Private banking group EFG International has started an organisation-wide project to increase trading automation, ahead of integrating a new acquisition.
The project comes after the business snapped up BSI for US $1.3 billion in February and the trading team prepare to integrate orders from the new business into its day-to-day flow.
The deal with the Lugano-based private bank’s previous owners - BTG Pactual - is scheduled to complete the fourth quarter of 2016 and the systems migration is scheduled to complete by 2017.
In an interview, Alexander Neil, head of equities and derivatives trading at EFG, said educating the business about the subtleties of automation will allow the desk to take on more capacity.
He said: “[It] will make our desk more scalable, which is important given the large number of orders that we anticipate handling.”
Neil said using successfully automation strategies is key to freeing up traders to focus on executing orders, which are more difficult to trade.
He added: “Onboarding new flow and new sources of orders is part of that large project internally. We will be testing the systems to see how far we can go in integrating as much flow directly into our OMS as possible.
In April, the group confirmed it has chosen to use EFG’s core banking system T24 by tech group Temenos as the platform it will be rolling out.
During this time Neil has been working on a cross-departmental project to improve the efficiency of the trading function throughout the existing business, after it added new asset classes to its order management system.
He explains: “I have had to challenge the perception that electronic doesn’t necessarily mean automated. Previously, a lot of orders were received via phone, email or IB chats from PMs. We are now trying to receive as much flow as possible directly onto our OMS and EMS.
“We are a centralised desk and EFG has 2,000 employees of which around 400 are order givers in total, so it won’t be possible to continue receiving orders over the phone forever, especially as the firms grows organically and through acquisitions.”
This article is taken from a larger feature in the summer edition of The Trade magazine, out later this month.