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GlobalLink: Leadership built on trust in the FX market

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David Newns, global head of GlobalLink execution services, talks to Euromoney about some of the factors that have enabled the multi-dealer platform to increase its market share and achieve top ranking in the Euromoney 2021 FX survey.

Being ranked first for market share and customer satisfaction across all the multi-dealer platforms in this year’s Euromoney survey is a great way to mark our 25th year in business and shows that GlobalLink continues to drive the evolution of this segment of the FX market.

It is even more significant given State Street’s launch in June of a new division dedicated to digital finance. The GlobalLink technology platform will be an integral component of State Street Digital and will be enhanced into a digital multi-asset platform to support asset classes such as crypto and create new liquidity venues for clients and investors.

Customers trust our platform and our offering; we have always recognised that success comes from helping them achieve their objectives. Just as important is that we have always viewed our client service, trade operations, client integration teams, and our liquidity management and help desk functions as core components of the platform offering.

When it comes to running an FX trading venue it is absolutely critical to provide a 24-hour support model staffed by individuals who not only have deep experience with the GlobalLink technology platform and the FX market in general but also, perhaps most critically, are really familiar with our customers’ own business and their specific requirements. We absolutely consider our client services and support function to be a key differentiator for GlobalLink.

But our ranking is based on more than that. It also reflects the breadth of our offering, a well-rounded ecosystem where we provide a wide range of solutions incorporating aspects of FX Connect and Currenex technology.

Organisations have re-evaluated their trading processes and controls and this has led to the realisation that available tools were not being used to their full potential.
David Newns, global head of GlobalLink execution services
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Customer service has always been important and given the extraordinary events of the last 18 months, service availability has become even more crucial. When our customers moved to working from home they relied heavily on our relationship managers and our support desk to assist in this migration effort and ensure they could continue to work effectively.

The success of this transition demonstrated the ability of the technology to be deployed in a range of different environments while maintaining robust security. We won business from competing platforms during this period because the technology on other platforms was less flexible. We actually became more effective and efficient as we had effective internal tools within the help desk functions to ensure seamless support, even when our teams were working remotely.

This large-scale change of location affected the way customers utilise our technology, especially on the FX Connect platform. The progress of automation and increased efficiency encouraged customers to more fully explore the functionality available within the platform in areas such as execution automation, reducing manual intervention in a home working environment where they had access to fewer resources.

Platform robustness has always been a key focus for GlobalLink and our investment in this area has paid dividends over the last 18 months in particular. It comes back to the trust our customers place in us as their technology provider, supporting mission critical functions within their business.

Resilience, flexibility and speed

One of the factors that set Currenex and FX Connect aside from competing platforms is the ability to deliver resilience, flexibility and speed. It is relatively easy to be simple or fast or robust. But being sophisticated when it comes to workflow support, or providing depth and breadth of order types, and support highly flexible liquidity configurations, while also being fast and highly resilient, requires considerable technical expertise and investment – and that we do all this at GlobalLink speaks volumes to the impressive capabilities of the GlobalLink product, development, quality assurance and infrastructure teams.

During the pandemic we have seen spikes in activity and volatility, so the ability to enable customers to continue their operations and activities uninterrupted has been absolutely critical.

In fact, over the period covered by the survey we have seen further acceleration of automation. In the real money space, clients have been and are focused on areas such as flexible execution supported by rich analytics to help them improve their execution outcomes.

On FX Connect, for example, we have best-in-class flexible workflows that tightly integrate our customers on management systems, while on Currenex we support feature rich execution capabilities supported by a global ultra-low latency infrastructure. These platforms have become increasingly integrated over the last few years to address evolving customer demand.

There is an ever-increasing volume of business being conducted electronically via our request for stream (RFS) and algo channels and we expect this trend for ever increasing levels of automation to accelerate post-pandemic. Organisations have re-evaluated their trading processes and controls and this has led to the realisation that available tools were not being used to their full potential. This will enable trading desks to operate more efficiently while maintaining the requisite controls. New use cases are also being continuously identified.

Another area where we have seen considerable innovation is in the use of data. We have completed our migration to a cloud-hosted solution, which has supported the provision of more sophisticated analytics for both internal and client consumption.

As a result, our clients are better able to analyse their activity on Currenex, while our liquidity management team have even more powerful tools to manage the liquidity pools we support on the platform – further improving outcomes for our clients.

Looking ahead, for our organization, for our customers and for the marketplace, we fully anticipate that GlobalLink’s next 25 years will be even more exciting than the first. State Street Digital will play a critical role in the deployment and evolution of the new digital market infrastructure. And GlobalLink technology, an essential component of State Street Digital, will further enable that evolution as we extend our FX capabilities into crypto, digital assets and further leverage distributed ledger technology in order to help our customers realise the benefits that the new digital market infrastructure represents.

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