standalone system in action, get your questions answered and talk with our team about our future plans for machine learning.
Another current hot topic in our industry is the rising market interest in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, which recently hit a record high and is approaching $6,000, is leading the way, with Ethereum and others gaining in popularity and trading volume. We see an opportunity to help grow this nascent market by bringing our proven electronic trading software to the rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrency trading. To aid us in this endeavor, Mike Unetich recently rejoined TT as VP of Cryptocurrencies. Mike will lead the charge as we develop our go-to-market strategy for this exciting initiative. We’ll have much more to come on this as we move into 2018.
Over the past year, we delivered a long list of enhancements that are pushing TT ahead of feature parity with our legacy X_TRADER® platform. Some of the highlights in this area include:
We rolled out our most responsive front-end interface ever, TT Desktop. This Windows-based application allows users to create complex workspaces consisting of multiple windows across up to 16 monitors. TT Desktop runs on the same back end as the browser-based TT, which means users can view positions, orders and fills on any of the TT platform interfaces, including through a browser and the TT Mobile app.
We opened new data centers in London and Hong Kong that are colocated with the London Metal Exchange and Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing. These facilities make it even easier for our customers in those regions to obtain seamless, reliable, high-performance exchange access, direct market data and superior trade execution with regional resiliency. More colocated data centers will open in 2018, with Japan and Brazil coming next.
As a result of these feature and performance enhancements, the migration of existing customers and the onboarding of new users to the TT platform is accelerating at a rapid pace. Just yesterday, we announced the completion of major deals with Mercury Derivatives Trading and Societe Generale. Mercury, which is a portfolio company of the Hertshten Group, is rolling out TT to all of their traders, and Societe Generale is making the platform globally available to their institutional trading client base. More announcements are coming, including not only more screen deals, but also agreements with global banks that are embracing our FIX-as-a-Service solution and migrating their trading network infrastructures to TT’s global order-routing solution.
“This is a great opportunity for Mercury and TT to further our operating relationship. Mercury will benefit from TT’s technology as we continue to seek more partnerships to innovate our business and focus on technology.” – Gedon Hertshten, Chairman of the Hertshten Group.
Turning eyes back to Expo, one of the hot topics we’re discussing in earnest this week is MiFID II. We’ve already been in the weeds with many of our customers to help them sort through the changes they need to make in advance of MiFID II implementation. We’re making modifications to our trading platforms that will help TT and X_TRADER users be in compliance with the new regulations. And we’ve published a MiFID II overview and a blog series (MiFID II: How Did We Get Here and What Does It Mean? and MiFID II and Algorithmic Trading: What You Need to Know Now) to help our customers prepare for what’s to come on January 3.
If you’ll be at Expo and want to learn more about MiFID II and our compliance enhancements, attend our in-booth Q&A on Thursday at 10:15-10:45am. We’re also hosting sessions on other topics, including charting, algo design and trade surveillance. And of course we’ll be pouring a selection of cold craft beers during Taste of Expo this afternoon starting at 4pm.
We obviously have lots to talk about this week, so if you’ll be at the show, come by to learn more. We’re ready for another busy but productive week in Chicago, and we hope to see you there.