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Banking

Ones to watch

eSpeedFX

Cantor Fitzgerald’s eSpeed is already widely respected as a fixed income interdealer trading platform, handling trading volumes of $200 billion. Now it has entered the foreign exchange industry, and the results could be interesting.

The design and functionality of the trading screens provide all the robust performance and customizability that users of the bond trading platform have come to expect, complete with streaming dealable prices. And the two product groups can be combined onto one trading page.

The trading system operates on an unusual model whereby eSpeedFX is the central counterparty, so all trading is anonymous. This kind of system would not have been possible before Continuous Linked Settlement was launched in 2002. Most other platforms that have challenged the prevailing bilateral trading models have found it difficult to get bank backing or buy-side volumes, but they have not had the brand name and reputation of eSpeed.

The number and types of user on this platform are unlimited, but it is likely to be most appropriate for high-speed, high-volume clients such as bank proprietary trading teams, black-box clients and hedge funds. Seven hundred client firms already use the terminals for fixed income, so eSpeed is likely to target them first.

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