Buy-side firm AXA Investment Managers has selected the TradingScreen execution management system (EMS) to provide a single platform for multi-asset trading and to reduce connectivity burdens.
The system has been integrated with AXA IM's existing Minerva order management system (OMS), provided by technology supplier Fidessa.
Connectivity to brokers, trading tools and venues will be managed by TradingScreen, reducing the burden on AXA IM's internal IT resources while adding to the functionality available to the trading desk.
Previously, AXA IM connected to brokers via point-to-point links for large firms, the London Stock Exchange's FIX Gateway or financial network provider Ullink. FIX connections were also required for links to fixed income and FX venues such as MarketAxess and FXAll. The sheer number of linkages meant that changes to connectivity were time-consuming to arrange, effect and manage.
Paul Squires, head of trading at AXA Investment Managers, said that a rise in the number of the firm's brokerage relationships, including small specialist firms, further increased the workload for internal IT resources.
“Not only can an EMS provider onboard brokers quickly, they can monitor connections, and take some of the pressure off our own infrastructure,” said Squires. “Having initially seen the advantage of the EMS as functionality, it then became clear that it was a combination of connectivity, outsourcing and the functionality.”
AXA IM uses a number of proprietary tools, both in the fixed income space and for transaction costs analysis (TCA), which its IT team are now able to focus on and develop. Recently the firm extended its TCA capabilities to analyse execution across equity, fixed income and FX trading.
The firm is now in the process of migrating more than 100 equity brokers onto TradingScreen, with other asset classes following in due course.
“A big part of our decision to use TradingScreen was that it was multi-asset class,” said Squires. “It's only being used for equities at the moment but we will continue to roll it out to other areas of the business.”