The e-FX Awards 2019 featured the 24 categories below, recognising innovation and excellence across the foreign exchange industry.
Bank e-FX initiative of the year
Entries should focus on single initiatives that have been in operation for at least six months. The judges will be looking for creative responses to changing market conditions, coupled with quality of service and an innovative approach to e-FX. Clear evidence of the application of technical expertise should also feature in the entries, which must prove achievement against pre-determined targets. Increased transparency and client focus will be rewarded.
Best FX liquidity provider of the year
Liquidity providers of all types, including banks and non-banks, are invited to take part in this category that aims to select the best market maker counterparty in currency markets. The winner will be able to demonstrate that counterparties achieve the highest quality of execution measured according to a set of criteria such as post-trade market impact, fill ratios, rejection rates and consistency of pricing until the end of the order execution process. This award aims to reward quality over quantity.
Most innovative bank e-FX platform of the year
Single-dealer platforms remain highly popular with clients but the success of these venues is no longer measured purely based on price and ease of access. The SDP that most effectively combines the basic requirements of advantageous pricing and user-friendly interfaces with services such as algos, third-party analytics tools and unrivalled transparency will triumph.
Independent algorithmic trading technology provider of the year
This award is for companies that provide algorithmic trading services to clients, excluding banks. Judges of the category will be looking for innovative strategies that lead to a noticeable difference in overall execution outcome. Adaptability and improved responsiveness to rapid changes in market conditions (flash crash scenarios and trading in illiquid conditions) will also get points.
Best e-FX platform for corporates
Where professional investors might once have been the drivers of change in e-FX, corporate treasurers are becoming gradually more sophisticated in their FX activity, demanding a specialised and targeted approach from their counterparties and technology providers. This award will go to the platform that has shown the most awareness of the unique needs of the corporate community and answered those needs with an innovative and tailored offering.
Best FX order/execution management system
The electronification of the market place has inevitably increased the popularity and usage of both OMS and EMS software. Flexibility, auditability and transparency will all be rewarded, alongside ease of integration and the ability of clients to customise features will also get points.
Best e-FX software provider of the year
As technology permeates all aspects of trading software providers now play a bigger role than ever in currency markets. The winner of this category will be able to demonstrate value added for clients in terms of cost efficiency, regulatory compliance and workflow management. The winner of this category will be able to clearly identify differentiating features from competing products.
Best post-trade services provider of the year
The post-trade environment in foreign exchange has become far more important and complicated than it has ever been before, and all market participants will rely on the expertise and innovation of post-trade technology vendors to help them connect to clearing houses and trade repositories. This award will go to the vendor that has developed the best tools and infrastructure to provide excellent post-trade capabilities to the FX market, as well as a continuing appetite for innovation in changing market conditions.
Best FX prime broker bank of the year
The once vibrant FXPB space has been reduced to a handful of banks operating in the space since 2015. Regulatory requirements such as the non-cleared margin rules, rising costs and the operational lift required for an effective FXPB business have taken their toll on the space. Those that continue to provide FXPB services, play an absolutely vital role. This award will acknowledge the contribution these institutions make to the health of the market, with particular focus on solutions that pioneer innovative ways of providing credit and access to markets.
Best trading technology vendor of the year
This award will go to the business that can demonstrate its track record in delivering the best technology to the FX industry and adapting its services to cater to changing market conditions. The winner will be able to show how the innovative products it has offered the market have set it apart from rivals. As the category covers a broad range of areas within the trade lifecycle, judges will look for best-of-breed solutions to pick the best in show.
Best FX transaction cost analysis provider of the year
As industry participants across the spectrum push towards a best-execution driven world, TCA has become a topic of intense focus for both buy- and sell-side players. Having evolved from a relatively simple, price-driven methodology, the winner of this award will demonstrate a truly holistic approach to measuring execution quality, which complies with regulatory initiatives such as Mifid II.
Best clearing services provider of the year
The winning entry in this category will show a viable long-term strategy, positioned for expected shifts in market structure, and true economic advantages for market participants choosing clearing. Initiatives targeting OTC-clearing will also be considered.
