TIBCO recently had the pleasure of hosting an event for the FIX Community. FIX has helped revolutionize the modern trading environment, proving fundamental in facilitating many of the electronic trading trends that have emerged over the past decade. TIBCO was excited to get back to its own roots of revolutionizing Wall Street back in the 80s. Read on for an eyewitness account of how TIBCO + FIX = Fast Data in action.
3pm: In an hour-and-a-half, I’m expecting more than 100 industry innovators, influencers and implementers to descend on the 23rd floor of Heron Tower, London… or am I? London is in the middle of a paralyzing tube strike. Out of the window I can see hordes of people queuing for buses (this is England) and even more trudging along Bishopsgate and London Wall making an early start to their long journey home.
Some colleagues are telling me, “Cancel, it’s going to be a disaster” while others are saying, “Just tough it out; if there are only a handful then we’ll just take them down the pub” (again, this is England).
I’ve spent most of the day making phone calls to the people who have registered and posting upbeat social media reminders. But now all I can do is wait…
4:30pm: The caterers arrive on time, and so does the food. Now I’m wondering how many of those little canapés I’ll be able to eat on my own, and how much I’ll be throwing away at the end of the night.
5pm: People! Quite a lot of people! Before long we’ve got 50 people in our stunning 23rd floor atrium (that’s seriously high in this city), all buzzing with conversation and gawking at the views on this cloudless sunny evening. I’m pleased to see lots of old friends as well as new faces and they keep on coming; we topped 80 attendees I’m told.
With a glass of bubbly in our hands, we listen to some brief updates from the Working Group Chairs: cybersecurity, pre/post-trade analytics, clock-sync, business practices, transparency, microstructure. After this our atrium makes a perfect place for impromptu breakout areas, where groups form to discuss today’s hot topics.
Now I’m starting to enjoy myself, and walking around the room, I catch snippets of animated conversation—a lot of which I actually understand!
- The buy-side pushing back on the sell-side for massively increased visibility of their trade cycle: “My order didn’t execute, why?” and “My order did execute; how exactly did it get executed?”
- The strain that MiFID is having on the sell-side’s Big Data strategies and the need for “smart” solutions
- Multi-venues are adding huge overheads to transparency in the US—it’s not that bad in Europe… yet
- MiFID microstructure (key issues such as trading costs, transparency, price formation, and market design)—algo testing, implications of MiFID requirements for venues and investment firms, testing logistics, test cases, market data
- Also reviewing the pre-trade controls, tick sizes, market making, monitoring, etc.
- Threat of new liabilities
- Regulatory burden moving from sell-side to exchanges and possibly market data *vendors*
- New working group set up to drive requirements and implementation of a fully machine-readable “rules of engagement” for firms that have implemented FIX
- Looking to allow trading participants and solution providers to perform compatibility tests automatically by modeling supported functionality, message flows, and permitted fields/values/formats
The relevance to TIBCO’s product set and the fit with the whole Fast Data message is incredible. I feel the urge to jump in to these huddles and shout, “Yes! We do that at TIBCO—here are the positive business outcomes and this is how we do it better.” On a couple of occasions, I do.
This event is also another indictment of our new Heron Tower office. Our central location means that we can attract people even under adverse conditions. The office also underlines TIBCO’s commitment to the capital markets business in London, most of which we can survey from our 360-degree windows—reminiscent of the 360-views provided by the TIBCO Fast Data platform.
8pm: People are starting to drift home now, but not before a quick selfie from the boardroom with the Gherkin in the background.
I’m wondering if all the Big Data I had collected and analyzed could have predicted the success of this one. I guess not it… it would have to have been all in real time—that’s Fast Data, TIBCO’s specialty. The thought leaves my mind and then I’m back in the room.
9pm: The survivors have polished off the last of the food, and most of the drink, and we head out into the evening to a London that’s calm and quiet.
10pm: This is the first event that I’ve hosted with my TIBCO hat on and, while the tube strike proved stressful, it’s time to reflect on how our last-minute efforts to drum up support really paid off, with a turnout that surpassed all expectations. It’s the instant actions and Fast Data that paid off in the end.