Charles River Development (Charles River), a front- and middle-office investment software solutions provider, today announced that Itaú Unibanco Asset Management (Itaú), the largest privately-owned asset manager in Brazil with more than US$ 128 billion of assets under management, is live on the broker-neutral Charles River Network for real-time, electronic trading via FIX (Financial Information eXchange).
Itaú leverages Charles River's low-cost, internet based Virtual Private Network solution for instant access to local sell-side brokers and global liquidity venues. Itaú is one of the first Brazilian buy-side firms to use the FIX protocol for accessing algorithmic trading strategies and handling block trades.
Itaú has been conducting a multi-phased roll-out of the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS) since 2008. This project, delivered on time, is part of Itaú's initiative to eliminate manual trading processes and have a single, consolidated platform for order management and electronic trading. Itaú plans to connect its multi-market desks across Latin America to the Charles River Network, allowing traders in Santiago, for example, to execute trades in São Paulo via FIX.
Before Charles River IMS, Equity traders had to manually input trades in spreadsheets and send the orders to brokers, following-up with them over the telephone. Now, they can execute equity instruments in real-time directly from the Charles River Trader Blotter, sending a high volume of orders to local brokers and international liquidity providers, and automatically receiving execution details. The traders no longer rely on spreadsheets and instead of receiving a telephone call, all transaction details - prices, time stamps, fills and more - are instantly recorded in Charles River IMS.
Support for algorithmic trading was critical to the project. Itaú's traders can directly access local and regional algorithmic strategies, assign algorithms to block trades, and route high-volume block orders to sell-side brokers. In addition, Itaú's Quantitative traders can leverage proprietary algorithms and high frequency trading ideas for local executions directly from the Trader Blotter.
"Sell-side firms in Brazil are paying closer attention to domestic order flow - offering the buy-side more sophisticated algorithms and execution tools," said Spiros Giannaros, Vice President-Americas, Charles River Development. "As electronic trading continues to evolve in Brazil, early adoption of the FIX protocol and implementation of Charles River's integrated trading solution give Itaú a competitive edge. Charles River IMS allows Itaú to meet growing customer demands by increasing investment management capabilities, streamlining processes and reducing operational risk across the board."