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Trading Beyond the Horizon: Fragmentation Drives Multi-Market Execution

In 2010, financial markets participants will continue to expand their trading activities as liquidity increasingly becomes fragmented, seeking alpha in new markets, best execution in dark pools, arbitrage opportunities across the order book and by implementing high frequency and complex, multi-leg, cross asset class strategies.

The successful operations – whether they be the proprietary desks of traditional broker/dealers, specialist high frequency and algorithmic traders, or quantitative hedge funds – will leverage a trading infrastructure that combines high performance analytical, algorithmic and order routing platforms with the lowest latency access to multiple, geographically dispersed execution venues.

Multi-market trading – leveraging a fragmented market landscape – introduces new challenges, even for trading firms that have mastered the complexities of low-latency execution using approaches such as co-location and proximity hosting. Those mechanisms, while still relevant, provide a less complete solution when trading across markets that are geographically dispersed.

This industry briefing explains the drivers for fragmentation and multi-market trading, the evolving landscape of market access, and explores connectivity and hosting approaches to minimize latency.