Risk Markets Technology Awards 2021: Electronic trading support product

Tom McKee, Judd Gaddie and Steve Toland, TransFICC
(l–r) Tom McKee, Judd Gaddie and Steve Toland, TransFICC

Electronic trading support product of the year: TransFICC

TransFICC provides low-latency connectivity and workflow services for fixed income and derivatives electronic trading. Its consolidated application programming interface (API) service enables buy- and sell-side firms to access their required electronic trading venues, and supports multiple complex trading workflows. Clients connect once to TransFICC’s API, and the software manages all venue connectivity and updates.

The company has built its software to addresses the issues of market fragmentation, speed of technology and demanding regulatory requirements. TransFICC translates into its own single API all the various APIs of more than 200 execution venues globally for bonds, futures, swaps and repos, including where there are different APIs for different types of bonds and workflows. It normalises even the most complex datasets and workflows. It provides fast, secure and scalable technology to enable institutions to keep pace with venues that can update their prices more than 5,000 times per second. For regulation such as the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, it offers a normalised price/order time-stamp to the microsecond level according to when orders arrive at a bank or asset manager, providing an audit trail for best execution.

The services are built using open-source technologies, such as Simple Binary Encoding, which supports fast encoding and decoding, and Aeron for fast and reliable messaging. In stress tests, the company has demonstrated Aeron managing up to 80,000 messages per second on a single central processing unit core. TransFICC also contributes to open source – for example, its ‘continuous delivery’ dashboard for monitoring the progress of tests has been adopted by the open-source community.

In its software development, the company uses Extreme Programming, an ‘agile’ development framework, and a continuous delivery methodology to reduce coding errors, ensure system quality and have the flexibility to respond to changing client requirements. 

Clients can deploy TransFICC software in Equinix for co-location with trading venues, or in the Amazon Web Services cloud. Multiple trading workflows on more than 30 trading venues are supported, including Tradeweb, Bloomberg, BTec and MTS, across government and corporate bonds, interest rate swaps and repos. TransFICC requires only 30 days’ notice to switch connectivity, making it easier for trading firms to connect to venues on a more speculative basis.

Five global banks are live or implementing the software, with a number of other banks and buy-side firms testing it. Clients can integrate their test systems with TransFICC’s – for example, a bank can test its auto-pricing and negotiation application with trading venues via TransFICC.

Judges said:

  • “TransFICC offers a modern, open-source-based platform that has already signed up a number of major banks.”
  • “A very capable product embracing agility and flexibility.”
  • “The company provides connectivity in a low-latency environment, data normalisation, open-source technology, and cloud and software-as-a-service options.”

Steve Toland, co-founder, TransFICC:

“In the fixed income dealer-to-client space, buy-side enquiries vary across different venues, asset classes and trading protocols – for example, outrights, strategies, non-contingent lists, all-or-none lists and portfolios. These differences can be significant from one venue to another and generally magnify any integration effort required by dealers. By focusing on providing a normalised data model, TransFICC removes this complexity. Enquiry negotiation state machines and data content are designed to allow dealers to significantly reduce the analysis and development effort when adding new venues and make the cost of integrating with multiple trading venues as low as possible.”


Read more articles from the Risk Markets Technology Awards 2021 winners’ review

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