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June 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Apama SIFMA 09 Announcements

Posted by Chris Martins

SIFMA is happening this week in NY and this typically sparks a flurry of announcements in Capital Markets, as this event can be seen as a benchmark for what is happening in the industry, similar to TradeTech Paris for Europe earlier in the Spring.  Apama has made a series of significant announcements that capture some of the scope of the Apama platform and what we believe is required to be successful in this market.  In different niches of the blogosphere you’ll find some proponents of fairly narrow definitions of what “CEP” is or how one measures CEP “leadership” or “maturity”.  I think the Apama announcements illustrate a different perspective, reflective of the breadth of the Apama platform and the possibilities available to such a platform in terms of building new event-driven solutions in Capital Markets.

Market Surveillance and Monitoring Accelerator

Apama has previously announced market surveillance customers, FSA and Turquoise, and with our new enhanced Solution Accelerator we are capturing our capabilities in a way that allows regulators, exchanges/MTFs, and trading firms to further jumpstart deployment of monitoring applications.  The idea that it would be efficacious to have real-time monitoring of trading is becoming better understood in the indusry.  If you read the release, you’ll note that the targets are not just regulators or exchanges, but firms themselves, who would benefit from detecting potentially damaging activities prior to that activity hurting firm reputations or profits.

Apama Solution Accelerators provide a set of core functions that focus on specific domain areas, but they still retain the flexibility to evolve and adjust as circumstances require.  That is key to keeping pace with very dynamic market conditions.  These Accelerators have proven a key driver to our recent success as they marry the power of the underlying platform with the real “end game” of providing customers with solutions that deliver value.

UniCredit Customer Win

As an example of the power of Solution Accelerators, Apama also announced that UniCredit is using the Apama FX Market Aggregator (another of our roster of Accelerators) to give their FX traders access to prices from a number of FX liquidity venues.  UniCredit is also using the Accelerator to publish FX prices to its eFX downstream channels.   Again, a key point here is that the use of an Accelerator in no ways constrains a client from using the Apama tools that are part of the underlying platform to build out other capabilities that complement the Accelerator.  For some the Accelerator is close to what is needed, but for others it is an attractive launching point.  For further discussion of this, you might want to check out a recent Webinar on “FX Aggregation and Beyond” that talks to this issue.

Lime Brokerage

We added to our broad range of connectivity adapters with  an important connection to Lime Trading System’s Citrius market data feed and FIX order placement services.  This give our customers access to Lime’s trade execution capabilities for equities, derivatives, ETFs, futures and options.  Apama customers can also look to Apama applications via Lime Trading System’s collocation facilities.  Lime is a really cool firm and we see this as a great opportunity for our common customers – both those now and to come.

Connectivity is the lifeblood of CEP and other event-driven applications.  Apama has a broad range of adapters, and we have an engineering team whose specific focus is on this aspect of the product platform.  Integration adapters aren’t “sexy” and they don’t get a lot of attention in marketing literature, but they are vital and deserve a bit of spotlight.


BondDesk provides 2,000 broker-dealers with access to 35,000 live and executable offerings from 120 premier fixed income dealers.  In an announcement this week, we announced that BondDesk ATS (alternative trading system) customers will be able to register their interest in the availability of fixed income securities that meet certain criteria and Apama will monitor the inbound data and provide real-time notification when a matching offering becomes available on the ATS.

So four announcements this week, and more upcoming.

So stay tuned. 


Sunday, June 21, 2009

High Frequency Trading driving the need to build quickly, run fast

Posted by Louis Lovas

<p>High Frequency Trading driving the need to build quickly, run fast</p>

In just about any race there is usually a starting point and a finish line, unless of course you are in an arms race.  For that sort of race there may have been some nebulous beginning in the distant past, but there is no finish line. The race just keeps sprinting along, each competitor angling for an edge, regularly recharging their ammunition supply with some new weaponry to get ahead however slight or temporary.

