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Genesis Challenges Traditional Trading Solutions with Microservices Framework

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Genesis Global will release AQS, an automated quoting system for fixed income desks, today, with a view to helping clients transform trading by automating internal workflows. The product is based on the company’s microservices framework and can be hosted in the cloud, underscoring growing appetite among firms to outsource key elements of the trading technology stack.

Genesis company was set up in 2013 by a duo of trading specialists – Stephen Murphy and James Harrison – who had worked at a number of leading firms including Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and BTG Pactual. They recognised that the trading world needed to move towards open source solutions and hosting, and focussed on the little known concept of microservices, spending three years developing a microservices framework, which abstracts the complexity of multiple protocols, as well as relevant tools.

AQS is the company’s latest offer and is designed to transform trading by automating internal workflows between the trading desk, institutional clients, asset managers and wealth managers, a process that is often based on legacy workflows and quotes, orders and trades being processed using a number of external trading platforms.

The solution has been deployed at a large broker-dealer in Brazil to deliver efficient pricing and workflow management that is fully auditable from a compliance perspective. Institutional sales desks, asset managers and wealth managers automate requests for quotes to the trading desk for fixed income. The trading desk automatically receives and prices the quotes based on live market data, business intelligence, current positions, risk limits, client settings and trader settings. AQS also automates inventory distribution, highlighting trading positions and how much inventory to make available.

AQS is one of a number of genesis solutions that are geared to provide clients with exactly what they need, facilitated in the cloud and integrated with legacy infrastructure where necessary.

Murphy notes some interesting use cases of the framework, which typically delivers early solutions in days and weeks rather than months and years. He describes a major clearing house in Europe that needed as options expiry platform. It considered in-house build, a vendor solution and genesis. The in-house and vendor builds would take nine months. Genesis built a solution in six weeks and was about 70% cheaper.

Similarly, a Tier 1 asset manager in the US needed a cash sweep solution that would move money held by a custodian into a money market fund that would deliver a better return. This solution was built in four days and is hosted by genesis.

AQS has a similar history and was initially built specifically for the Brazilian broker-dealer two years ago in four weeks. It has since been extended and comes to market as a tried and tested solution.

Genesis operates a client innovation lab that works with clients to decide on market products. It builds the product with an anchor client that gets first mover advantage and then brings the product to market. The company has 12 clients, about half secured through front-office business sales, the other half through technology contacts within trading firms. Four of them are anchor clients for a number of products, three run genesis solutions on premise and the rest use the company’s hosting capability. Genesis has also licensed the microservices framework to one client.

Murphy says: “We want to offer a large range of products, but only if they add value for our clients, so we will continue to build products with anchor clients for now.”

After building a small team of developers to build the microservices framework in its early years, genesis secured $3 million of Series A funding from Illuminate Financial and Tribeca Angels in October 2018. This funding has allowed the company to significantly grow its developer team – it now has close to 40 developers – and put in place sales and marketing functions that should take it to the next level.

It has also partnered OpenFin to drive front to back office digital transformation projects by bringing together genesis’ agile software development and OpenFin’s application interoperability across financial desktops. Murphy concludes: “The industry is ripe for change and disruption. That could be delivered by OpenFin and genesis’ microservices framework.”

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