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Activ Adds Emerging Markets, FX … Looks Beyond Latency

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Activ Financial has been busy in the feed handler department, having recently added a bundle of emerging markets to its offering, as well as expanding its foreign exchange service. The company’s goal is to build out its global coverage both in terms of geography and asset class coverage as it looks beyond the “saturated” world of ultra-low-latency, says president Frank Piasecki.

Activ now provides data from around 200 markets worldwide, having added some 80 exchanges in the African, Caribbean, Eastern European, Middle Eastern and South American regions. Most of those are not low-latency plays, says Piasecki, who notes that some venues still use a black board as an order book.

Much more latency-sensitive, though, is the vendor’s addition of FX market data – two consolidated forex feeds, four FX ECNs and nine direct bank FX desk feeds.

But, says Piasecki, “We are now in a post latency world.” By his count, there are now more than 15 vendors in the ultra-low-latency feed business, in addition to the home grown efforts of around 50 trading firms. And he reckons the vendors engaged in this endeavor are “competing with narrow and transient value propositions.”

So for Activ, the direction is to build out its content and delivery options and push costs lower, as well as keeping up on latency. Piasecki continues: “Data and performance requirements always change, and must be met by constant evolution and investment … the momentary technical advantages clients and vendors achieve between each other get evened out in time … the only business model that has been shown to sustain these dynamics is the traditional market data model, where content and technology are managed and offered in useful forms at reasonable prices”

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