Awards: Cboe FX

Cboe FX has been voted Best FX ECN at the 2018 FX Week e-FX Awards

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Bryan Harkins: managed liquidity and improved full-amount facility adds up to excellent service

Hotspot was one of the first institutional ECN dedicated to currency trading and it has become an established brand over the years. Following a series of ownership changes, the platform was rebranded Cboe FX in October 2017.

Today, the new focus on liquidity management and transparency is bearing fruit.

Bryan Harkins, co-head of the markets division at Cboe Global Markets, says the venue has increased its market share by 200 basis points in the last 12 months to 14.5%, up from 9.7% three years ago.

“There has been a surge in volumes since December last year across FX venues, so everyone’s volumes have gone up. But we made gains in market share against our competitors in an extremely competitive environment, so we are very proud of that,” he says.

Cboe FX has been voted the winner of the Best FX ECN category at the 2018 FX Week e-FX Awards.

Some of Cboe FX’s growth is down to the launch of the London matching engine in 2016, which has seen healthy demand, as well as rising volumes in Asian trading sessions, growing by more than 50% year-on-year.

…we made gains in market share against our competitors in an extremely competitive environment, so we are very proud of that
Bryan Harkins, Cboe Global Markets

Liquidity management has been a key focus over the past year, coupled with extensive analytics capabilities. During this time the platform created a liquidity management team in a bid to increase the number of matches on the venue.

The team works closely with clients to review execution metrics such as decay curves, fill rates and spreads in a bid to improve the experience for both liquidity takers and makers.

“Feedback from clients validates that the liquidity and data we are sending to them is very useful,” says Paul Reidy, chief operating officer for Cboe FX.

“Liquidity providers want to make money and takers need to fill orders at the best possible price with minimal market impact. We can measure the different market impact characteristics of taker flows and ensure that LPs don’t get run over,” adds Reidy.

High standards

Cboe FX has standardised brokerage fees and only allows LPs to use last look as a privilege – market-makers must fulfil certain participation criteria. Some of the more recent work has been the result of the FX Global Code of Conduct, which the venue has promised to adhere to.

“Managed liquidity comes with more granular data and leads to tighter spreads. Liquidity is deeper on the platform, fill rates continue to climb and rejection rates are falling. Together with our improved full-amount facility, it all adds up to an excellent best execution experience,” Harkins adds.


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