Articles tagged by TCA
When discussing the future of the FX industry finding consensus amongst market participants about what the market will look like and how it will function can be challenging.
Yet one thing that appears to be broadly agreed upon is that the use of algorithms for executing trades is likely to continue growing in the coming years, as technology continues to evolve and firms look for new ways to minimise their market impact when trading.
Indeed, the use of algos is often prescribed as the answer to a market where it is becoming harder to execute in size and buy side firms are increasingly concerned about this issue of market impact.
Currenex has launched a new trading platform, X2, designed in response to the changing liquidity profile of the FX market and the evolving requirements of institutional FX traders.
One important feature of the new platform is that it is based on HTML5 technology, in contrast to the Java-based multibank front ends that populate the market today.
Speaking exclusively to Profit & Loss Rick Schonberg, global head of product for trading and clearing and the North American head of trading solutions at Currenex, says that although Java “serves its purpose today and will for many years”, there are advantages to having an HTML5-based front end.
Lucera has launched two new products to complement their LumeFX platform
The LumeFX credit service provides pre-trade credit monitoring that can be set up on a hierarchical basis to alert prime brokers, or clients of prime brokers that are also extending credit, when one of their clients is reaching their credit limit.
“We’re getting a lot of traction in the prime-of-prime market with this product, following a shift in the industry where traditional prime brokers are not extending as much credit as they used to.
ITG’s transaction cost analysis (TCA) product for FX is now integrated into the FX Connect trading platform.
This means that institutional investors on the platform can now use FX Connect and ITG TCA for FX to measure and analyse their FX trading to help demonstrate best execution.
The TCA product combines dealer, ECN and interbank market sources to provide a analysis covering spot, forward, swap, NDF and NDS transactions.
“Accurate FX trading data is the foundation of effective FX TCA analysis. The seamless integration of a client’s data from FX Connect to ITG TCA combines our deep FX analysis capabilities with robust data from the best-in-class platform for complex foreign exchange workflows. This creates an easy to use, powerful and flexible solution for institutional traders,” says Ian Domowitz, managing director and head of analytics at ITG.
In recent years the sell side has justifiably been criticised for its behaviour in the FX market. But should regulators and market participants be taking a closer look at how the buy side operates in this market? Galen Stops reports.
The FX industry has been rocked by a number of scandals in recent years and in many cases the implications of these scandals is only now coming home to roost.
Two of the largest custodian banks in the world, BNY Mellon and State Street, have agreed $714 million and $530 million settlements, respectively, related to allegations they systematically set disadvantageous rates for their customers in contrast to their claims to be achieving best execution for them.
Petra Wikstrom, global head of Execution and Alpha solutions at BNP Paribas, talks to Profit & Loss about why FX TCA benefits from “a pragmatic engineering approach”.
Profit & Loss: When it comes to producing meaningful TCA, what are the big data challenges facing market participants?
Petra Wikstrom: Over the last five years we’ve seen a constant uptick in the electronification of FX, but the number of venues offering FX liquidity has increased far beyond that, which means that similar volumes are now offered across more venues.
There’s a wave of change sweeping across non-equity markets driven by regulatory initiatives and the rise of non-bank liquidity providers. Other factors driving buy-side adoption of Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) in FX are the need to generate alpha on investment returns, and regulatory scrutiny
of trading practices in over-the-counter (OTC) instruments.
TCA is a broad term which doesn’t describe the actual analysis to be carried out. Asset managers who rely on custodian banks to execute currency trades have a compliance obligation to analyze these FX trading costs.
By monitoring fill rates, TCA tools can help traders determine if ‘last look’ is occurring, and then decide whether or not to shift their trades to other venues.
BestX, formed earlier this year, has released its first TCA product. Colin Lambert takes a look.
If there has been a positive outcome from the trials and tribulations of the FX market in recent years it has been more focus on not only achieving best execution, but also about what that phrase actually means. This has resulted in more products and services aimed at helping clients make informed decisions around how they interact with the FX market – no longer is it just a sideshow that can be handled without due care and attention – as well as the gradual move into the market of new firms.
