Focus Group Meeting on Systems Latency

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Advancing Collaboration Between Industry & Academia and Exploring Innovation Challenges

Thought Leadership Focus Group on Systems Latency

Workshop Venue: TBA, Central London

TBA April 2010, 5:30pm - 7:30pm


Following the Thought Leadership in Trading technology workshop on the 20th January 2010, this will be the first meeting of the Systems Latency focus group.  Our aim is to produce a manifesto that will be presented at the Trade Tech conference in April.

Theme for this Focus Group

Key Observations:

Buy side requirements for low latency depend on a company’s business Model, organizational culture and risk Appetite

· Speed and volume capabilities are critical if an organization operates a proprietary trading desk, and represent a key USP to differentiate the company’s offering.

· Conservative buy side companies see investment in technologies to enable High Frequency trading as being a financial risk

· The concern is that high-frequency trading could affect price discovery and market surveillance as well as the ability of smart order routers to provide best execution and adaptive routing.

55% to 60% of latency occurs in Order and Execution Management Systems and is caused by software struggling to cope with high frequency and volume of small transactions

· Analysis of trade latency has revealed that most delay issues lie in the connection between the pre-risk check layer and the exchange.

· Incorporating evolving regulations imposed by MIFID could present further challenges within the pre-risk check layer.

· Transaction throttling is still used to maintain stability and prevent hardware constraints.

Key Questions:

Is there a real buy-side demand for low latency, or is it an arms race being promoted by the sell-side and the vendors?

Considering the speed advantage of hardware implementation over software, Is it feasible to cast trading algorithms in Silicon to reduce system latency? How can Cost and flexibility constraints be overcome?

Does FPGA technology provide the perfect trade off between software and hardware?

Has the importance of technology been overplayed? Should the focus be turned towards achieving a better integration of Maths, Technology and Business needs?


To cover costs, there will be a registration fee of £TBA for industry and £TBA for academics.  This will be determined by whether we can find a room free of charge and whether we need to employ a technical secretary - we are open to suggestions from any participant who would like to offer a room and refreshments and somebody to take notes and write up the minutes of the meeting.

Registration will open once we have a better idea of numbers - please email Lucinda Kingswood ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you are interested in this focus group meeting.  Full members may just tick the box below.