Sep 30 2014
For reasons we cannot fathom, broker-dealers and FinTech firms are under the impression that buying a turn-key trading platform isn’t affordable. It seems like only a small clandestine group of tech-savvy Wall Streeters are aware that building a trading platform from scratch is more resource intensive and time consuming due to the plethora of known and unknown costs that materialize as the project unravels. Considering ETNA has built several full featured trading platforms in its 12 years of existence, here is what you can expect if you’re pursuing a similar venture.
1. It may take years of full time development and cost millions
Top engineering talent is hard to find and costs big bucks. Not only will you need to shell out for a competitive salary, but you would also need to offer a comprehensive benefits package to compete with other tech companies. For every 10 programming positions open, there are only 8 qualified candidates to fill those seats. Your buy in will vary based on whether you decide to outsource or hire locally, but let it be known that we’ve seen development costs ranging from 500K on the low end, to 60M on the high end. Yikes! Typically, most clients we’ve spoken with who’ve created trading platforms on their own spent 2M onward, not including ongoing support.
2. By the time you build an MVP, your competitor will have something better
There’s always been a catch 22 with building technology to enter an industry that’s already dominated by big players. You want to build technology that’s cutting edge, but you don’t want feature creep to extend the development life cycle beyond budget. As the brokerage industry becomes more commoditized, traders are flocking to brokers that can offer the tools they need to make better investment decisions. If you don’t already have a well funded R&D department, and plan on keeping them around for a long time to come, chances are you might build something just to realize the project requires more resources than what you’re able to handle.
3. The only thing that’s certain in the brokerage business is taxes and regulations
We already went over technology costs, but how about associated with adhering to the regulatory framework without having to manually monitor and approve every trade that goes through the system manually? Regulations are a beast all on their own, as it’s probably easier to invent a new wheel than go through all the filings with the FCC and FINRA. Not only does your organization have to meet strict guidelines, but your technology also has to be fully compliant to avoid fines and glitches that may leave you filing for an early bankruptcy.
4. Building native desktop trading software is like using Hotmail when Gmail is clearly superior
Yes, we all love Google Drive and can’t imagine why someone would want to use anything else. When it comes to choosing between web and native, think carefully and use your forecasting abilities. With every major tech corporation moving to the cloud and Google’s new Chromebooks only giving laptops the ability to use browsers, we think the answer is quite obvious. The list of benefits for HTML5 based trading technology is long, but two things that stand out the most are accessibility and update deployment. Traders can access the platform from any browser without having to download new software, so even if you are at a friend’s house and need to make a quick trade, you can do so on a Mac or a PC. Updates are critical to maintain the performance, security, and stability of the platform. Any disturbance in updates can lead to a halt in trading activity and effect a brokers bottom line.
5. Mobile apps are necessary
ETNA has had mobile trading apps since 2012 because we figured investors appreciate the ability to make emergency trades. When we began looking at user statistics for some of our clients, we noticed a startling statistic. In Asian markets, about 76% of all trades occur on the mobile platform. The same practice is beginning to catch on in the US, according to MarketWatch, and industry insiders expect that won’t change anytime soon.
As with any business; these brokerage hurdles are just the tip of the iceberg. With so many moving parts ranging from technology to legal requirements, its vital to ensure your value prop strategy goes beyond “if you build it, they will come”, with a thoroughly researched technical strategy.
So now I’ll leave it to the audience. What experiences have you had building trading technology?
Register for a free paper trading DEMO account and get 1M in virtual currency to invest without the risk. We love hearing feedback, so if you’d like to chat please send us an email to info at entasoft dot com.
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Sep 16 2014
Utilizing ETNA’s broker-dealer technology, ETRE Financial creates a new system to trade single asset REITs on national stock exchanges.
NEW YORK, New York – September 16, 2014 – ETRE Financial, a real estate financial services and information technology company, recently announced the release of the 2.0 beta version of their web based trading platform, making Exchange-Traded Properties available to investors and traders around the world.
ETRE partnered with ETNA, a New York based FinTech company, to develop the platform using ETNA’s white labeled HTML5 trading technology, revolutionizing the way people invest in real estate. ETNA launched its white-labeled broker-dealer suite in 2010 and has since integrated with various partners within the finance industry.
