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2012/11/14Joséphine de Chazournes
Speaking with some clients this week in New York about how we think there are some very interesting technology offerings at the moment, trying to respond to the needs of the changing Fixed Income market infrastructure in Europe, one of them asked us: "But are there not too many vendors?". Me not being the usual Celent analyst, who, through past research has gotten used to speaking to dozens of different vendors that offer slightly different versions of similar technological solutions, my initial response was: "Maybe actually, and maybe, as in the sell-side and in the trading platforms space, there will be space only for either the bigger ones that offer broad-base products (OMS, TCA, CLOB, etc) or the small ones that have created a niche for themselves in a specific product or customized version of a broad-base one to the needs of specific clients (pairing engines, matching sessions or auctions for credit). But then, as I was formulating my response, emerged another answer that I found very insightful: "Actually no, there are not too many vendors, and even the more generalist products that the big vendors sell have their clientele. Why? Because the secular trend of these markets is electronification". And because even if now fixed income markets are less liquid than they have been, more volatile and risky because of instability, economic crisis and regulation, and therefore that the percentage of electronic trading in fixed income has only been stable or decreasing in cash products in Europe as we mentioned in our October sizing report, "Fixed Income in Europe: Ready for the Tornado?", well even though all of the above, this is what the markets will do: always become more technologically-intensive, less manual, more automatic. Conclusion: maybe not all of the solutions of all the technology vendors will have record sales, and maybe only a few of them will really be disruptive to the market as we will mention in an upcoming report looking at exactly which technological solutions will change the fixed income market in Europe, but there is still room for all these software vendors.