FX Markets Asia Awards 2020: Best buy-side FX trading platform – FactSet


The powerful automation capabilities of Portware Enterprise FX, the trading solution from FactSet, are highly sought after by clients eager to manage the increasing scale and complexity of their dealing requirements

Christopher Matsko, head of FX trading services, FactSet
Christopher Matsko, head of FX trading services, FactSet

This year, FacSet has been awarded best buy-side FX trading platform in the FX Markets Asia Awards in recognition of its Portware Enterprise FX. This innovative trading solution has been at the forefront of institutional electronic FX trading for more than a decade, and FactSet’s dedication to innovation in the space is evidenced by its continuous investment in the platform and the breadth and depth of services offered.

The system’s powerful automation capabilities have proven to be the most potent driver for adoption among the FX trading community’s most sophisticated buy-side practitioners in recent years. As trade automation becomes increasingly necessary to manage the scale and complexity of firms’ FX dealing requirements, FactSet has found its clients are increasingly looking to these capabilities to deliver efficiencies to their workflows. Portware enables the FX trading community to leverage automation through a variety of liquidity-based scenarios: bilateral International Swaps and Derivatives Association and prime brokered request-for-quotation (RFQ)/request-for-solution, non-bank liquidity, ECN/primary market liquidity, and disclosed streaming liquidity pools.

Portware recognises the challenges of delivering software that is simultaneously dependable but customisable enough to capture the nuances of clients’ workflows across asset classes. A single platform’s ability to navigate workflows across multiple asset classes seamlessly, and enable traders to spend their time on higher-value tasks, has never been in greater demand. Christopher Matsko, head of FX trading services at FactSet, describes three key steps to delivering those benefits. Step one is to offer a platform with a rock-solid foundation in dealing in multiple asset classes to provide a trusted basis for continual enhancements and, on top of that, a framework for delivering powerful automation capabilities. Step two focuses on low-touch execution workflows. “Step three,” says Matsko, “is to enhance the liquidity profile for these executions through curated liquidity pools and measuring the outcomes via real-time and post-trade total cost analysis [TCA]. Trading desks are now fully trending into step three and looking for technology solutions that will minimise their market impact while also having the data that proves it at their fingertips.” 

Over the past year, there have been several key enhancements to Portware’s front-office trading capabilities, including the addition of ‘smart RFQ’ curated liquidity pool creation, in-flight TCA monitoring, and the automation of mixed middle-office workflows. Each of these enhancements provides FactSet’s clients with key capabilities to help manage their trade executions. 

Portware Enterprise has also finessed its ability to slice order management system orders into smaller tranches, allowing clients to take more control of their trading by leveraging liquidity through all-day executable streaming price streams. Matsko says: “Clients can create bespoke streaming liquidity pools, execute smaller orders into a stream, and have minimal market impact as a result. We’ve added even more tools for the trading desk to leverage as the market moves toward a more data-driven trading approach.”

Over the next 12 months, Portware will continue to build on its technology stack, focusing on automated data-driven analytics. Matsko says: “We want to empower traders with referential historical and real-time data in a pre-trade staging scenario, meaning the trader will know precisely which execution tool will give them the best opportunity to execute their orders at the best possible price within the market with the least amount of impact. We expect the technology to integrate real-time market data into these pre-trade measurement tools to help facilitate the next level of automated executions.”

FactSet and Portware Enterprise are focused on driving further innovation by digitising voice-trading workflows to bring enhanced operational efficiencies to traders across Asia. FactSet is aiming to further expand asset class coverage, offering more robust workflows for price discovery and trade execution against a growing list of currencies. Portware Enterprise has emerged as a mission-critical solution for institutional FX trading desks, providing them with an sophisticated platform where automation, data-driven analytics, multi-asset capabilities and bespoke features lie at the centre of their focus. 

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