The mounting pressure on trader productivity

Published on 21 July 2023

Vicky Sanders at OpenFin talks through the operational strain and margin pressures on trading desks to become more efficient and improve productivity. She discusses the value of using solutions like OpenFin Workspace to create customizable workflows, which tie a variety of applications together and make them interoperable on the desktop.

Transcript of interview:

Jo Gallagher: Welcome to Trader TV at FILS – your insight into institutional Trading. I’m Josephine Gallagher. Today we’ll be discussing how interoperability is seeking to improve operational efficiency on the trading desk. And I’m joined by Vicki Sanders at OpenFin.

So how would you characterize the operational strain on trading desks?

Vicky Sanders: The reality is there’s a lot of strain. Traders are being asked to do more and more. It comes at a time when markets are challenging and so is the economy. And we recently heard that buy side trading desks are 5% smaller than they were a year ago. There’s an amazing ecosystem of sell-side vendor community. They’re all coming out with innovation all the time, new applications, new widgets, new workflows.

And for a trader that adds to the messiness of their desktop from pop ups and different solutions. I think it’s a real toggle tax, right? And individual needs dozens of applications to do his or her role every day, and switches more than 1000 times between those apps. So what they need to do is actually just take a moment and step back, think about what is the work for and what are they looking to do. Is it pre-trade? In-trade, post-trade? Is it communications? For which asset classes and which products? Where can time be saved because apps are interoperable? Where can productivity enhancing workflows be created and put in place?

The great news about this is that the technology that fixes this problem is already there, and it’s already installed at the leading financial services companies around the world.

Jo Gallagher: Okay. And how is OpenFin specifically supporting that?

Vicky Sanders: Our clients have used OpenFin workspace, a new product we launched about two years ago now, to build what they’re calling their trader cockpit or their salesperson workstation. And what those are doing is tying together in a single pane of glass, the internal, external variety of different applications that their traders use. So a great example of that in fixed income is with pop ups, right. A scattered desktop app, pop ups, left, right and center isn’t helpful. Bringing those together is what our clients have done today, using the OpenFin Notification Center to have all of their alerts and pop ups in one place.

We work with leading sell-side firms. 90% of the biggest banks, their single dealer platforms are built on OpenFin. The service providers and solution providers in the industry have built on OpenFin as well, and so have leading buy-side firms, asset managers and hedge funds. So there’s an ecosystem that’s already there of applications, which means it’s going to be so easy for the next hedge fund or asset manager to create their OpenFin workspace and deliver that much needed productivity.

Jo Gallagher: Brilliant. Thank you, Vicki, for joining us.

Vicky Sanders: It’s been a pleasure, Jo.

Jo Gallagher: I’d like to thank Vicky for her insight, and of course, thank you for watching. This has been Trader TV.

Also, don’t forget to check out our episode of Trader TV this week on Monday at 6.45 AM BST.