Massachusetts-based trading systems vendor Charles River Development (CRD) and TradeWeb, a New Jersey-based fixed-income trading platform provider, have teamed to offer buy-side firms a fixed-income, straight-through processing (STP) service spanning the front, middle and back office.The alliance will see CRD and TradeWeb provide investment managers with an integrated fixed-income workflow service, covering ‘what if’ analysis and pre-trade compliance to electronic trade execution, allocation and confirmation. A Fix interface, which takes a matter of hours to download, will facilitate the transfer of real-time trade data between the two firms’ systems.
John Sadowski, manager of fixed-income operations at fund manager T Rowe Price, said the alliance would reduce the potential for errors because the need for manual rekeying of data is removed. “At present, we key trades into TradeWeb and confirm them via TradeXpress,” he said. “That information is then re-keyed into the Charles River Trading System (CRTS). In future, we’ll simply key the trade into the CRTS, the pre-trade compliance will take place and then the trade will automatically feed through to TradeWeb.”
Sadowski was unsure whether this service would be an add-on to those already being provided to CRD and TradeWeb clients, although he said TradeWeb offers good value for money. “I think we get a lot of value for the money we pay to use TradeWeb,” he said. “What they are really doing is making the whole market more efficient by having quicker price discovery. There’re trying to make this an online supermarket for us and they’ve accomplished that.”
No firm date has been set for the launch, although a CRD spokesperson indicated that it would be in the first quarter of this year. “The last I heard was that Charles River and TradeWeb would be ready for beta testing in April,” Sadowski said. “We’ve offered to be a beta site for them.”
CRD has 37 fixed-income clients who, according to the spokesperson, are all potential candidates for this interface.
Electra Govoni, senior vice-president of IT at State Street Research & Management, said State Street has been using TradeWeb for a few years, primarily for treasuries, agency debt and commercial paper, but the firm is in the process of installing CRTS for its fixed-income and equity businesses.
“What this alliance will mean to State Street is the reduction in the number of errors and failed trades as well as the need for fewer people worrying about this aspect of the business because it’s going to be automated,” she said.
“We’re also real proponents of Fix as a standard and this helps us achieve some momentum for the use of Fix for fixed income,” Govoni added. “We’re not currently using Fix for our fixed-income business, but as we move forward with Charles River we’ll be looking to implement that.”
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