“The ETRE Trading OMS platform provides tools and data to support informed investment decisions, allowing investors access to traditional equity information, along with proprietary real estate analytics. The outcome makes the process of property investment more transparent and empowering, ensuring our clients a real-time marketplace experience,” said Jesse Stein, COO of ETRE Financial.
“We are thrilled to have partners like ETRE that have focused on a sector specific platform to allow both retail and institutional investors to create diversified portfolios within the real estate market through the simplicity of listed equities.” added Roman Zhukov, President and CEO of ETNA. “The future of FinTech will lean towards white labeled technologies that others can build upon. There is no use continually re-inventing the wheel when savvy entrepreneurs could focus on the distinct value proposition.”
For latest industry news and company updates follow @etnasoft on Twitter.
Aug 26 2014
ETNA challenges the conventional approach to creating financial technology applications and opens their code to FinTech firms looking to build new software.
ETNA, a trading platform provider traditionally catering to broker-dealers, announced today that it is partnering with FinTech Startups as well as well established financial services firms launching new software based on ETNA’s Platform.
Having noticed an up-tick in development costs over recent years as consumer expectations grow, our goal is to lower the buy-in for new and established FinTech firms looking to create new technologies. The platform has already facilitated the successful launch of FinTech startups Tradier and ETRE Financial, and is now being offered to a broader market..
“We encourage entrepreneurs to create new technology products and services without the need to take out a second mortgage or sell a kidney” commented Roman Zhukov, CEO at ETNA. “Many of the components that go into FinTech are very similar. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and spend millions of dollars when someone has already done it and is willing to share the rewards.”
ETNA’s offering for FinTech Firmsis a plug and play system comprised of:
The FinTech Suite is designed for frictionless integration with third party software and infrastructure and can be customized with minimum effort.
“As the FinTech industry becomes more saturated, companies that produce quality products with speed and agility will win the race,” said Roman Zrazhevskiy, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at ETNA. “FinTech companies will change their strategy as capital procurement becomes more competitive. Investors are looking to get more for less, building new tech from scratch is pricey and becoming a thing of the past.”
ETNA has been creative in structuring partnerships by offering revenue sharing or equity models on a case-by-case basis. Along with providing technology, we advise our partners to maximize marketing initiatives and effectively leverage its code to build unique value propositions.
For latest industry news and company updates follow @etnasoft on Twitter.
Aug 19 2014
The FIX Trading Community standards group honored with awards the QuickFIX creators from Connamara Systems and Thoughtworks for their roles in establishing the QuickFIX Open Source Project.The Financial Information eXchange (“FIX”) Protocol was developed in 1992 as a result of collaboration by select participants from worldwide banks, broker-dealers, exchanges, industry associations, institutional investors, and information technology providers. It is currently used in over 150 countries as the primary protocol for electronic trading.
While the FIX specification is open and free (supported by the efforts of the FIX Protocol Organization — www.fixtradingcommunity.org), implementing FIX requires investing in a reputable FIX engine, which can mean the difference between a start-and-stop experience and a positive, seamless solution Launched in 2002, QuickFIX was the industry’s first open source FIX engine, and provides free FIX protocol connectivity to market participants. QuickFIX quickly became a “standard within a standard,” according to the statement, and was a key driver in the growth and adoption rates of the FIX Protocol.
QuickFIX was created by Oren Miller of Thoughtworks and Jim Downs of Connamara systems, officials say.
The contribution to the industry by Downs, Miller, and Dan Goodwin, the project sponsor, “cannot be understated,” Nouthey adds. “It was a critical success factor for the FIX standard and it is one of the most successful open source projects ever.”
As a long-term member of FIX Trading Community
, ETNA Team is excited for the success of colleagues and appreciates its contribution to the industry. Here’s to innovation!
Aug 1 2014
Two PAID Internship openings in FinTech ** Marketing/SEO and Software Development **
We’re looking for 2 interns to assist us in the continued goal of becoming the go-to technology provider for financial institutions small and large. We’ve been around for 12 years and have received numerous awards for the trading systems we’ve created. The company is rapidly growing, and we’re looking for motivated people ready to hit the ground running. Both Interns will work directly with the SVP of Product Strategy and CEO, getting feedback along the way to further your professional development. You will be working out of our Midtown office M-F 9am-6pm, and this position may transfer into a permanent role for the right candidate.
