October 15, 2021

OpenFin Europe CEO Adam Toms Unpacks the Future of Automated Trading—TradeTech FX 2021

As the realities of the pandemic continue to raise questions about the future of work and its implications for traders, Adam Toms, CEO of OpenFin Europe, sat down with other industry leaders at the recent TradeTech FX conference to discuss the acceleration of automated trading.

The panel specifically focused on how firms can leverage the latest tools and systems to expand automated trading capabilities and improve efficiency. Much of the discussion centered around how to make these tools function more seamlessly, including through working with partners like OpenFin.

“What's really clear over the last 18 months through the pandemic is that everyone has been very focused on employees and users, thinking about user experience more and more,” Toms said. “Lots of providers have really rich analytics, which is fantastic. The problem is when you have the oversight on that and you receive that insight, you need to get it in the most timely and dynamic way possible, and we have seen a large number of firms making a significant investment in that area using our technology.”

All panelists agreed that there remain concerns, frictions and challenges around the adoption and building of automated trading systems, with the need to build trust in these systems standing out as a crucial component. Toms noted that this confidence can only stem from transparency and access to data.

“We talk a lot about pre- and post-trade, but what you really want is inflight information that is very relevant that you can trust…Also, having lots of different apps sending you different notifications, alerts, different things flashing all over the place is very challenging for individuals,” noted Toms. “If we can find a way of filtering those down, delivering them to the user in a more concentrated manner, something that resonates with them, they get more confidence and they are getting the right information. Their eye is being drawn to the right place on the screen at the right time, and I think that is absolutely critical."

Other challenges revolve around the integration of new tools that can streamline workflows with existing systems, a process that varies in difficulty. Toms explained how OpenFin’s sophisticated desktop layer enables firms to complete integrations with unprecedented speed and why the Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3), an industry working group founded by OpenFin in 2017, promotes universal standards that can transform how firms approach these builds.

“We have seen growth across the industry in adopting the new FDC3 standard, which is how apps on desktop know how to communicate with each other. That is going to be an absolute game-changer for certain types of integrations; it’s going to accelerate them incredibly quickly.”

Looking to the future of automated execution and the factors that will drive adoption going forward, Toms emphasized that granting users access to the data they need at exactly the right point in their workflows will enable them to operate with true confidence and maximum efficiency.

“If we can have much more advance notifications coming to users and give them the immediate quick action buttons…to take them directly back to that application, because there are many applications on their desktop, you’re saving a huge amount of time and really boosting productivity and lowering risk across the board.”

Thanks to an industry-leading technology team and the rapid adoption of standards like FDC3, OpenFin stands ready to help capital markets firms implement more robust automated trading systems as part of a seamless digital transformation.

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