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Video Q&A: Jonathan Woodward, Refinitiv

Wei-Shen Wong speaks with Jonathan Woodward, head of Asia-Pacific for transaction sales at Refinitiv, about being named Best FX Technology Provider and Best G10 FX Trading Platform at the FX Week Asia Awards 2018

Named Best FX Technology Provider and Best G10 FX Trading Platform at the FX Week Asia Awards 2018, Refinitiv offers a unique breadth and depth of liquidity and workflow solutions for the entire FX market.

In this video interview, Jonathan Woodward, head of Asia-Pacific for transaction sales at Refinitiv, discusses what is next for his company and the world of FX.


Faster data speeds, improved transparency and price discovery in Asia

“We’ve come a long way since we first put together a request-for-quote engine and gave customers the ability to get a competitive price from their banks,” Woodward says, noting that one of the biggest changes in the past few years is the sheer speed of market data – which is around 20 times faster than 10 years ago. As an example, Woodward cites the fact that latency across Refinitiv’s FX data feeds has been cut in half over the past year. In addition to infrastructure enhancements for its Matching platform – one of the two historical platforms in the FX primary market – the company has also invested heavily in Electronic Trading, the company’s pricing engine offering for liquidity providers, which helps give second-tier, third-tier and regional banks the ability to automate their processes and service more customers with enhanced efficiency.

Recent enhancements to Electronic Trading include improvements to order handling, as well as connecting it to the primary markets to facilitate banks’ hedging activity. Woodward also notes that Refinitiv has been working closely with Asian central banks to promote the development of primary markets in countries including Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, and to help them increase electronic liquidity, create more transparency and improve price discovery.


Challenges in regulation and best execution demands, preparing for Brexit

Woodward highlights the need for FX practitioners to achieve greater operational efficiencies. People in FX worldwide are having to do more with less, and Asia is no exception to this. Woodward also adds, “We’ve been partnering with our largest customers to ensure that they are well-positioned to take advantage of anything that happens either in the primary interbank markets or with their buy-side customers,” noting that market participants are becoming more demanding. Requirements for the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II) may have originated in Europe, but asset managers and large multinational corporations globally – including in Asia – are increasingly focused on achieving and demonstrating best execution.

In response to this need, Refinitiv’s FXall platform has launched Trade Performance Analytics to help buy-side participants assess the quality of their trade execution, identify opportunities to improve performance – for example through trade netting – as well as enhance their liquidity provider selection.

With Brexit – or a lack thereof – looming on the horizon, volatility of the British pound is likely to create a challenging trading environment. Woodward says Refinitiv is well-prepared, recalling the day the Brexit vote happened: “That was probably one of the most interesting, exciting and stressful days of my life, because we watched sterling disappearing very low – at the same time, we watched all our system stats and everything was running fine, even though the trading volume was enormous. We may well see another day like that. Sterling may be going up this time, who knows – it’s going to be tricky.”

Learn more about Refinitiv FX Trading solutions

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