Interbank payment network Swift is to begin pilot trials of a new FIX messaging service with 15 firms as it steps up its programme to enter the securities front office.
The FIX pilot includes representation from major buy side, sell side and exchange communities, including Gartmore Investment Management, Dresdner RCM Global Investors, Swissquote Group, BNP Paribas Equities France, RBC Capital Markets, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Securities, Salomon Smith Barney, UBS Warburg, BNY Clearing Services, Deutsche Bank AG London, Lehman Brothers, HSBC Investment Bank, Fidelity Capital Markets and the New York Stock Exchange.
The trials are expected to last for three months, prior to the live service being rolled-out through an early adopter programme. The SwiftNet FIX Hub, powered by Financial Fusion, will be available for general use in September 2002.
James Leman, head of global equity electronic trading, Salomon Smith Barney, welcomes Swift's move into the FIX messaging space. “Cost effective, technologically progressive communications from an historically stable global provider are always welcome," he says.
Chris Sims, head of development, Gartmore Investment Management, says the arrival of Swift provides an opportunity for institutions to use a single trusted supplier for securities messaging across the whole transaction lifecycle, "from trading through to settlement".
The FIX messaging service will enable firms connected to the new SwiftNet IP-based network to access multiple trading partners around the world through a single FIX connection. Additional planned features for the FIX service include a certification programme, version translation, browser-based order entry application, reporting functionality and interoperability with Swift’s back office products and services, including SwiftNet FIN.
Swift says firms participating in the pilot programme will help define pricing for the service and will also give input for future features and functionality.
“SwiftNet FIX will reduce the complexity of our trade communications infrastructure by providing a single network connection to our trading partners and, potentially, use of the same network for post-trade communications,” says Anantha Padmanabhan, director of asset management systems, Dresdner RCM Global Investors. “The pilot programme will help us not only to determine security and reliability but also any additional features that may reduce the overall cost of trade processing.”