When InfoReach integrated the R programming language into its Trade Management System (TMS), it was responding to one client request, but interest is rising and the company expects more users of the system and its Prelude hosted trading platform to take advantage of its provision of access to R analytical language functions and trading models.
R is a free, open source software programming language and environment that is widely used by statisticians and data miners to develop statistical software. It is also becoming a popular tool for quantitative finance and optimisation as it is designed to analyse and display large amounts of data, and is ideal for developing models for data and risk analysis, statistics and visualisation. Many models are already available in R, providing users with a large code library that they can use and customise.
InfoReach’s integration of R into its technology allows users to access any bank of R language functions and implement R trading models directly from the TMS and Prelude trading platforms.
The company’s integration of R with TMS was prompted by an asset manager that wanted to use the InfoReach trading system, but also analytics it had previously developed using the R language. Allen Zaydlin, CEO at InfoReach, explains: “When the asset manager decided to switch from its previous vendor trading system to the InfoReach system at the end of last year, R was not a requirement, but once it saw the flexibility and openness of the system it wanted to bring R into the system and use it in the real-time execution environment. Data received from brokers into the TMS real-time trading system would feed R models developed by the asset manager to analyse and visualise trade execution.”
Zaydlin says building the interface to R was not a major effort and was complete in a few weeks – one of InfoReach’s aims is accelerated time to market through the development of technology that is robust in terms of functionality, but is configurable to deliver adaptations without too much development time and cost.
Following the asset manager’s initial use of the R integration with InfoReach and considering the use of R to make big data easier to analyse, Zaydlin says a further two customers are interested in using R and expects more to follow. He notes one InfoReach user developing models with the Python analytics language and says the company will integrate Python if required. He says no users are currently using Matlab – another popular analytics package – although he says again that this could be integrated in weeks if required. He explains: “InfoReach was architected from the ground up to be scalable and flexible and we have the technical talent to tailor the solution to the requirements of any financial institution.”
R is not the company’s only recent development, with a new interface for Bloomberg data fields that eliminates the need for traders to toggle between software programs to view the information they need adding to previous integrations with Bloomberg solutions, including real-time market data, algorithmic trading strategies, security master, historical tick data, the Bloomberg terminal’s Launchpad command and the vendor’s trading solutions.
The interface to Bloomberg data fields provides direct access to any of Bloomberg’s dynamic and static fields from within the InfoReach trade blotter. Zaydlin says: “As long as users have a Bloomberg licence and both systems run on the same computer, the interface is seamless.” He reports a couple of dozen users of the Bloomberg interface and says the company is now responding to customer interest in Bloomberg Open Symbology with the development of integration of the Bloomberg symbology into the InfoReach security master.
As the company’s product portfolio grows, so too does its employee base and customer roster. Zaydlin and college friend Vitaly Shatsky founded InfoReach in 1995 to develop electronic trading solutions, after first developing an electronic trading system based on FIX for a large investment bank. By 2000, the company had developed an off-the-shelf trading solution, InfoReach TMS, that could cater for both buy and sell side institutions, and for multiple asset classes and strategies on a global basis.
InfoReach went on to develop a suite of solutions for electronic, algorithmic and high-frequency trade analysis, management and execution, and along the way has secured more than 70 clients for the trading platform and more for the FIX engine, although the company’s focus over the past decade has been and continues to be on the trading platform.
From start-up by its two founders, who still own the company, InfoReach has grown to 58 staff located at headquarters in Chicago, sales offices in New York and Amsterdam, and a development base in Ukraine. Some 60% of staff are product engineers and 60% of budget is allocated to product research and development. The company has no external financial backing and claims revenue-backed organic growth has delivered yearly profits since its inception.