The Australia FIX Conference 2011 saw nearly 400 delegates attending with the Aussie trading community out in full force to support the event. The timing of the event was described as perfect by Edward Mangles, Regional Director of FIX Protocol Limited, as the launch of Chi-X is in a matter of days as well as the regulator ASIC, picking the same day of the conference to announce their consultation paper CP 168. To the delight of the crowd, Mr. Mark Adams of ASIC was there to talk about it as well as giving his views on competition and multi markets.
The opening speaker, Mr. Richard Kimber, Global Head of Equities & Global Head of eCommerce of ANZ Bank Group gave a thought-provoking talk about social media, Apple and Android. With great analogy, he highlighted the merit of the open source FIX Protocol messaging standard and the power of the trading/technology community around it.
The High Frequency Trading and SOR panel discussions have caught a lot of interests. As expected, the HFT friend or foe discussion still found the crowd somewhat divided, as reflected by the interactive poll result. The SOR and liquidity aggregation discussion, which started with a SOR 101 type of introduction, was certainly timely as 53% of those who participated in the interactive poll said they will use SOR to access Chi-X when it is launched.
To the delight and surprise of the sell side brokers, the buy-side panel after lunch explained what the buy-side want and what they believe the sell side are lacking. The three heavy weight head of trading panelists presented results of a survey conducted by the FPL Australia Working Group (with 17 buy-side firms participated). The result, therefore, has great representation and delegates were amazed about the openness of the panelists, certainly a very unique occasion.
The rest of the afternoon saw the topic "multiple markets" dominated with Mr. Richard Murphy of ASX giving a preview of the exchange’s future plan to cope with the changes and Mr. Jason Keady of Chi-X gave an update of their upcoming launch. It looks like the community is ready to embrace the changes with over 70% delegates said in the poll that they, and their system, are ready to trade on Chi-X. Mr. Ben Jefferys of IRESS Market Technology certainly agreed as he outlined how users can connect to multi markets via IRESS.
Without a doubt, the delegates are looking for some crystal ball views and they got just that. Based on their experience in Europe, Mr. Steve Grob from Fidessa and Mr. Steven Wood of GBST, also the former Global Head of Trading at Schroders, provided just that. Multi markets challenges in Europe, Pre and Post MiFid, Fragmentation of liquidity etc. are discussed in great details from technology, buy-side and regulatory perspectives.
With so much food for thoughts, the delegates continued their discussions at the cocktail over cold beers and tasty Australian oysters. The delegates not only took home a lot of insight but also a huge amount of freebies; stress balls, magic cubes, adapters, stress balls, sweets, note books, leather wallets, etc. distributed by exhibitors. Also congratulations to the 3 lucky draw winners who took home an iPad2 each sponsored by BT, Progress Software and Eze Castle Software.
For those who did join the after party, I hope you didn’t get the same grief from your missus like the cartoon character did on the opening skit.