FinanceFeeds Podcast Ep.#9: Andrew Ralich’s oneZero eyes FX trading 24/7
The ninth episode of the FinanceFeeds Podcast hosted by our Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev is out. On the other side was Andrew Ralich, co-founder and chief executive of the renowned multi-asset class trading technology firm oneZero.
Headquartered in Boston, oneZero caters to retail brokers, institutional brokers, banks and liquidity providers, providing them with the means for enhanced execution, distribution, and analytics.
oneZero has recently made it to the Inc. 5000 of fastest growing private companies in the United States: a badge of honor that states that the firm is in the top 0.07% of companies in regard to growth rates.
Exclusive: oneZero opens new office in Boston
Andrew Ralich gave us an exclusive: oneZero has moved to a new part of the Boston area, called Assembly Square.
The firm has set up the brand new shiny office to celebrate the return from fully remote work at oneZero as it continues to add space and scale to the growing team in the area.
The chief executive has noted that, instead of what many people think, he is not from Boston, Massachusetts. He was born and spent most of his life in New Hampshire, a state in the New England region.
The “proud patriot and citizen of the United States” took the opportunity to remind the international audience that Americans are not “all cowboy hat-wearing Texans or laid back Californians.”
oneZero born out of regulatory challenges faced by FX industry
Andrew Ralich shared how oneZero came about after he stumbled into the FX space and saw interesting opportunities. He admittedly wasn’t the “caliber of developer who was ever gonna write quantitative analysis at Citadel’s trading models at equity markets,” but he noticed the FX industry was facing challenges, namely the regulatory transition for the regional brokerage space in 2009 “that was clearly going to change the face of this industry in terms of transparency and execution quality.”
He found that, unlike exchange traded markets, FX markets had very fragmented sources of liquidity and the institutional side was being served by a number of incumbent aggregators and ECNs. There, he saw an opportunity to build a solution for scale, performance, reporting, and data. So, he got together with one of his closest friends from college, Jesse Johnson, who was working in the video industry at the time and joined the new venture as CTO, with a short term goal of providing connectivity to MetaTrader 4 but a much more audacious long term plan.
“Fast forward ten years from there, we really hit the nail on the head,” Andrew Ralich said, adding that they didn’t look for funding or a loan, only “sweat equity” into the business from an early stage on the back of a desire to build a very transparent software that would not operate as a counterparty, unlike many tech companies that were blurring the lines between LP and tech provider. “We stayed true to the cause.”
oneZero generates up to 4TB of data per day
“Equity markets are known to be very latency sensitive. At the end of the day, there’s a price for an Apple stock: that’s the combination of a number of different exchanges, central limit order books, but the FX market is fundamentally different. Every taker, counterparty, bilateral relationship that exists can potentially generate a unique pricing set,” Andrew Ralich told Nikolai.
“For a long term we observed this market as the haves and the have nots: the institutional market participants who had the capacity to purchase the scale, database, platforms, and developers,” he continued, adding that they decided to “take all of the data generated at oneZero and marshall it up into the public cloud to be able to analyze, crunch, and provide raw data access, insights, and business intelligence.”
This was the firm’s role in the democratization of data and analytics capabilities at scale. oneZero is harnessing in our data warehouse over a terabyte of data currently at REST, and generating over three to four terabytes of data a day just on the back of our EcoSystem and franchise.
FX industry has grown into a multi asset franchise
“The FX industry has grown into a multi asset franchise capable of providing holistic experiences across not only FX, but also equities, futures markets, and new asset classes like crypto, digital assets…,” Andrew Ralich affirmed, taking a closer look at the latter. “We should be happy that the new digital asset space made rise to a new generation of traders who were previously not interested in financial markets.”
The whole new class of individuals, however, also come with the expectation that access to financial markets is not bound to a 9/5 market in a specific jurisdiction or exchange or even a 24/5 market like FX. “It’s a challenge oneZero wants to help usher through in the next few years.”
Andrew Ralich also spoke about his personal life and being close to family as well as the New Hampshire people – sarcastic but generally pretty kind.
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All previous episodes of the FinanceFeeds Podcast are available on all popular streaming audio platforms.