Global Pulse: FX Platforms

Measuring APAC buy side satisfaction and selection criteria for EMS platforms

The Global Pulse: FX Platforms report was commissioned as a result of our buy side members expressing a strong desire to be able to benchmark and subsequently present collective feedback to providers on their demands and requirements.

This report is the third of a series of three, the first of which captures the European viewpoint and the second which covers the North American perspective. This report is a unique addition to the trio as all of the research was conducted since CV-19.

Geoff Healy, Senior FX Analyst at Fidelity International commented “Fantastic report, which really captures the current landscape very well and the buyside’s perception of the EMS providers and our continued appetite for change.”

It has been produced with quantitative insights from survey responses from the buy side – all key decision makers at their firms/a strong influencer in the decision-making process – which have been aggregated and analysed by The Finance Hive.

Qualitative on-the-record interviews add depth and colour to the commentary.

Key findings include:

  • A selection criterion that made the top five in APAC but not in European or US surveys is a platform’s ability to deal with ad-hoc requests
  • TCA and depth of liquidity provision are more important features for EM focused trading desks
  • Tightness of spreads is considerably more important than depth of liquidity for desks trading FX for alpha, whereas the opposite is true for desks where FX serves a function of other securities, such as hedging or settlement
  • The ability to trade a wider scope of products and the need to streamline workflow and execution even further are the most common demands for innovation


EM Markets are less transparent than G10 – price discovery is more difficult because of the lack of liquidity, so a sophisticated TCA tool is important to measure and benchmark trades.

In some markets, like Indonesia, screen prices are not always reflective of executable levels, so it is important to be able to identify such situations as a point of challenge to counterparties with a view to enhancing the quality of pricing transparency.”

Kai Chang, Trader, Ninety One


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    Presented by The Finance Hive, in partnership with EBS Institutional (EBSI), part of CME Group