About a-team Marketing Services
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Q&A: Activ Financial’s Frank Piasecki on Growth in 2010 and 2011

Subscribe to our newsletter

Activ Financial Systems had a busy year in 2010, adding customers, launching updated products and building out its internal network. IntelligentTradingTechnology.com talked to the company’s president and co-founder Frank Piasecki to find out more.

Q: Activ added 90+ customers in 2010. Can you clarify that, and point to any key growth areas?

A: Activ saw good growth across all of our client tiers from small to enterprise in 2010. North America was strong around options, FX and new market liquidity venues such as in Toronto. Also clients added services to provide more depth of content and analytics on existing markets they trade. North American client interest in Asia, and new business in that region, continued to grow at very high levels as firms tested trading strategies across that region.

Q: You’ve also added new data centres, and rolled out your ActivNet backbone. What new financial centres are you now reaching? And how does ActivNet help your expansion? What are the benefits to your customers?

A: Our website shows the global 20 data centres we currently operate that cover most major trading venues around the world. In 2010, we added a new site or capacity in NY, Toronto, London, Tokyo, Kong Kong and Singapore. ActivNet provides a low-latency managed network for our clients to receive fast exchange content to wherever their trading system is hosted. It supports a clients true global requirements via a “data cloud” like model.

Q: What new data sources have you added? What is the marketplace demanding in terms of coverage?

A: Activ added over a dozen new feeds or major upgrades in 2010. Demand areas included new trading equity venues, derivatives, futures and FX content. Asia and emerging markets like Brazil were the high growth areas for new exchange content, while matured markets like North America asked for deeper content or areas like combined book data.

Q: In relation to the hardware accelerated MPU ticker plant, what are the drivers for adoption – higher performance, or lower hardware footprint and costs? Is Activ deploying this technology in its hosted/managed solutions?

A: Activ sees MPU/FPGA as a solution to both the lower latency managed requirements, plus a reduction in foot print. We deployed aggressively the MPU technology across our own data centers and will continue this effort to improve services and keep per message costs as effective as possible for our clients.

Q: How much are your customers asking for an enterprise solution for market data, so that they might – for example – power their algos, their traders and their customer websites? How is Activ responding?

A: Activ as an example implemented one of the largest enterprise managed vendor solutions in 2010. The result has been a dramatic improvement in data quality, lower latency and costs while providing a leading edge platform to support new products.

This effort combined with the build out of specific project management teams at Activ is designed to support these enterprise models as that business grows. This includes low latency algo trading users to the largest websites, some who are customers today of Activ.

Q: What do you see as the key opportunities and challenges for your business in 2011?

A: Activ sees 2011 as a strong growth year as markets such as North American and Europe responds to new regulation and trade optimisation approaches that could create a number of new clients, while other firms switch over from their in-house built systems to the new FPGA technologies of Activ to help improve services and reduce costs.

Asia and other emerging markets are also continue on high growth paths so Activ expects these business areas to contribute even more in 2011 onward. With recent investments, Activ hopes its additional scale and reach will help better serve global clients around their market data needs.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related content


Recorded Webinar: Best Practices for Building High-Performance Data Infrastructures

The requirement for high-performance data systems to support trading analytics for hedge funds, high-frequency trading firms and electronic liquidity providers is well established. But the explosion in Big Data over the past several years has expanded the scope of inputs being used by these firms. At the same time, cloud technologies have added complexity to...


Trading Technologies Partners with Talos to Broaden Its Institutional Crypto Offering

Trading Technologies has entered into a strategic partnership with Talos, a provider of institutional digital asset trading technology. The move is aimed at broadening the derivatives trading system vendor’s cryptocurrency coverage by leveraging Talos’ infrastructure and market connectivity. The first phase of the partnership agreement will add 14 cryptocurrency markets in the third quarter of...


RegTech Summit APAC

Now in its 2nd year, the RegTech Summit APAC will bring together the regtech ecosystem to explore how capital markets in the APAC region can leverage technology to drive innovation, cut costs and support regulatory change. With more opportunities than ever before for RegTech to add value, now is the time to invest for the future. Join us to hear from leading RegTech practitioners and innovators who will share insights into how they are tackling the challenges of adopting and implementing regtech and how to advance your RegTech strategy.


Trading Regulations Handbook 2022

Welcome to the third edition of A-Team Group’s Trading Regulations Handbook, a publication designed to help you gain a full understanding of regulations that have an impact on your trading operations, data and technology. The handbook provides details of each regulation and its requirements, as well as ‘at-a-glance’ summaries, regulatory timelines and compliance deadlines, and...