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Electronic Execution Department of the Year, Buyside
The giant US asset manager has streamlined its trading team in the past 18 months in a bid to better integrate the dealing functions it acquired through its 2011 acquisition of Barclays Global Investors. While many long-standing dealers have left the firm, brokers say the result is a more operationally efficient trading team. Its trading and liquidity strategies group takes a highly quantitative and in-depth approach to trading standards across asset classes. It is one of nine money managers backing the new buyside-only US equity trading platform Luminex Trading & Analytics, which launched in September 2015.
Dimensional Fund Advisors
DFA, the Texas-headquartered manager with £263 billion of assets at the end of 2015, is credited with being well ahead of its peers for its highly quantitative approach to trading, according to brokers and independent analysts. John Romiza, the firm’s London-based head of international trading, oversees a team of nine who trade the firm’s international equity order flow. His focus is on ensuring that the firm’s execution strategy and technological infrastructure are cutting edge in Europe.
It has been a year of change on the trading desk of Fidelity International. In March 2016, the manager merged its global equity and fixed income trading teams and created a new global head of trading role for Mike Kopfler. Kopfler and his team are highly-respected and Fidelity said at the time that it saw ‘clear client benefits in organising our trading team in this integrated way’ . Fidelity was one of the early backers of the Plato Partnership, the prospective not-for-profit trading platform. Its sister company in the US was the brains behind the buyside-backed block trading platform Luminex Analytics and Trading, in which it has a majority stake.
T Rowe Price
For T Rowe Price’s European trading desk, it has been a steady evolution. Its five-strong equities team, led by Jeremy Ellis, has been an early adopter of low-touch trading and reckons it now does up to 60% of its trading electronically. While it has relatively long broker list, it puts value on country and sector specialists, and is open to new liquidity providers. The manager has been working with electronic market-making firm Virtu Financial in the US to help improve the quality of its trade execution. It is highly engaged in analysing execution quality and the performance of venues, and one of its senior traders, Matt Howell, chairs a buyside-only trading technology committee to review new products on a co-ordinated basis.
Union, Germany’s third largest money manager, was the second-ranked asset manager for equity trading in the 2016 Extel survey for the second successive year. Its head of trading, Christoph Hock, combined the manager’s equities and derivatives trading teams to create a multi-asset desk in 2014, making it a first mover in applying techniques honed in equity markets to other asset classes such as fixed income. Hock and his team constantly seek new ways to source liquidity, and it became one of the first European firms to join the new US block trading platform Luminex in early 2016.