Brokers Change Strategies as Electronic Trading Proliferates

As reported, over the next few years, the brokerage business will evolve away from execution toward a model in which brokers provide advisory and strategy services and trades are managed electronically, according to Greg Pritchard, managing director of Dedication Group.

“People will continue to have relationships with brokers and relationship managers who can guide them at a macro level or what’s happening in the markets with particular securities or instruments – that’s going to remain,” Pritchard says. “That’s based on research, that’s based on industry experience, and that sort of thing isn’t really going to go away because people are looking for experts. But when it comes to executing trades in the market, all that execution is going electronic. It is not something that humans can keep up with to a competitive advantage.”

Dedication Group is a provider of specialist financial markets technology solutions and works on derisking implemented trading, risk management, securities lending and structured products systems. As such, the firm sees how brokers are changing their strategies and responding to developments such as high-frequency trading.
“What we see, and what we get involved with, it’s a move from a whole floor of traders to almost becoming a three-pronged trading function around risk and compliance and IT,” Pritchard says. “We get heavily involved in the IT side, and we’re experienced with the risk side.”

Because of the evolution of IT solutions and the growing need to automate trading processes, businesses need to first focus on their strategy before looking to implement automated trading activities or to start high-frequency trading (HFT), particularly risk systems. Pritchard compared HFT to a Ferrari.

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