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Japan's algorithmic trading: Dark Age to dark side

Japan is slow to adopt financial market innovations, and algorithmic trading is no exception.

Olivier Thiriet, Credit Suisse

"Some are reluctant to take responsibility for their own trading. They’re happier to give an order to a broker and blame him if something goes wrong"
Olivier Thiriet, Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse, the first to start offering the execution strategy in Japan, launched its proprietary algorithmic trading platform, Advanced Execution Services, in Tokyo in 2003. Initially it was international investors playing the Japan market that adopted AES, says Olivier Thiriet, managing director, Asia Pacific alternative execution products, at Credit Suisse in Tokyo. “Adoption by Japanese investors of algorithmic trading is slow,” he says. “So far, most of the progress has been international investors using our platform for investing in Japan.” But local investors are getting the message and are interested in the trading technology, says Thiriet. Early Credit Suisse clients include some local hedge funds and the large domestic banks. Resistance to the trading strategy generally manifests itself through technical or cultural issues.

“Many local investors and banks are using outdated in-house systems that aren’t very flexible,” says Thiriet.

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