TradeTech 2022 – Big themes in equity trading

Published on 26 January 2022

We spoke with attendees at last year’s TradeTech, WBR’s leading equity trading conference to pick up the big themes under discussion, what was taken away from 2021 and what we might expect to continue into 2022.

This year’s event details can be found here: TradeTech Europe 2022 | Europe’s Equity Trading Conference (

Ruth Emery: Welcome to Trader TV – your insight for the professional investor. I’m Ruth Emery. In early November, Dan and Hamish went to WBR’s Tradetech. Stay with us to find out what key insights the delegates offer.

Hamish McArthur: What’s the biggest issue facing the buy-side trading desk right now?

Mark Freeman, Head of Execution Sales, Kepler Chevreux: One of the bigger ones is transparency and visibility of market data, market information. Following on from that, clearly the argument still is ongoing about the consolidated tape.

Massimo Labella, Head of EU Outsourced Trading, Cowen Inc: There’s a quest to save money everywhere in the industry. Buy-side trading desks, you know, are not escaping anymore. And I think the second important thing is expertize in areas outside of equity trading.

Joe Everitt, MD Electronic Trading, Stifel Europe: One of the common themes is around data, the collection of data, the use of data, but also some of the understandings around security of that data as well. So what are you seeing from your clients? What are you collecting for your clients? Clearly, how are you helping your clients improve execution?

Adam Toms, CEO, OpenFin Europe: Big topic out there at the moment is the future of work, and that means many different things to different people. For employers in particular, it means about their employees and taking care of their employees. Also, thinking about the types of tooling that they have around them to make them as successful as possible.

One particular area that we’ve been focused on with the buy-side is about how we power productivity, how we make them more successful in their role, which ultimately means they can deliver more value for not only their employer, but also the funds that they’re trading for.

Dan Barnes: That’s really interesting. And then is there a big overall theme you are seeing at Tradetech this year?

Joe Everitt, MD Electronic Trading, Stifel Europe: People are trying to get a bit more into the detail. So when we hear people talking about fx unique liquidity, what does that actually look like? What does that really mean? What desks are providing that liquidity? Where’s it coming from? And then, more importantly, how you’re recording that properly? So the discussions around codes and different ways of making sure that you are accessing this liquidity, you’re able to also record performance and identify the characteristics.

Adam Toms, CEO, OpenFin Europe: It’s data, data, data, which I must say is quite refreshing from it being regulatory, regulatory, regulatory. So things have definitely moved on, which is great. But a data problem manifests itself in many, many different ways. Whether it’s a collection of data, to the display of data, to really thinking about how we help users visualize data problems and get information at the point in their workflow where they really need it, where it can really impact decisions.

Mark Freeman, Head of Execution Sales, Kepler Chevreux: Market transparency and visibility is high on the agenda still. It is incumbent on the industry to really get its act together and to have this. It’s simple in the US, clearly a lot more complicated over here with multiple venues, different order types, market complexity is probably still too much in Europe, I would say. So any simplicity that can be brought to the markets, I think, all market practitioners will benefit from that.

Massimo Labella, Head of EU Outsourced Trading, Cowen Inc: Tradetech has always been about technology for me, and you know, we as a firm are buyers of technology, so we have more desktop apps than I care to mention, and it’s really interesting to be here and listen to new products and see how they can integrate into our way of doing business.

Dan Barnes: Is there going to be a big takeaway for you, do you think from the event?

Joe Everitt, MD Electronic Trading, Stifel Europe: Frankly, how we bring through the new generation of traders like ourselves, bring them into this market.

Massimo Labella, Head of EU Outsourced Trading, Cowen Inc: Diversity. Look at Tradetech and you can see the familiar faces are on a merry go round. You know, myself included. As a firm, along with every other firm, now we’re striving to broaden our horizons in terms of where our human capital comes from, and that’s really difficult. You know, you have to go back to the grassroots of the education system, certainly in the UK, and I can’t speak for other countries. But you know, the talent pool has a certain framework. Breaking that mold will allow firms to hire the right people with the right skillset.

Adam Toms, CEO, OpenFin Europe: We’re coming out of a world of very disparate systems, a lack of integration or if there is integration, some type of bilateral integration. Now we need to think about more standardized approaches, which is what OpenFin has been very focused on with the FDC3 Initiative that we founded and really bringing that to life across many desktops.

Mark Freeman, Head of Execution Sales, Kepler Chevreux: Remote working is OK up to a point. The fact that everybody can meet and understand the problems that other market practitioners and clients and brokers are having, just the face to face contact has been incredibly entertaining and big kudos to WBR for carrying it off.

Ruth Emery: This has been Trader TV on location at Tradetech. I would like to thank the delegates for being on the show and of course, you for watching.

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