Published On: Sun, Nov 14th, 2010

TradeTech Asia 2010 Highlights

TradeTech Asia 2010 HighlightsTradeTech Asia 2010 landed in Singapore last week in what was a well attended, information filled event. The 2 day affair featured many of Asia’s prominent electronic trading personalities.

The festivities kicked off with a harangue from Morgan Stanley’s Zack Tuckwell on the latest developments of our industry. He was followed by the first of two keynote addresses from Magnus Bocker CEO of SGX then Martin Wheatley of the Hong Kong SFC. Mr. Bocker provided some insights to the merger with the ASX and Mr Wheatley offered some colour on the G20 conference held in Korea and its downstream consequences of regulatory policy implementation. As always, he also mentioned how the HK SFC did nothing about banning short selling while other bourses scrambled for a solution to the sell off in 2008.

There were of course many panels, discussions and addresses held throughout the conference such as the Buy Side Heads of Trading Panel, Evaluating The Impact of Arrowhead, Frustration vs Opportunity in India and a panel I was fortunate to moderate “What Questions Should the Buy Side Ask Their Brokers to Ensure That Their Algos Remain Competitive”. When I polled the room at the start to see who was from the buy side and who was from the sell side you would have thought that the room would be filled with brokers but it was filled with fund manager instead. Curious.

The first day ended, at least in the stream I attended – Trading Technologies (there were 3 other streams) with Abhi Shroff of Greenwich Associates who reported on Asia Market Trends and a look at the MENA region with Dr Amin El-Kholy of Arqaam Capital. Both very interesting and chock-full of information. I might have to start
“MenaEtrading.com”.

The conference party sponsored by Fidessa that evening was held outside above the Fullerton Boathouse. A great venue in the Lion City.

The second day started with a long line at the Deutsche Bank booth for Illy coffee. They even brought a barista to make the drinks too. Someone remarked it was the “only booth with a queue”.

The noticeably hungover crowd had two streams to choose from in the first half of day 2 – HFT and Colocation and one focused on Trade Tech in Asia.

Dark pools, fragmentation and alternative trading venue discussion were featured in the TradeTech Stream while a litany of research on the impact of HFT on markets, liquidity and Asia filled the HFT stream.

The HFT and Trade Tech Streams continued in the afternoon along with a third stream Hedge Fund Trading Strategies.

The conference is usually a good venue for companies to make announcements but the only one I heard was ITG and Instinet agreeing to share liquidity in Asia. Coincidentally, the long awaited chi-east began operation on the last day of the event too. Fragmentation is accelerating it would seem and an effort to procure liquidity in Asia is underway.

So much was going on and I only touched on a few things. The TradeTech Asia conference was larger and better attended than last year but keep in mind we were coming off the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Given the success and discussions throughout the two days though, the GFC was all but forgotten and the promise of the future as the shift to electronic trading in the East was taking hold. See you next year.

PS. I should thank IRESS for the champagne. I won their lucky draw.

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