Following the receipt of its licence to operate in Canada in May, US agency broker JonesTrading, which specialises in block executions, is planning to push into Europe and Asia with the help of trading technology firm Fidessa.
JonesTrading has hired a team in the US to serve domestic clients that trade into international markets and is developing a 24/6 trading desk to enable it to cover all time zones around the globe. The desk is already operational in the EMEA time zones and the firm is currently looking to hire sales traders to cover Asian hours.
To support its international trading desk, JonesTrading has expanded its use of Fidessa’s offering. Fidessa was already JonesTrading’s primary execution and order management system provider, but the broker has now signed up for Fidessa’s global trading service and program trading technologies. The new features are fully integrated into JonesTrading’s existing US trading platform.
“Fidessa has been a helpful partner in making the leap to international trading because it has a centralised technology platform that allows us to handle global symbology and manage our communication between traders,” Will Geyer, CEO of JonesTrading, told theTRADEnews.com. He added that the system allows US sales traders to route relevant orders to the international team, and also use the international traders as a central point of global trading expertise for the whole firm.
To establish itself in its target markets of Canada, Europe and Asia, Geyer said JonesTrading is “analysing all paths, including partnering with a like-minded institution for cross-border flows or building out a local presence in those markets”.
JonesTrading’s global expansion is being driven in part by client demand and also new hiring opportunities created by the exodus from bulge-bracket brokers. “Our relationship with clients has led us to deeper conversations about what their needs are, like corporate structure arbitrage, where they felt our expertise in liquidity could be of value,” said Geyer. “We have responded to that by growing our business globally. Also, given what has happened to the competitive landscape, many of the barriers to entry that previously inhibited us from bringing in talented people have fallen.”
David Polen, senior vice president and head of hosted product marketing at Fidessa, says there is increasing interest among US brokers to set up international trading desks despite the economic downturn. “We have seven US clients live on the global system now and maybe a couple more will join this year,” he said.
JonesTrading’s push into new markets is part of an expansion plan that began in 2007 following a strategic review. Since then, the firm has been expanding its horizons beyond equities. It now has a capital markets division and offers trading in global derivatives – largely focused in the US and Canada – and distressed debt. The firm is currently developing convertible bond and high-yield distressed and bank debt sales trading capabilities.