Essential skills for both jobs:
- A passion for capital markets, finance, and technology are a must
- Current college student or Bachelors degree
- Organized and focused on the tasks at hand, able to adhere to a list of priorities and follow through
- Engaged team player and problem solver
- Masterful email etiquette
Essential skills for Software Development intern:
- A passion for technology, quality, user experience and satisfaction are a must
- Proficient in software development, databases and systems administration
Here’s what the Software Development intern will be doing at ETNA:
- Participate in implementation of ETNA’s distributed platforms in financial institutions
- Customize existing components and build new ones
- Integration with external APIs and protocols
- Supporting existing users of our software
- Analyzing incidents and taking measures to prevent them in the future
- Participate in R&D activities and building new products
- Assistance to lead developers and quality assurance personnel
- Other tasks as assigned
Essential skills for the Marketing/SEO intern:
- Interested in utilizing current marketing trends
- Masterful communication ability, with an interest in using the written word to sell an audience
- Practical knowledge of all major social media platforms and common practice (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Bonus: Familiarity with marketing tools like Ahrefs, SEM Rush, HubSpot, Majestic SEO, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools.
- Bonus: Familiarity with screen recording software and video editing.
- BIG BONUS: Photoshop
Here’s what the Marketing/SEO intern will be doing at ETNA:
- Writing weekly blog articles
- Daily posts on our social media channels
- Assist in writing e-books, white papers, and case studies.
- Assist in designing and creating copy for landing pages
- Research and analyze the competitive landscape
- Observing analytics data to ensure marketing strategy is effective
- Data collecting and analytics
- Data entry and editing in out corporate CRM
- Assistance with lead generation
- Other tasks as assigned
To apply for the Marketing/SEO position, please submit a resume, cover letter, and 2 of your best writing samples to romanz at etnasoft dot com. Put “ETNA Marketing Internship – [your full name]” in the subject line.
To apply for the Application Support / Software Intern position, please submit a resume, cover letter, and your GitHub account link to romanz at etnasoft dot com. Put “ETNA Software Internship – [your full name]” in the subject line.
Jul 3 2014
Jun 10 2014
June 17th-18th, 201 at New York Hilton Midtown Hotel
ETNA will be at booth #1427 showcasing its line of technology, including: ETNA Broker, a robust turnkey broker-dealer platform, ETNA Trader, a web based trading terminal with the best possible user experience, and ETNA Back Office, a fully compliant all-in-one solution for automation of back office operations for broker-dealers. Along with live demos, our team will be consulting patrons on lowering technology costs and staying competitive in today’s financial services market.
As a leading technology provider for financial services industry, ETNA is a continual participant of SIFMA Tech. This year, over 2,500 participants will be attending to explore the role of technology in financial services and how it’s evolving to keep up with the demands of rapidly changing regulatory and market environments.
Meet the ETNA Team to learn more on June 17-18th at booth #1427 at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel!
Headquartered in New York City, ETNA’s mission in the finance ecosystem is to lower technological development costs for new and existing broker-dealers, banks and technology firms. With over a decade experience in financial technological development, ETNA has played a pivotal role in the success of our clients. ETNA provides customizable software products for online brokerage, execution, routing and crossing, clearing, compliance, risk management, back office automation, portfolio management and algo trading of all asset classes. Our flagship product, ETNA Broker, enables broker-dealers to bootstrap their business in weeks.
The Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is a leading securities industry trade group representing securities firms, banks, and asset management companies in the U.S. and Hong Kong. SIFMA was formed on November 1st, 2006, from the merger of the Bond Market Association and the Securities Industry Association. The organization has offices in New York City and Washington D.C.
For more information, please visit: www.etnasoft.com or contact us at [email protected]
Apr 24 2014
The PR bluster around the new Michael Lewis book ‘Flash Boys’ is deliberately confusing, yet almost no-one seems to have read it. With the FBI investigating high-frequency trading (HFT), the issues that the book raises are clearly very serious. This is what you need to know.
1) HFT strategy is under the spotlight, specifically latency arbitrage. What is it?
