High-speed Trading Standards Set for Launch

As reported by Richard Partington, Fix Protocol, which sets industry standards, is to unveil the first independent like-for-like comparison of trading speeds – also called latency – next month.

Trading platforms are locked in an arms race to achieve ever-faster trading speeds as they compete for a breed of super-fast, high-frequency trading orders, but there has historically been no independent means of comparing latency.

One source familiar with the situation said the project had taken longer than anticipated, due, in part, to resistance from some exchange operators concerned that their platforms would compare unfavourably when measured against the new benchmark.

Henry Young, co-chair of the Fix Inter-Party Latency Working Group, denied that exchange reticence had delayed the project but conceded that some resistance was “inevitable”.

He said: “Some organisations know they’re not the best-performing execution venue out there, and they really don’t want that put in the spotlight.

Whereas other organisations that pride themselves on being up there with the highest-performing execution venues are very keen to have more transparency in the market and to provide customers with the ability to see how good they are.”

Frederic Ponzo, managing partner of consultancy GreySpark Partners, said: “If you’re not fast, you don’t want to show it. Putting it in the open can be difficult from a commercial standpoint.”

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