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Foreign exchange: Morgan Stanley hopes for Matrix revolution

Morgan Stanley is looking to play catch-up in online FX trading as it rolls out its new Matrix platform to clients.

As more and more foreign exchange business migrates to the electronic world, it’s no surprise that banks that have led the way in eFX – notably Deutsche Bank and Barclays have steadily built market share in the past few years.

Those banks looking to challenge the leading position of the top tier of FX banks know they need to recover ground fast. Citi, for example, has poured a lot of money and effort into building its Velocity platform. BNP Paribas is also making a big push with investment in people and technology in eFX (see Banks beef up in eFX, Euromoney, March 2010).

Matrix certainly looks the part and will have the geeks drooling over it. Matrix is a rich internet application – or software – that sits on the desktop but leverages web connectivity. Customers can also chat to other users, send videos, read tips from experts and update Twitter.

Adobe worked closely on Matrix, which was built using Flex, over two years. It’s the first of its kind to be launched using Flex technology, an open-source framework, on such a large scale.

Neill Penney, managing director and global head of FX product strategy at Morgan Stanley, says: "Matrix is a trading and research platform covering multiple asset classes, and the integration between these different components has been integral to the design from the very beginning."

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