Automation Opportunities: Equities Report

The ability to remove white noise from the desk and allow traders to focus on more value-add tasks that bridge the gap between the execution team and the investment team are key drivers of this move to automation, as are more practical reasons such as a need to trade more fragmented equity markets with less resource and a greater emphasis placed on the systematic demonstration of best execution.

These priorities have been further exacerbated by the transition to remote working which has required a re-evaluation of how effective and efficient trading desk workflow is. Large volumes and volatility placed stress on the buy side that they want to be better equipped to handle next time around. There are lots of questions around automation, and Finance Hive Members want to know the answers. To answer some of the most pressing questions, we recently gathered a select group of head traders for a roundtable discussion on the topic. The Automation Opportunities Report that was commissioned as a result of this session summarises the key takeaways from this roundtable discussion and features on the record commentary of key decision makers from Capital Group and Nordea Asset Management and examples from the roundtable participants.

The report looks at the many drivers for automation, including:

  • Moving to 1 click trades saves traders time
  • Automation has the ability to monitor and prevent market impact
  • It can be more cost effective
  • Trading efficiencies and time saving is a big consideration.
  • Improved execution performance
  • Data driven explanation of best execution
  • Satisfying client demands and allowing the trading desk to keep up with new product launches
  • Superior audit trail


The biggest challenge facing increased adoption of automation is being able to narrow the time window from the point of concept or identification of an opportunity to the actual roll out of the solution. Markets are evolving so quickly, that the greatest challenge is always time.”

Head of European Equity Trading, Capital Group


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