Best single-dealer platform – UBS

e-FX Awards 2021

FXWAFXA21-Winner-web

With the continuous development of NEO FX, UBS has positioned itself as more than just a liquidity provider

When markets are in full upheaval, such as in the early parts of 2020, only the best liquidity providers are able to stand by their clients. UBS believes that, during times such as these, clients rely most on their liquidity providers and expect their support through the turmoil to guide them safely to the other side.

Stephan Hoeger, UBS
Stephan Hoeger, UBS

“Our unwavering client focus throughout the [Covid-19] pandemic was critical in the way we delivered liquidity and services to our clients,” says Stephan Hoeger, global head of e-FX sales at UBS. “We were able to recognise their needs and service them very quickly during one of the most difficult trading environments in many years. This allowed them to seamlessly access all our trading platforms wherever they were and whenever they needed them with minimal impact.” 

“This is a testament to the agile nature of our business structure, robust tech and seamless collaboration with clients when it was most needed during the pandemic, and which reflect years of fine-tuning the right systems, culture and mindset.”

Without fail, the bank kept its liquidity taps open throughout the most turbulent times of market volatility in the spring of 2020. Consequently, FX trading volumes on UBS’s Neo single-dealer platform surged as clients sought to take advantage of market volatility and protect their existing positions. 

While UBS’s Neo serves as the digital focal point of UBS’s FX ecosystem and is recognised as a leading provider of liquidity to the FX markets, the bank is determined to be more than just a liquidity provider.  

The past 18 months provided a timely reminder to everyone in the market how important the bank-client relationship really is, and galvanised UBS to enhance Neo’s capabilities further to create an environment where clients can trade as efficiently as possible, but one in which they can also connect to expertise from global trading floors, execute across product and utilise post-trade tools. 

This is why, amid the market turbulence of 2020, the bank continued to innovate with the launch FX Trade Pricer, also known as T-Pricer, for FX options and structured products. Designed as a full-service options offering, it helps clients trade more effectively by raising the bar on idea generation and providing enhanced insight on positions over the lifetime of a trade, rather than the traditional quote-and-price-driven models.

“We see ourselves as more than just a liquidity provider, and launching T-Pricer is proof of this,” says Hoeger. “The aim is to give clients the control and confidence they seek, so they can utilise the depth of trade ideas and engage in a trade that is right for their strategy. Additionally, UBS Neo has continued to connect clients to the very best of UBS electronically, meaning our clients can also leverage an ecosystem of other relevant front- and back-office tools and services in FX, as well as across asset classes.”

As FX trading becomes more electronic, UBS is convinced more pre- and post-trade processes should be also digitised to ensure a smoother trading experience. The bank wants to create more value for its clients by integrating the entire FX lifecycle workflow into a client process that drives success. 

“The price-only model doesn’t always guarantee success or strong relationships with clients,” says Hoeger. “A strong client relationship is about providing the full lifecycle experience. If a client traded without all the information available but had a good price, it wasn’t necessarily the right trade. When trading with UBS, we want our clients to have a positive full front-to-back experience that includes consistent pricing, yet supported by all the additional services one should expect.”

But, that experience is not only about providing more technology or more digital solutions, Hoeger points out. The engagement between clients and the bank remains absolutely vital.   

“Technology is not a substitute for a salesperson or a trader, but works as an amplifier to help our clients and the bank be more effective and agile in their day to day,” he concludes. “How we engage with our clients to share market analysis, insights, execution ideas or tap into the wealth of data at our fingertips, for example, are all playing an ever-increasing role in further strengthening relationships and optimising their FX trading.”

UBS was named Best single-dealer platform at the 2021 FX Markets e-FX Awards. 

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