Beyond the Data: No let-up on buy-side frustrations over EMS integration

With just over a week left to go before The TRADE’s EMS Survey for 2024 closes, Claudia Preece takes a look at some of the findings from the 2023 iteration, wherein buy-side concerns around EMS integration complexity and product development uncertainties signalled a pressing need for providers to up their game.

While across the board, buy-side perceptions on execution management systems (EMS) performance saw a marked increase between 2022 and 2023, respondents remained non-plussed when it came to ease of integration to internal systems.

Scores for this area remained flat from the previous year, demonstrating the lowest score (5.62) in the 2023 survey and the only category to fail to increase year on year.

Evidently, the market looked to be in sound agreement and across firms, ease of integration remains a key point of frustration.

The complexity of this process made for the lowest rated service area recorded in the 2023 survey, just behind product development (5.66) – the only two categories not to reach a score of more than 6.00.

Integrating solutions and connectivity to liquidity into the buy-side’s internal eco-systems is a challenge which EMS providers now need to address as a matter of urgency, especially as vendors continue to add ever-more complex features to their offerings, notably AI. 

Read more: The TRADE launches EMS Survey for 2024 

On the other hand, the highest rated areas for respondents were reliability and availability (6.38) and latency (6.20). The TRADE’s EMS Survey 2023 also made clear the demonstrable desire from traders for additional asset class capabilities from EMSs. 

This is particularly true of markets such as fixed income where the modernisation shift is well and truly underway with the industry seeing meaningful evolution towards e-trading workflows. Notably, The TRADE’s survey continues to see increasing numbers of responses from fixed income traders year on year.

A recent Coalition Greenwich report on fixed income trading technology confirmed this trend, highlighting two main contributing factors – the readiness of the asset class and improved attitudes towards electronic trading.

Read more: Increased adoption of EMSs in fixed income expected over the next 12 months despite the pain points associated with new trading technology

In 2022, The TRADE’s EMS Survey scores saw an overall marked decline from 2021, and while the 2023 iteration went some way to repairing the dissatisfaction across the EMS space, the scores only place them even with 2021’s performance. 

In essence, there’s all to play for as providers continue to up their game and avoid falling behind the pack, with integration a potential key differentiator going forward.

The 2023 survey included responses from 332 individuals who highlighted and evaluated 20 providers. The survey profiles buy-side respondents with hands-on experience of trading technology – a mix of traders, portfolio managers and technology personnel. 

Buy-side users of EMS have until 12 July to provide feedback on their vendors for the 2024 edition. To participate please click here.