Latency arbitrage takes advantage of the delay that other traders face in sending and receiving data and orders. An HFT firm using latency arbitrage gets data faster than other traders so it can tell what is being bought and sold at what price ahead of other traders. Secondly it trades faster than them – many thousands of times faster in some cases – so if you had to get to 30 different markets in order to buy 1,500,000 IBM shares, it would know you were trying to buy those shares, buy them ahead of you and raise the price by a fraction, say 0.5 cents.
2) Is this a US only problem?
The US model requires trades to be routed across all exchanges to find the best price, under Regulation NMS (Reg NMS). As an order is routed from one venue to another in a consistent route, at a consistent speed across a given network, from any given broker, arbitrageurs have a known window of opportunity to intercept a trade. Any market in which many trading venues exist could support the same model.
3) Why are brokers and infrastructure providers under attack?
They have all offered facilities that have supported latency arbitrageurs in their attempts to take money from the trades of fund managers. The book alleges that brokers have provided high-speed connections for their clients to move between markets faster than the brokers’ other clients. Trading venues have all offered ways for latency arbitrageurs (and other HFT firms) to get market data faster than other traders. The book notes that the cost of this high-speed data connection (US$10,000+ per month) requires an economic model that produces profit beyond the reach of a typical retail investor. The current round of investigations by US authorities is focussed on the similarity between sending data to one person faster than another, and giving data to one person before another. The latter is illegal. The New York Stock Exchange was fined US$5 million in 2012 on the basis that they are the same thing.
4) How do brokers win from HFT?
The book estimates that brokers take 15% of what HFT firms make, but also by routing order to lots of venues (brokers own 44 out of 45 alternative venues in the US, according to Ronan Ryan, chief strategy officer of exchange IEX) they avoid having to pay the main exchanges fees, capture order data themselves (which is very valuable) and do not lose control of liquidity. In the 2000s, brokers began to hold on to liquidity as much as possible, as the ongoing market fragmentation made execution harder to achieve.
5) The book is very much in favour of IEX; why?
IEX is an exchange based on the principal of confounding HFT strategies, simply by routing orders to other venues so that they all arrive at the same time, preventing any gaming. It has enjoyed enormous success since the book was published, according to chief strategy officer Ronan Ryan. However that says more about some buy-side firms than it does about IEX. It is far from being the only venue that is able to counter HFT.
6) Is the book biased in favour of Goldman Sachs?
Lewis writes that GS co-operated with him, but the firm is said to be every bit as involved as other brokers. While Lewis does note is that GS decides to stop engaging in HFT earlier than some brokers, because it lacked the technological flexibility to support it, he is critical of the prosecution of Sergey Aleynikov, a programmer who was wrongly convicted for stealing HFT system code from Goldman Sachs.
7) Should I read the book?
Yes! And don’t read any reviews until you have.
Apr 16 2014
May this holiday bring us all Good Fortune and Health,
And may we all be thankful for those around us!
May the spring bring you Good Luck and Success and
We hope to do business together in future!
Apr 16 2014
ETNA will be exhibiting at SIFMA Operations Conference and Exhibition 2014. Stop by our booth #1003 for a live demo of ETNA Broker, an innovative while labeled brokerage platform with advanced HTML5 web trading terminal, native mobile trading applications for iOS and Android and superior customizable middle and back office.
ETNA Broker is designed to drastically reduce costs of maintenance, upgrades and new development of the trading platforms and financial applications.
“With increasing competition in financial services industry and brand new technologies getting outdated after just a couple years, smaller and medium companies can no longer afford maintaining their own trading software and they choose to lease over build,” commented Roman Zhukov, CEO of ETNA. “We provide broker dealers and financial technology firms with a state of the art all-in-one brokerage platform as well as trading development framework allowing them to focus on their unique value proposition.”
ETNA is honored to join SIFMA OPS Conference and Exhibition 2014 for insights into leading through change and to discuss the reforms and operational resiliency that are designed to strengthen the financial markets infrastructure. This year conference and exhibition will be opened by Rudy Giuliani, 107th Mayor of New York City (1993-2001), and Chairman and CEO of Giuliani Partners LLC, who will deliver the keynote address at the SIFMA 2014 Operations Conference and Exhibit in Boca Raton, Fla.
