Again, much of what we have to say about the impressive progress made by Deutsche Bank’s FX business can be found in our Innovation Award write up, so we shall avoid some aspects of Market Colour 2.0 here. That still leaves a series of impressive developments at the bank, however, which is pretty unique in not being in a rush to HTML5 thanks to the latest Autobahn version, including Market Colour, being built on that technology (Autobahn OTC Structures – AOS -remains on .Net). That should mean that the investment dollars, which seem plentiful for the FX business at Deutsche, should continue to flow and the leaps forward we have already witnessed should also continue.
Market Colour 2.0 is, as we noted in our Innovation Award, one of the best product roll outs of the past couple of years and we have already discussed the impressive Seismometer function. That still leaves a seriously impressive suite of execution analytics that complete the app, though, and this has been reinforced over the past year by a new TCA engine and more flexibility in how users view the data. That latter development highlights the change of thinking at Deutsche over the past couple of years, the sense is that eight years ago at its FX height the bank would have said “here’s the analysis we use and our recommendation”, now it is more about, “here is the analysis, how do you want to look at it and can we help you slice and dice the data to meet your requirements?”.
The real time TCA is just excellent, all the aspects of the execution are in vision and at a user’s fingertips and we look forward in the coming months to a new product that is currently in beta testing that will enhance the data available to the client even further.
Given our bias towards anything trading, what we will term the second biggest development behind Market Colour 2.0 (it is anything but second best of course), the full roll out of Autobahn OTC Structures (AOS). This product democratises structured products and while the bank is certainly not alone in developing great solutions in this field – we would suggest structured products is the competitive arena in the 2020 awards – Deutsche’s aforementioned strength in blotters offers a small but important point of differentiation.
The autoblotter on AOS allows the client to receive live updates of its positions and sensitivities to moves in the market, they can also see how a potential new trade, or restructuring of an existing trade, will impact their risk profile at portfolio level. It also allows clients to better understand the impact of positive market moves, allowing them to take advantage of what may be fleeting opportunities. This underpins the offering that is AOS, which, unsurprisingly given Deutsche’s broader FX penetration, offers a range of products in an even- broader range of currency pairs.
The flexibility of AOS means that clients with all levels of sophistication, can establish their goals and leverage robust and intuitive structuring solutions backed up by big data. The customer provides the often complex challenge and the bank solves it with what is, generally speaking, a simple solution – and that appears to be a mantra at the “new” Deutsche Bank – simplifying the complex.
AOS is a great product for the re-focused Deutsche, it meets the demands of a client base that has various levels of sophistry and that wants to take a more proactive approach to hedging in what are undoubtedly more volatile times. For the super-sophisticated clients it represents a powerful structuring tool with huge product capabilities, for the less sophisticated, every stage of the pricing and trading process on the screen is accompanied by a summary panel.
We have already noted the massive step forward by Deutsche when it comes to mobile, specifically how Market Colour is now embedded to offer users a complete picture of market conditions on the move. The trading experience is simple and quick and standard orders are supported as well as the more complex contingent orders, and the blotters, that aspect of the business again, intuitive and easy to access. The bank has, as it has to, taken security issues seriously and on top of the standard settings to reduce the chances of mis- or mistaken use, it has installed IP and GPS blocking to protect users from trading, frankly, where they shouldn’t. Yes there are ways around this, but a provider can only do so much to protect the user from themselves!
It will be interesting to see what Deutsche does next with Autobahn, because for its new focus, it is already close to offering the complete solution. No doubt there are product areas it may wish to fill further around FX options and maybe order management, including algos, but overall it feels like the bank is comfortable where it is, and can start to look and invest in getting to where it wants to be. This makes Deutsche an interesting focus for industry watchers like ourselves.
Awards for e-FX Excellence
Market Colour 2.0
Autobahn OTC Structures