Reuters continues its move towards a fully integrated environment, and aimed to highlight these advances at the recent ACI European Congress at which it showcased its entire range of dealing, STP and information systems. Mike Whitaker, head of marketing and strategy, treasury customer segment at Reuters, notes that the Congress represented the first chance for Reuters to demonstrate its wares since the restructuring of the company last year with a client focus.
One of the low key moves Reuters has made has been to connect its news to the Ric, or price, codes used on the system. By highlighting the currency pair of their choice, users can access all relevant news by hitting the F9 key on their workstation. Whitaker points out that this makes accessing news much easier, as users no longer have to remember the whole host of country codes provided. Additionally, as Whitaker points out, traders need to be aware of news surrounding a currency pair, not just a single currency, and with 19,000 Ric codes to choose from, every angle is covered.
“We looked at it from a trader perspective,” he says. “What would a trader want? One click news is a very powerful tool – it may not seem that important on paper, however quicker access to information is becoming more important in today’s markets.”
He adds that users can also access news from charts available on the Reuters system, and confirms the company is looking at connecting its Ric codes to charts for one click access to technical analysis.
Clearly, Reuters is building on one of its core strengths, its newswire services, a fact acknowledged by Whitaker. “The market quite rightly trusts Reuters news, it is a differentiator and a strength we can build on. We cannot be complacent, therefore building on such strengths makes sense.”
The new approach taken by Reuters since the re-structuring revolves around what Whitaker terms enhanced product themes, those that look at the treasury market as a whole. The tactical approach taken by the company has been to release the base product and work with users to enhance the services incrementally. “Before the restructuring we did not really make the most of the opportunities we had as a company. Now, with a much broader reaching management structure under Julie Holland [managing director Reuters Treasury Services] we have been able to focus on better integration of products,” he explains.
Two examples of the approach taken by the company have been the Dealing for Swaps product, and Reuters Dealing Link (RDL). Whitaker says the company is making changes to its Dealing for Swaps product to ensure it gets the best out of forms-based trading. “We did not want to build a product simply around the swaps model,” he explains, “Rather, we wanted to expand the offering to make it scaleable and flexible – to be able to use the infrastructure across all aspects of form-based trading.
“The changes in the company have meant that we now look cross-product at our offerings, and look to base them on a trading paradigm,” he continues. “We want to ensure that all of our services are add-ons to the core offering rather than stand-alone products.”
The recently launched RDL (see Profit & Loss, March 2002) is “progressing well”, according to Whitaker, with an increasing number of sites as awareness of its capabilities grows. He adds that the company is now looking at how to leverage RDL by placing it in other products. “We are working on integrating it into other product lines, however this is a slow process as we are undertaking extra due diligence and Q&A testing to ensure it is right before we announce the move,” he says.
Reuters’ other recent moves have mainly revolved around alliances, such as those with e-Mid (see Profit & Loss, November/December 2001) and Icor (Profit & Loss, March 2002). Icor has continued to develop its offering, adding Usd/Jpy and Eur/Jpy options to its platform. The company is due to launch in Europe in mid-June with an upgraded version once testing on the Dealing 3000Xtra platform has been completed.
Enhancements include the aggregate interest at a particular level in the market, and the number of tickets making up that interest. The company has also added a one-cancels-other (OCO) feature, aimed at building liquidity across periods by allowing traders to be hit on only one of a series of prices across tenors. Batch order capability and a tick up/tick down button for easy adjustment of prices have also been added.
The platform is ultimately slated to carry nine currency pairs – as part of ongoing developments, Icor plans to enable users to watch more than one market at a time. This is seen as an important issue, as currently users can only receive information on one market, for instance Usd/Jpy, and have to click to another screen for Eur/Jpy prices.
Reuters suggest that the alliance with e-Mid is proceeding equally well. Enhancements are also due to be released (in July) for this platform, including serial quotation and broken date capabilities (the former using feeds direct from users’ pricing engines).
John Usher, regional transaction manager at Reuters, says the platform has received very good responses and that both parties are very pleased with their ongoing relationship. He also reveals that the Bank of England is to become an observer on e-Mid and e-Mider, meaning that all of the major central banks in Europe are on the system.