On Market Surveillance, Monitoring and Data Analysis: A Conversation with Apama

Apama is a streaming analytics service operated by Software AG and a Trading Technologies partner since 2007. Founded in the late 1990s at Cambridge University, Apama was built on complex event processing (CEP) technology, which enables the trading community to execute low-latency trading strategies from the analysis of multiple, disparate streaming data sources.

Today, Apama has built a global client base of over 100 firms, including banks, brokers, prop groups and exchanges across all asset classes. Apama's algorithmic trading, market surveillance and automated strategies, which are triggered by coded news announcements, leverage Trading Technologies’ connectivity and trading functionality.

Tony Foreman of Apama ​
Tony Foreman of Apama
I recently sat down with Apama’s Tony Foreman to hear more about the company’s data analysis and how Apama’s services are benefitting TT customers, particularly with regard to recent regulatory changes.


The Adventure of the Missing Algos

I was amused by the recent flurry of media releases proclaiming the adoption of algorithmic trading in derivatives markets. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, could this be important new information that somehow leads us to enlightened trading? Or is it the case there is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact? The latter are the words of one well-known sleuth, whose Watson would likely retort, “No kidding, Sherlock,” or something roughly comparable.

The infamous Sherlock Holmes

Avoiding the temptation to offer my own breaking insights, such as The Internet is here to stay! and Mobile communications expected to take off!, I will instead stay the high road, eschewing mirthful gratification for the sake of propriety. As our sleuth would advise, if you eliminate all other factors, the one which remains must be the truth: while other vendors are merely talking about algo trading in derivatives, Trading Technologies has been delivering for several years. I am therefore tickled pink that other vendors are now “discovering” this space. The algos are not missing, they are here. In production. Today.

One of TT’s first algorithmic solutions was our hosted Autospreader® Strategy Engine (SE), which is a very-low-latency computational server for executing synthetic spread algorithms such as calendar rolls, synthetic strips, butterflies and condors. Recent enhancements to this system include intuitive rule building for customized handling of pre- and post-trade hedging, as well as conditional participation and synthetic sniper spreads.

The Autospreader SE product is complemented by TT’s Synthetic Strategy Engine, another proximity-hosted server that provides a suite of algorithmic order types, including synthetic icebergs, TWAP, POV and triggered algos such as stops and if-touched orders.


Spotlight on the Buy Side

Web AD multibroker

I’m very excited about today’s announcement regarding the production release of the TT MultiBroker* solution. The MultiBroker* platform represents the fulfillment of our greatest commitment to the buy side. I wanted to dedicated this blog to that commitment in order to underscore the importance of the buy side to TT.

From the start, TT has focused on providing software for derivatives professionals, which include proprietary, sell-side and buy-side traders. Historically, TT’s pedigree is rooted in proprietary trading. From these origins, we gained our innate and steadfast commitment to uncompromising reliability, low latency and high throughput. And as a vendor whose direct customers are primarily banks and futures commission merchants (FCMs), TT also has catered very closely to the needs of the sell side, with products that include flexible user administration and advanced risk management capabilities. With multi-broker support, we now complete the circle by providing a broker-neutral platform for buy-side derivatives traders. Our TTNET™ hosting service spans five continents, eight data centers and more than three-dozen exchanges, and is unparalleled as a high-performance, reliable solution for trading listed derivatives.

TT connected logo
Select your broker with a single click in TT's MultiBroker.*

Unlike some multi-broker platforms that hand off orders to third-party/sell-side execution networks, the TT MultiBroker* solution is an end-to-end architecture that guarantees an order is never routed to another network. TT software routes the order from the end user to the exchange matching engine and back, regardless of which broker is handling execution. This optimizes performance and reliability, and eliminates hard-to-diagnose issues that can occur when orders are routed across network domains.

TT’s ongoing commitment to innovation has resulted in game-changing products such as the ADL™ visual programming platform, which allows traders and quants to develop sub-millisecond algorithms on a visual canvas, test them in simulation against live market prices and route them for proximity execution to any of our global data centers—all from a single X_TRADER® workstation and without traditional and error-prone coding. The addition of multi-broker support to the TT platform takes our technology to the next level by giving end users the ultimate flexibility of choice among their execution and clearing providers.

TT connected logo

In my role as head of buy-side product management at TT, I am obviously very excited about TT’s deep commitment to hedge funds, asset managers, CTAs, pension funds and corporations. Since directing the TT Connected Partner Program is one of my responsibilities, I will reinforce this commitment by expanding relationships with complementary buy-side application vendors, such as commercial order management systems, portfolio management systems and a variety of middle-office and analytical applications that are geared to buy-side traders, quants and portfolio managers. If you’re with a firm that develops such complementary offerings for the buy side, I encourage you to consider joining the Connected Partner Program. You can indicate your interest by completing the Partner Program inquiry form on our website.

Along these lines, we’re also working on a powerful yet easy-to-use means of bridging FIX-based systems with our MultiBroker* platform through a user interface designed for non-programmers. Ultimately, this will empower more buy-side firms to connect FIX-enabled systems to TT’s trading platform with minimal effort and delay. Stay tuned for a future blog post that will outline this innovative new technology!

*TT's MultiBroker solution is now know as X_TRADER ASP.