100% of traders believe their fixed-income EMS gives them an edge, report finds

Rick Steves

“The fixed income market has now truly woken up to the huge benefits of electronification and this report is loud and clear: the train is leaving the station.”

The majority of senior fixed-income traders at buy-side firms managing $22 trillion consider moving to electronic trading as the existing adopters of Execution Management System (EMS) technologies believe they have a competitive edge, new research from Coalition Greenwich and TS Imagine revealed.

The new report, “Fixed Income EMS: The Time is Now”, is built on survey data from senior US buy-side fixed income trading professionals at firms with a total $22 trillion AUM.

The findings show that advanced technologies now provide “meaningful advantages” to fixed income traders as they look to harness a host of new data channels. According to the report, 100% of trading professionals believe their fixed-income EMSs give them an edge while trading.

Bond traders could save 1,134 hours per year

While a majority of fixed income traders are considering a move to electronic trading, all those who have already shifted believe they have a competitive edge over their analog peers, the report found, adding that fixed income markets have reached a “tipping point,” as more senior traders intend to adopt digital trading.

Buy-side fixed income traders are seeking sophisticated technology solutions to expedite their workflow, freeing them up to focus on the higher touch and more “human” element of their jobs.

The new research also explores the drivers behind buy-side demand for more technologically advanced trading set-ups, finding that legacy methods are “seeing” an ever smaller fragment of the market. The average fixed income trader spends a month and a half of time each year doing work that can be handled within a matter of minutes using an EMS.

Fixed Income traders work with an overwhelming amount of data – each day nearly half a million quotes are sent to traders by the top 10 dealers, said Coalition Greenwich which concluded that “An EMS is needed to tie all of these sources of information together to be sure the right protocol is chosen for the current time and order.”

Bond traders could save 1,134 hours per year by using the Tradesmart Fixed Income EMS by TS Imagine, the SaaS platform provider for integrated electronic front-office trading, portfolio management, and financial risk management tools to the buy-side and sell-side. TS Imagine commissioned the report.

“Report is loud and clear: the train is leaving the station”

Rob Flatley, CEO of TS Imagine, said: “We are experiencing an exponential increase in demand for our fixed income EMS as sophisticated traders look to streamline their workflow and gain the broadest possible view of the market. This report demonstrates that we are in the middle of a seismic shift towards electronic fixed income trading right now.”

Spencer Lee, Chief Markets Officer and Head of Fixed Income at TS Imagine, said: “The fixed income market has now truly woken up to the huge benefits of electronification and this report is loud and clear: the train is leaving the station. Our TradeSmart Fixed Income EMS provides traders with an invaluable advantage as the market evolves at an ever increasing pace.”

TS Imagine’s TradeSmart Fixed Income EMS has seen exponential month over month growth in electronic bond trading volumes over the past 12 months, and total electronic bond trading volumes on its EMS surpassed $500 billion during the same period.

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