QB is a financial technology company that provides execution strategies for Futures and US Cash Treasury markets. QB provides advanced agency algorithms and data-driven analytics to reduce implicit trading costs for clients.
Alastair Hawker, Head of North American Sales at Quantitative Brokers, discusses the background of the company, its business model and products, and the company’s plans for expansion.
What are the origins of Quantitative Brokers (QB)?
The company was founded in 2008 by Robert Almgren and Christian Hauff, and launched in 2010. Robert and Christian first met when they were both working in Electronic Trading at Bank of America. They formed QB in 2008, becoming the first fully independent firm to engineer a better approach to trade execution through more advanced algorithms than were available in futures and fixed income markets. Based in New York and with offices in London and Chennai, QB has since evolved to offer strategies that allow many of the world’s leading asset managers, hedge funds, fixed-income arbitrage funds, CTAs, and banks to achieve better execution and spend more of their time focused on alpha generation.
How do you differentiate your model from others?
QB is a fully independent, agency-only, institutional fintech company with deep expertise in providing best execution algorithms for global futures and US cash Treasury markets. We are an NFA and FINRA-registered broker dealer that offers trading technology available through more than 20 OMS/EMS providers and 19 execution and clearing firms. We solve specific order placement complexities tailored to the unique characteristics of various central limit order books on exchanges, such as CME, EUREX, CFE, TMX, ICE US, ICE Europe, BrokerTec and Nasdaq.
We do not engage in proprietary trading, so there is no conflict of interest. In fact, some of our clients think about us as their outsourced algorithmic engineering team. We closely represent the buy-side as an unconflicted and broker neutral solution, optimizing their execution.
We also provide extensive analytics (or Transaction Cost Analysis – “TCA”). We have state-of-the-art visual analytics and reports that provide full transparency on the execution story and statistics of each order. We like to say to our clients that “we hide your footprint in the market, but we don’t hide anything from you!”
In addition, we offer a highly realistic, real-time trading simulation environment. The QB Simulator lets you take a no-risk “test drive” of what it’s like to execute with us.
Describe QB’s four specialized algorithmic strategies.
Our suite of algorithmic strategies help our clients to minimize their transaction costs, hide their footprint, and improve their productivity. This is across outrights, listed spreads and synthetic (intercommodity) spreads. We accomplish this through our proprietary microstructure research, real-time analytics, event tracking and short term pricing signals. “Bolt” facilitates best execution across wide-ranging market conditions, benchmarked to arrival price. “Closer” provides optimal trading into the market close (settlement price benchmark). “Legger” intelligently manages legging risk for multi-leg orders. “Strobe” attempts to capture the spread within a client’s defined time schedule, tracking a VWAP or TWAP benchmark.
It’s not just the powerful analytics and infrastructure we offer, but also the market and execution experience built into our algorithms. This is evidenced to our clients through our superior execution quality and slippage reduction.
What are QB future strategic plans?
We have a business model that has been proven with our client base in North America and Europe. We are now demonstrating to more clients in Europe and also in Asia, how they can deploy our technology and benefit from our service. We intend to migrate to other asset classes, add new exchanges and expand our geographical footprint. Specifically, we are opening a Sydney office to handle Asian markets and take us to full 24/6 coverage.
The FIX Community has a key role to play in this mission, and should help extend our connectivity. The FIX protocol is a very important part of what we do. As an EMS neutral and broker neutral service we manage FIX connections with more than forty industry partners as well as direct connections with many clients.
Americas: +1 646 293 1888 Europe: +44 (0)20 3714 5831 Asia: +61 (2) 8074 3154 www.quantitativebrokers.com
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