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What a Single-Dealer Platform isn't

The term "Single-Dealer Platform" (SDP) has become increasingly widely used over the past year as banks have raced to provide direct online trading services to their institutional clients across a range of asset classes.

But recently some confusion seems to have arisen over exactly what the term SDP means, and I've seen it used recently as if it referred to the whole client-facing etrading stack.

The problem is that using "SDP" as a synonym for "ecommerce infrastructure" doesn't achieve anything useful. What really needs naming is the integration, management and communication layer that sits between the various product-specific etrading systems and the end users.

This layer is the in-house equivalent of what the multi-dealer platforms (FXall, MarketAxess, TradeWeb, Bloomberg etc) provide externally -- an aggregation and presentation hub for delivering pricing and liquidity from multiple sources.

So calling it a Single-Dealer Platform makes perfect sense. It sits above the silos of pricing, liquidity management, execution and risk systems, and pulls it all together.

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