Headquartered in New York City, ETNA is a financial software and technology services provider, and has been delivering its financial software products and consultancy services to clients in the US, EMEA and APAC since 2002. ETNA provides customizable software products for online brokerage, execution, routing and crossing, clearing, compliance, risk management, back office automation, portfolio management and algo trading of all asset classes. ETNA’s white-labeled technology suite ETNA Broker enables broker dealers bootstrap their businesses in a matter of weeks.
For more information, please visit: ETNA Solutions
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is a leading securities industry trade group representing securities firms, banks, and asset management companies in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
Media Contact: ETNA Marketing Team, ETNA Software Corp., 855-779-7171, [email protected]
ETNA on Yahoo!Finance
Apr 8 2014
With one eye on businesses abandoned in the wake of the financial crisis and the other on a new generation of investors, startup companies are now raising significant sums to challenge the hegemony of big banks and investment firms.
Since the beginning of 2013, venture investors committed over $800 million in new funding to develop businesses providing new investment, lending, mortgage and real estate, and wealth management services in the U.S. These startups have had their best quarter so far in 2014, when 13 companies raised $238.2 million in later stage funding — with at least $162 million committed in March alone.
Meyer “Mickey” Malka, the founder of the venture investment firm Ribbit Capital, raised $100 million at the beginning of 2013 to invest behind this thesis.
“We only invest in companies that are disrupting the experience for consumers in financial services,” Malka said. “Over the next ten or fifteen years we are going to see a whole new field of financial services brands that are being built.”
The opportunity to carve out new businesses in vast swaths of traditional financial services firms’ operations means new billion dollar businesses can be made, according to investors and entrepreneurs. “This is one of the only markets that’s actually measured in trillions,” said Adam Nash, the chief executive officer of Wealthfront, a startup investment management firm. ”The market can be massively inefficient for hundreds of billions of dollars and somehow that is still not enough for the incumbents to go after.”
“Financial services industries are gigantic and are the least suited to making transformational changes in their own businesses,” said one venture capitalist whose firm invested in the $77 million round for OnDeck, a new small business lender.
Meanwhile, peer-to-peer consumer lending company Lending Club is entering the small business lending market with its own offering. “Since the recession small business lending has contracted,” said Scott Sanborn, the chief operating officer at Lending Club. The company is working on a private offering to a select group of investors to help bankroll the new initiative.
Other startups like CommonBond and Upstart are pitching ways for students to receive or refinance college loans.
On the flip side of the lending and debt market, sits the Ribbit Capital portfolio company Credit Karma, a provider of credit reporting and eventually optimization services. That San Francisco-based company raised $85 million in its own later-stage funding round in March.
“If you think about financial services products over the past twenty years not much has changed. Applications have come online and things have gotten faster, but we think there’s a lot more transparency that we can create and a lot more efficiency,” said CreditKarma chief executive Ken Lin.
Investors are also looking at providing these services to the underbanked with investments in companies like the credit and financial services tracking tool InVenture.
Credit management and lending offerings sit on one side of the ledger, on the other are a host of new wealth management and investment services tools for a new generation of investor. “Over 46% of income in the country will go to Gen Y [the millennials] by 2025,” said Nash. His company, and others like Betterment have seen significant growth on the back of new demand.
“Today we manage about $420 million in investor assets,” said Betterment chief executive Jon Stein. “We grew 4x over the last year… and four times the year before that. We’ve grown about four times just about every year that we’ve been around since we’ve launched.”
Their growth, and that of other wealth management services is partially explained by the fact that the U.S. is on the cusp of an enormous transfer of wealth.
“We’ve got the largest generational transference of wealth ever, happening,” said Jarrett Lillien, the founder of Bendigo Partners and chief executive officer at its portfolio company Kapitall — a new online trading platform. “$40 trillion is going to change hands.”
Kapitall received a $14 million commitment from Lillien’s firm, Bendigo, and Linden Venture Fund to capture some of that wealth. Unlike Wealthfront, which expects millennials to take a passive approach to investment management, Kapitall wants to engage active retail traders on its platform. It’s the same business that Lillien pursued as an executive at Etrade. “It’s taking something old and making it new again,” he said.
Posted Mar 24, 2014 by Jonathan Shieber (@jshieber)