So what do I mean TradeWeb is the Porsche 911 of FI e-Trading? Well for starters it is both a compliment and a criticism.

The Porsche 911 is an icon, a generally fabulous car beloved by many in the financial markets, but…….in many respects it looks the same as it did when it came to being in the 1960’s.

Now TW is clearly not 40 years old, but it is as near an ECN icon in FI e-Trading as we have. Generally I think it is a very good, simple product. As many buyside have told me when describing why they like it “It does what it says on the tin!”

However a criticism I often hear, and tend to agree with, is that e-Trading is evolving but TW isn’t. It’s look & feel is dated, its functionality isn’t innovative and indeed it lacks what is now considered basic e.g. market depth. The fact a client has to show what they are doing before obtaining more specific price discovery (unlike ALLQ/RTFI) seems very early “naughties” to me. Lack of innovation and dated look & feel are often criticisms thrown at the enduring 911 – usually by Jeremy Clarkson.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of TradeWeb (& the 911), particularly it’s depth of liquidity in the major Government bond markets, it’s amazing speed and indeed it’s institutional client base. However with the advent of Liquidity Hub and increased competition from particularly Bloomberg &, potentially, the more open Reuters, these are testing times.

Will TradeWeb endure as the Porsche 911 has? Only time will tell and time moves much quicker now than it did in the 60’s.

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