HEDGE FUND, MARSHALL WACE NORTH AMERICA L.P., ACTIVATES FLEXTRADER AND FLEXTQM TO MANAGE TRADING COSTS AND ACHIEVE BEST EXECUTION

GREAT NECK, NY, April 18, 2005 – FlexTrade Systems today announced that Marshall Wace North America L.P., a long/short equity hedge fund, went live in February on FlexTRADER, the globally deployed and leading broker-neutral algorithmic trading platform. On average, 6 billion shares are transacted over FlexTRADER each month. Marshall Wace North America is also utilizing FlexTQM (Transaction Quality Management), a suite of robust tools within FlexTRADER, to evaluate transaction costs during and after trading as a means for gaining a clearer picture of pre-trade analysis, cost and impact.

"Marshall Wace is diligent in its use of FlexTRADER, particularly as the firm conducts intensive pre-trade analysis, evaluates broker performance, manages commission allocation and trading costs, and oversees each trade through to best execution," said FlexTrade Systems President, Vijay Kedia.

A quantitatively enriched, algorithmic trading and order management system covering equities, foreign exchange, options and futures, FlexTRADER is unique in the marketplace for its organically developed and integrated end-to-end functionality including: pre-trade cost estimation; listed and OTC smart order routing; execution strategies; real time access to full depth of books; and transaction quality management. Well known for basket trading, FlexTRADER is also leveraged for its single stock trading and market making capabilities. From a single platform, FlexTRADER clients can access all proprietary and broker provided algorithms.

"FlexTRADER gives us the ability to drive market data – proprietary and public – into one platform so that we can make more effective trade implementation decisions that lead to best execution," said Marshall Wace North America Head Trader, Scott Graczyk. "FlexTRADER also gives us true power by automating aspects of our process."

Graczyk explained that FlexTRADER was customized within the firm’s existing architectural framework. "FlexTRADER is a premium trading platform; there is much that can be done with and through it," said Graczyk. Marshall Wace North America currently has connections to forty brokers via FlexTRADER. "Once we place our orders into the system, FlexTRADER – through the FlexTQM tools – enables us to piece together a puzzle in one spot, by evaluating current and historical analytics that will dictate how we work a trade and with which brokers." Marshall Wace North America is also using FlexTRADER’s FIX engine to capture and store indications of interest from its broker relationships; another step toward integrating all pre-trade information on one platform.

"Evaluating brokers’ capabilities is important for us; using FlexTRADER helps us gain a better sense of how to drive better performance," said Graczyk. He said that FlexTQM allows the firm to tag order flow so that its trading desk can observe broker performance, implementation styles and how each (broker) fares in relation to their competition. The firm has also created within FlexTRADER customized, synthetic benchmarks for agency and principal trades to measure broker performance. "Each broker has a different strength, whether it’s algorithmic trading, direct market access or even raw liquidity. We provide a feedback loop to our brokers, so that they know how they’re performing."

Graczyk emphasized that the firm is using FlexTQM to understand the total picture of its trading costs. "We look at all aspects of an order; conducting transaction analysis to achieve quality execution is a priority."

FlexTRADER is a fully customizable system, with pre-defined trading strategies and tactics for lists as well as single stocks. The ability to easily write and revise customized analytics and quantitative trading strategies within the system makes FlexTRADER a preferred choice among those engaged in agency trading, index arbitrage and other proprietary and standard strategies such as VWAP, transition trading, pairs and long/short trading. This flexibility, for example, gives statistical arbitrage and program traders the ability to act swiftly and with ease in mercurial market conditions, particularly as they look to minimize market impact, transaction costs and risk exposure when trading large, multi-sided portfolios. From a single, neutral platform, orders are routed automatically to various points of execution including approximately 80 broker-dealers, all leading ECNs and primary exchanges. FlexTRADER’s open architecture is configurable for multiple traders over a network, and runs on Sun Solaris, Linux and Windows NT operating systems.

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