In case you missed it, last week was the FIA Expo in Chicago. A two-day event primarily dedicated to the Futures and Options markets. It was booth duty for myself and three of my colleagues, but I did have a chance to see a few old friends (and rivals), and met a few new ones. I also got the opportunity to visit a few other vendor booths as well. If you were an attendee, there were three exhibits rooms to wander through and gaze upon the wondrous wares of vendors. There were a few large booths from the usual familiar names. But in general the expo floor, like the industry was filled with small booths occupied by small businesses. There were also a number of interesting speaking sessions on topics ranging from high frequency trading to risk and regulation.
A lot of graduate students were on hand, a field trip you could say to see and talk with people from industry. I’m sure it was quite a learning experience and of course to take note of potential future employers. I talked with a group that traveled all the way from Kent State University in Ohio. It was a group of 48 students from their financial engineering department, must have been the whole student body.
There was plenty of activity at our booth, we met with numerous people from quants and traders looking to find a technology for trading and research. Developers on the lookout for next-generation platforms to department heads and strategists looking to leverage new vendor technology for that edge in the market. Overall there was a common theme I heard loud and clear from all of these individuals. They recognized the value of data – market data, Order data, Executions, News, their own derived data as a key ingredient in the trading decision-making process. Whether its historical or real-time data, and they were looking for the right technology to unlock the value hidden within.
Complex Event Processing (CEP) has captured the attention of the Capital Markets industry over the past few years. As a technology platform the promise was to make development of trading systems more efficient to build and perform better than was possible using traditional development methodologies. As the market has matured the natural evolution points to the inextricable link between CEP and data. Sure all CEP systems are capable of processing streaming data. But that data is fleeting and lost in most CEP systems because they’re incapable of capturing, storing and querying it without the aid of a third-party product. Data and the ability to unlock it’s secrets is not a fleeting requirement. Along with the evolution of CEP is the evolution of strategies built upon it. They require ultra-fast access to days, months even years of historical data not in a loosely coupled third-party <insert-code-here> interface but in a seamless model where the distinction between real-time and historical is timeless and managed by the CEP engine itself. Those visiting our booth at FIA got to the see that next-generation CEP technology first-hand.
There were other activities going on after hours at FIA that my colleagues and I had the opportunity to visit. The CME Group hosted an enormous party, a ‘ball‘ you could say at Union Station a few blocks from the show’s hotel. There were hundreds milling about in that place mesmerized by a large ball hanging almost weightless and brandishing the CME Group’s logo to the thump, thump, thump of some unrecognizable music. If you like loud, crowded places with long lines for finger-food this was the place to be. We didn’t stay long.
Once again thanks for reading.
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