E-FX initiative of the year
Open to companies with a primary business targeted at the institutional FX community. The award will be given to a company that can demonstrate true innovation in meeting customer needs and delivering high quality of service across all its FX activities as part of a broad strategic vision. This should be coupled with a proven track record of success, either in existing or new markets. Those pitching should be able to demonstrate at least six months of operational track record.
Best non-bank market maker of the year
Acknowledging the segmentation of business models in the non-bank LP space, this award seeks to pinpoint the most innovative approach to FX market making. The question that judges will ask themselves is this: would a real-money client be better off with NBLP A than a less-frequently used bank counterparty? Ambition will be rewarded, but will have to supported with a proven track-record.
Bank algorithmic trading technology provider of the year
This award is for banks that provide algorithmic trading services to clients. Judges of the category will be looking for innovative strategies that lead to a noticeable difference in overall execution outcome. Adaptability and improved responsiveness to rapid changes in market conditions (flash crash scenarios and trading in illiquid conditions) will also get points. Ambition will be rewarded, but will have to supported with a proven track-record.
Best e-FX trading venue of the year
This highly competitive award will go to the platform that offers the best in all the services it offers to clients: high liquidity, low costs, pre-and post-trade services as well as analytics. Innovative solutions to prevalent issues such as credit and counterparty mix will be prioritised. Breadth of services, availability of choice to customers and transparency will also be taken into account.
Best FX ECN of the year
This category is aimed at secondary price discovery venues with the purpose of finding the most comprehensive and service-driven offering in the market place. High standards for both market makers and takers will be rewarded, as well as measures and rules that ensure a level playing field for all traders on platforms.
Best e-Derivatives platform of the year
The migration of spot FX trading onto electronic platforms has practically finished, but derivatives contracts are just getting to an inflexion point on the journey towards electronification. In this category, the panel will reward innovative solutions for age-old problems, flexibility of execution styles and lack of complexity in usage.
Best e-surveillance provider of the year
The arrival of the post-crisis regulatory implementation phase has dramatically increased the attention on tools for monitoring and policing electronic trading systems, behaviour and conduct. It has also brought to the fore the need to keep a close eye on how orders are processed, unusual trading patterns and the monitoring and interpreting data from electronic-trading infrastructures. The award will go to the provider that can demonstrate accuracy, value for money and reliability.
Best retail FX platform of the year
The retail FX business has weathered a few storms after years of uninterrupted growth. Regulators are clamping down on excessive leverage across jurisdictions, especially in products they deem risky, such as CFDs. All of this since the Swiss National Bank pulled its currency floor and caused many retail traders to experience the downside of FX trading. Transparency in the space has also occasionally left something to be desired, a reason why customer service, abundant information and fair trading will win points.
Best prime-of-prime provider of the year
In this category we are looking to select the best of breed provider of credit intermediation for smaller firms. The prime of prime segment has been steadily growing following the retrenchment of big banks from the credit provision sector. Prime of prime providers can be brokers, clearers, platforms or banks. FX prime brokerage provided by banks will not be pitched against intermediation agents; this award will recognise the most comprehensive and satisfactory service provider in the prime of prime space.
Best liquidity aggregation system provider of the year
Accessing credit and liquidity has become harder and harder, despite the intensely competitive liquidity provision space. Aggregators that offer clients that best-possible liquidity will gain marks, especially if the offering extends to less-traded currencies such as EM units as well. The winning entry will demonstrate a long-term commitment to quality problem-solving for clients.
Best FX connectivity provider of the year
As the landscape fragmented to previously-unseen levels in a ferociously fast-paced market, the need for connectivity providers has also grown exponentially. Judges are looking for entries from specialist providers, datacentre operators and technology firms specialising in connectivity services. The winning submission will be able to demonstrate good-value, high-quality service provision with good on-boarding times, reliable infrastructure and breadth of offering.
Best FX market data provider of the year
Market data plays an essential role in the day-to-day functioning of FX markets and as such efforts to reduce costs involved and improve the quality and granularity of updates is crucial for a well-functioning market. This category will reward products that most successfully balance costs and benefits.
FX Markets e-FX achievement award
The FX Markets e-FX achievement award will be announced during the awards ceremony.