The latest development in the online multibank FX industry has been another closure. STN Treasury, SunGard’s trading platform, is to close after failing to break into the market to any great degree. The closure is unlikely to create the waves that accompanied the closure of Atriax, indeed SunGard itself made a very low profile announcement amidst news of a tie-up between areas of its trading product suite.
According to Graham Taylor, executive product manager of eTreasury eXchange, the last 18 months have seen the market’s demand for price transparency superseded by the demand for straight-through processing (STP). As a result, the need for STN Treasury’s trading functionality receded.
“When we looked at the market place two years ago, there was a high demand for online trading, not just for FX, but for all instruments because the market wanted transparency,” says Taylor. “Over the course of the next few months, it became clear to us that there really was not the space in the market for five or six players.”
The changes in the environment led to the decision to merge SunGard Treasury Systems with the remaining elements of STN Treasury and its eTreasury eXchange (eTX) business into what the company terms, “a consolidated enterprise treasury business initiative”. The company’s Tiger Systems business has also been rolled into the initiative.
The combined offering links several SunGard systems to electronic trading and information delivery services for STP covering a range of instruments including FX. The company says the new offering incorporates the best features and resources of the existing business and is aimed at connecting SunGard’s customers seamlessly to their financial service providers.
Where possible, Taylor says that the company will find positions for the various teams affected by the merging of the business units. He declines to comment about a new posting for Shawn McMorran, former president of STN Treasury.
Taylor suggests that the closure of Atriax did not influence SunGard’s decision to any great degree, given the way the company perceived the market to be evolving.
“Atriax’s closure was not a big factor,” he says, “but it certainly justified our thinking.”
Corporate treasuries use the bank systems which are the most efficient, says Taylor, and eTreasury eXchange will continue to concentrate on providing access to trading systems where there is strong demand and a good business case. “Real time information about your market position is what is important, and it is essential to be able to look at the market from one access point which includes all markets and instruments. That is where we are concentrating,” he says.