Jamie Grant is President, Markets at CanDeal, an online exchange for Canadian dollar debt securities.
This past year was unprecedented for everyone. How did it impact your business and what did your team do to adjust to the unexpected circumstances created by COVID-19?
Since we comprise the majority of Canadian dollar electronic trading across fixed income and derivatives markets, we’ve continued to evolve our solutions around direct input from the buy and sell-side to reflect exactly what institutions need for Canadian dollar trading: the ability to turn data into valuable insights, a greater focus on best execution and access to the deepest pools of liquidity. Our goal this year has been to minimize complexities around the pre-trade, trade execution, and post-trade process. Of course, business continuity and security are top priorities as customers have transitioned out of the office and into remote work settings. Our new Corporate Bond Trading solution was launched earlier this year and is the only credit solution engineered specifically for the Canadian marketplace. It allows our buy-side community to pinpoint pockets of liquidity with proprietary pre-trade analytics, ultimately providing added benefits for both our buy- and sell-side participants. We also relaunched our data business as CanDeal Data & Analytics (DNA) where we have added exciting new capabilities and products.
What market structure trends can we expect to unfold in 2021 that we did not see in 2020?
We continue to see growing adoption of the complete electronification of trading. There remain numerous benefits, such as efficiency, accuracy, and timely execution, particularly over voice trading, and especially given ongoing remote work arrangements. As markets continue to become more sophisticated and data becomes more readily available, firms will be looking for ways to repurpose this data into strategic toolsets that can help them make more informed trading decisions that result in greater returns. While these are not brand new trends, in 2021 we should expect to see a greater focus on electronic trading, data accessibility, and analytics, and in turn, better opportunities for best execution.
If you had to give one piece of advice to customers heading into the New Year on how to enhance their business, what would it be?
Following this year, I would sum it up in one word – agile. This should be applied at all times when making technology and bigger strategic decisions but the global pandemic has shed greater light on the ability to be agile and prepared for any unexpected events. If firms wait until things start to transpire to make these decisions, it could be catastrophic. Take a look at where the market is heading, which is towards a more virtual and automated ecosystem. The applications that you employ need to reflect that so that you can properly capture and leverage data, communicate with counterparties and continue to comply with regulatory parameters, at all times and without interruption, regardless of what outside events are unfolding.