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MTS: Continuity Begets Functionality

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 19 Q4 2010

One of the questions Automated Trader readers most frequently ask is when they will be able to trade cash bonds on an automated basis. Interestingly, the majority of these enquiries come not from those interested in high frequency trading, but from those looking to automate existing spread or basis strategies at lower frequencies. The first step in this process is obviously an electronic bond trading platform, so we packed off Automated Trader’s founder, Andy Webb, to talk to Jack Jeffery, Chief Executive, and Fabrizio Testa, Head of Product Development at MTS to find out about their electronic evolution and to get their general views on possible future developments in automated bond trading.

MTS started out in 1988 as part of an initiative to improve liquidity in the secondary market in government debt. Even then, it was a totally electronic trading utility. Now, you could describe it as a commercial operation working off that initial utility model - to the benefit of anybody wanting to trade cash bonds on an automated basis. But how does it operate, how is it evolving, and what instruments does it have to offer, now and in the future?

Automated Trader's Andy Webb went to meet Jack Jeffrey, Chief Executive, and Fabrizio Testa, Head of Product Development, at MTS to discuss the matching of current (and likely future) client demand to MTS's provision - most of the questions we get on this subject come not from those interested in high frequency trading, but from those looking to automate existing spread or basis strategies - and to examine the technology, infrastructure and functionality behind the platform.

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