Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT), provider of technology platforms for global capital markets, has unveiled a new foreign exchange business unit, TT FX. The company made the announcement at the outset of the FIA International Derivatives Expo (IDX) in London, appointing Tomo Tokuyama, a seasoned FX trading expert, as the head of the newly established unit.
Tokuyama brings a rich pedigree in FX trading, most recently serving as the Head of Trading at multibillion-dollar quantitative fund manager First Quadrant. His responsibilities at TT FX will initially focus on recruiting FX industry product and technology specialists, establishing connectivity with significant electronic communication networks (ECNs) and liquidity providers, and delivering advanced FX trading functionalities via TT’s execution management system (EMS).
TT FX is part of TT’s ongoing expansion into new asset classes, following its March acquisition of AxeTrading, a global provider of fixed income trading solutions. The first phase of TT FX’s implementation, planned for late 2023, will offer TT’s buy-side clients the option to trade spot FX through a selection of curated ECNs. The company plans to expand its offerings in early 2024 to include liquidity from major banks and broaden the product suite to encompass forwards, non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), and swaps.
Speaking to TradingTech Insight at the IDX event, TT CEO Keith Todd shares an analogy regarding TT’s strategy: “I often liken our approach to the Sky TV model. As a customer, you start with a base package and then have the flexibility to add additional channels, such as movies or sports, based on your preference. That’s the direction we’re taking with our platform and business. We announced our move into fixed income in March, which is progressing well. FX is a logical next step for us, given that it’s several times larger than the futures and options market.”
Nick Garrow, EVP at Trading Technologies, elaborates on the advantages of expanding into different asset classes: “It brings significant benefits due to the existing base of traders already engaged in trading those asset classes,” he says. “We’ve spent several months speaking with our diverse range of clients, including CTAs, hedge funds, global macro funds, and prop trading groups. It became apparent that all of them, in some way or another, are involved in FX trading.
“Our strategy was therefore to understand what our clients were trading, how they were trading it, and then work out how we could deliver these same capabilities on the TT platform. Crucially, we wanted to do this without the need for our clients to undertake any installations or upgrades,” he adds. “What really sets TT apart is that the platform traders use to trade listed derivatives – the TT EMS, the TT APIs – boasts a rich array of trading tools, capabilities, algos, and other functionalities that traders find incredibly valuable. Our aim was to deliver FX on this same platform, allowing traders to trade FX in a manner very similar to how they trade futures today. It’s something our clients have shown a real appetite for.”
Discussing the appointment of Tokuyama, Todd is enthusiastic: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have Tomo join us to spearhead this initiative at TT. His depth of knowledge and expertise, gained from both buy-side and sell-side perspectives, is invaluable. Tomo’s proven track record, particularly in building the First Quadrant FX hedge fund, provides him with a deep understanding of what truly works and what doesn’t in trading. Coupled with his exceptional grasp of technology, we believe he’s the ideal person for this role.”
Tokuyama has over a decade of experience with Los Angeles-based First Quadrant, LLC, a quantitative fund that managed over $25 billion in assets at its peak. He transformed the firm’s FX trading from predominantly voice execution to primarily electronic, positioning First Quadrant at the forefront of FX algorithms and automation. He has also worked at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo and Hong Kong, where he played a crucial role in launching electronic NDFs and first-generation FX algorithms. He also expressed his enthusiasm about the opportunity, stating, “FX is in high demand by TT clients, and I’m excited about the opportunity to further shape the FX strategy and deliver a product that TT clients will be proud to use.”
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