Thomson Reuters has partnered with BestX to enable buy-side participants using its FXall and FX Trading platforms to streamline analysis of transaction costs, helping them define, achieve and demonstrate best execution.
Through the partnership Thomson Reuters will offer connectivity to the independent transaction cost analysis (TCA) service from BestX from its FXall and FX Trading desktops.
Thomson Reuters customers will be able to have their trades sent automatically to BestX for independent post-trade transaction cost analysis, and also have a single sign-on desktop integration.
FastMatch has made its proprietary algorithmic and transaction cost analysis (TCA) services available to all its subscribers.
The firm has been offering algorithmic trading to asset managers via its AgencyFX product for the past 18 months to satisfy increasing demand from this customer segment for algorithmic execution products.
Now it will be offering it to both buy and sell side users of the platform. Clients using FastMatch algorithms will receive automated TCA reports upon completion of their orders showing the algorithmic execution performance versus arrival price, FastMatch midpoint and other benchmarks.
Profit & Loss understands that BestX, the start-up technology company that provides independent trading analytics, has signed JP Morgan as its first major FX sell-side client.
The deal marks a significant step forward in the industry as it represents the first time a major dealing bank has integrated a truly third party’s service to offer post-trade verification of execution quality. It will allow the bank’s own clients to independently define, achieve and demonstrate best execution through a post-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA) when trading electronically with the bank.
XTX Markets has made XTX-ray, a tool designed to replicate how sell-side market makers analyse spot FX liquidity, available to buy side market participants.
XTX-ray looks at a wide range of data, including fill ratios, the cost of rejected trades in USD, spreads and market impact, to reveal “hidden” costs embedded in firms’ spot FX execution with the aim of enabling them to more effectively analyse the liquidity they are accessing.
“XTX-ray makes state-of-the-art sell side execution analysis available to buy side firms, and counterparties will be able to evaluate the execution quality of their liquidity providers.
GTX has partnered with Ideal Prediction, an independent trading analytics and data science company, to offer its clients analytics aimed at to optimising their FX trading.
The market data, tools, and services are designed to enable buy-side and sell-side market participants to optimise profitability and simulate strategies, as well as perform Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA).
GTX says in a release announcing the partnership that it will further enable sell-side market participants to benchmark execution performance, analyse client flows, and optimise risk management strategies.
Increased attention on market impact has prompted non-bank market making firm XTX to release a new analysis tool, XTX-ray. Colin Lambert takes a look.
Market impact has grown steadily as a topic of conversation in the FX industry, thanks in part to the events of October 7, 2016 in Cable, but also due to the increasing instances of “mini” flash moves in markets. As risk warehousing activities have been scaled back across the banking industry, a crucial buffer is being thinned out, meaning orders that previously had minimal or no impact on market levels, now do.
In February, Profit & Loss reported that GTX had partnered with Ideal Prediction, an independent trading analytics and data science company, to offer its clients analytics aimed at optimising their FX trading.
GTX first hired Ideal Prediction to optimise client liquidity pools and trade execution performance in March 2016 and the perceived success of this project, combined with the management teams’ strong working relationship with Ideal Prediction CEO, John Crouch, from his time working at Credit Suisse, prompted the two firms to look for more ways to utilise the data at GTX’s disposal to help its clients.
The end product of this was the analytics tool that GTX began offering to firms in February.
The FX TCA analysis from LMAX Exchange should be welcomed for highlighting the absence of price improvement in too many TCA calculations, but there is still more work to be done and ground to be covered before the industry truly has a genuine TCA metric. What about market impact relating to the "parent" order? Do we differentiate between rejections for predatory traders and hedgers? After all, as any divorcee, if they are honest, will probably tell you, both parties play a role in the break up.
Northern Trust has launched a suite of FX client execution algorithms, aimed at allowing clients to manage their FX exposure with an enhanced level of control and transparency.