I recently read an interesting article describing High Frequency Trading as embroiled in an arms race. I certainly believe it's well entrenched in such a conflict, but frankly this combat has arguably had a beneficial net effect especially in that it's contributed to the wellspring of invention, inspiring the creative spirit in all the supporting attributes that make High Frequency Trading a reality. Behind any trader (and trading firm) is an entire armada including the vendors supplying the underlying hardware, networks, software platforms and trading applications.  They are all immersed in the war.  As new hardware, software and/or algo's are deployed it allows the trader to do battle and speed ahead even if it's just for a short while.  Competitive pressures, increasing market volatility, regulatory imperatives, risk mitigation and a host of other challenges are the land mines and roadside bombs on the long and winding road that stall and slow causing re-tooling and re-stocking the ammunition (i.e. algo strategies). There is no time to stop and catch your breath or stand on the roadside.

Sang Lee from the Aite Group reports that High Frequency Trading has had a significant impact on the overall market, providing greater liquidity, tighter spreads and overall improving the quality of the market.  At the macro level these are great advancements and mark a natural evolutionary step due to so many market changes in recent years (i.e. electronic trading venues, adoption of CEP platforms for algo trading, etc.) in Equities and beyond (i.e. FX and Futures & Options).  Down in the trenches, the battles rage on day by day as a multitude of traders and an untold number of algo strategies provide the market liquidity by moving in and out of positions in milliseconds (or even less time). The trading firms engaged in this never ending conflict drive a set of imperatives on software infrastructures for building and deploying algos in the High Frequency battlefield:

Rapid development and customization of algo's

Algo strategies in the High Frequency world have a limited life time. They soon become obsolete (i.e. whatever alpha they took advantage of has disappeared due to the competition, economic changes, or other situations).  To react and respond to this inevitability, having the right sort of tooling to recalibrate strategies is a necessity. This includes graphical modeling tools for Quants to prototype ideas quickly, backtest with historic data, test in a scalable manner to instill confidence prior to production rollout and lastly dynamic parameterization of strategies from graphical dashboards. Not forgetting the code-slinging types, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for support of event processing language (EPL) development for more low-level tasks.

Abstracting over increasingly complex strategy logic

Supporting Quants with a rich and robust set of functionality from the basics (connectivity to markets) to the advanced (Linear Algebra, Black Scholes, and other statistical functions).

Support for the 'ilities (availability, security, reliability, ...) to manage the mundane

Deploy with confidence. An important role of software infrastructure is to instill confidence that deployed strategies are always available, securely accessed and run without failure.

Support for scalable performance, providing high throughput and low latency

This is probably the most paramount requirement in the arms race of High Frequency Trading.  The race to the microsecond is pushing both hardware and software vendors alike. Parallelism in CEP engines like Apama's Correlator can leverage multi-core processor architectures like the Intel Nehalem

Along with my colleague Dan Hubscher,  I have recorded a 30 minute webinar that describes how the Apama platform along with the Apama Algorithmic Trading Accelerator meet these imperatives.

The pre-recorded webinar, is available here:  Apama Algorithmic Trading Accelerator, Build Quickly, Run Fast.

Once again thanks for reading (plus watching and listening to the webinar in this case), you can also follow me at twitter, here.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Apama Wins Profit and Loss FX Award for Second Year in a Row

Posted by Dan Hubscher

Apama has received Profit & Loss Magazine’s 2009 Digital Markets Award as Best Algorithmic Trading Platform.  This is the second consecutive year that Apama has won this award from one of the FX industry’s leading publications.  The Digital Markets Awards recognize the efforts of the FX services industry in providing the tools and functionality that make trading FX more efficient.  The presentations of the awards to the winners in each category were made at the Profit & Loss Forex Network New York 2009 Event Awards Dinner.

The award winners in each category were determined by your votes.  As with any awards like these, your voices are heard loud and clear.  So thank you, to all of you that voted.  And remember, you can make your voices heard again, by voting in the Waters Rankings for 2009.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Waters Rankings - 2009

Posted by Chris Martins

Waters logo

Waters Magazine annually surveys its readers (or those readers who work for investment firms, hedge funds, brokerages and exchanges) to choose the best financial service solutions and technology providers.   There are 25 categories in 6 categories, so if you are a Waters subscriber and member of a financial firm, be sure to vote.  Voting ends June 5th.   And, of course, we'd welcome your consideration for best complex event processing platform, which is one of the categories.