This week Marketcetera announced general availability of its Marketcetera Automated Trading Platform, an open-source platform for hedge fund traders. I wrote last week about Marketcetera's seemingly odd timing, creating a trading platform for hedge funds just as they've fallen off a financial cliff.
But in talking further with Marketcetera's Roy Agostino, chief marketing officer, and Graham Miller, chief executive officer, I'm increasingly inclined to believe that the company couldn't have timed its market entry more perfectly.
Consider that the company's Web traffic is up over 300 percent since January 2008, suggesting growing interest in the company's products. More important to revenue, however, is the statistic that registrations (for white papers, etc.) are up over 400 percent year over year. These are people that have more than a passing interest in Marketcetera. They're potential buyers.
I asked the Marketcetera executive team what is driving the interest in its open-source trading platform, and heard three themes that resonate across the open-source spectrum:
Total cost of ownership. Hedge funds and the other large financial institutions are trying to drive down their costs, especially in the wake of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression; Vendor lock-in. Agostino suggested that money managers are increasingly frustrated with being locked-in long-term to their Order Management System (OMS) vendors, especially when it's become common practice to demand hefty professional services fees just to make the proprietary OMS suitable to a hedge funds day-to-day requirements; Control and flexibility. Hedge funds view technology as a competitive differentiator, and many have discovered that proprietary OMS offerings simply don't give the flexibility to tweak the OMS to fit their requirements. Hence, they have developed their own OMS in order to get the flexibility they want, but open source gives them the ability to start with a robust platform and fine-tune the last 10 percent or so of their requirements.… Read more