Dan Torrey, global head of FX e-commerce sales at Northern Trust, says that previous trends amongst Northern Trust clients currently utilising its algo suite suggest that many of them will focus on using TWAP algos to minimise market risk/impact on larger orders, while attempting to benefit from the greater transparency that is offered by the bank’s post-trade execution reporting.
As the distinction between bank and non-bank liquidity continues to blur in FX, panellists at Forex Network New York discussed how market participants should differentiate between different liquidity providers.
Speaking at the event, Kevin Kimmel, global head of e-FX at Citadel Securities, claimed that when it comes to liquidity, the bank versus non-bank narrative “has played out” as a distinction between market makers, with clients instead focusing on the core attributes of each firm, such as their reliability and whether they warehouse risk.
A new report finds that institutional investors are taking a more active approach to managing portfolio-wide currency risks, and in particular there is a greater appetite for active currency overlays.
The report, by investment analytics firm bfinance, says this change is being driven by divergence in European and US interest rates, geopolitical unrest and greater scrutiny of costs.
The report also recommends investors look beyond the headline fees and look closer at transaction costs, stating, “Although front-end fees receive column inches, transaction costs have been the subject of serious reappraisal from investors and regulators alike. The days of prop trading scandals may have ended; the days of investors accessing more cost-efficient trading are only just beginning.”
A number of factors, including the increased need for an audit trail for FX execution and a desire to limit market impact, are driving the adoption of algorithmic execution tools amongst buy side firms, says Petra Wikström, global head of execution and alpha solutions at BNP Paribas.
Although Wikström says that the continuing automation and electronification of the FX market naturally leads to more firms broadly using algos as one of their execution tools, there are other specific factors driving the adoption of algo tools by the buy side.
The structure of the FX market means that transaction cost analysis (TCA) within this asset class is unlikely to look like it does equities for the foreseeable future, according Dan Torrey, global head of FX e-commerce sales at Northern Trust.
TCA is clearly much easier to perform in the equities market because it has a consolidated tape, which provides one uniform data set from which firms can analyse the cost and effectiveness of their execution. This, says Torrey, turned equities TCA into “more of a science that’s very hard to dispute”.
By contrast, he points out that, not only is FX an OTC market without a central tape, but that the reference points for pricing has become more diverse over the past decade.
Citadel Securities has partnered with BestX to provide its clients with independent analysis of its FX execution quality.
"We're confident in the quality of our execution and partnering with an independent TCA provider demonstrates this. From a market structure standpoint, I think that the FX market can benefit from more transparency, whether it's through independent measurement of execution quality or the creation of a central tape," Kevin Kimmel, global head of e-FX at Citadel Securities, tells Profit & Loss.
Kimmel says that providing independent TCA provides value because it eliminates any potential concerns of bias in the execution analysis and because it helps create standardisation in terms of how the analysis is conducted.
While I am generally unconcerned about the FX industry's preparedness for MiFID II - it has a long and proud history of hitting deadlines - I am bothered by a potential psychological impact from the legislation. Too many are looking at TCA in the light of MiFID II and thinking "box-ticking", to the extent that TCA reports are left unread and even un-opened. The data is good, and it should be used to make execution better, not to fulfil a compliance exercise.
BNP Paribas has become the latest bank to formally partner with execution analysis specialists BestX, with the initial focus of the partnership being on the provision of post-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA) on algorithmic FX transactions, which will enable clients to gauge the quality of their execution versus a number of benchmarks.
If the client requests it, details of their algorithmic transactions will be automatically shared with BestX which will in turn will perform its own TCA on the transaction, BNP explains.
There has been a renewed focus on Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) in recent years as buy side firms are becoming more savvy about how their execute their FX transactions and regulations such as Mifid II impose new best execution requirements.
But do market participants really know how to conduct effective TCA or is it just becoming a box ticking exercise designed to placate compliance staff, regulators and investors?
Banks are always quick to vouch for the accuracy and utility of their TCA reports, but can they be trusted to provide clients with an honest assessment of their own performance as a liquidity provider?