Technology serves a simply stated mission at interdealer brokerage GFI Group: Its all about giving the market choice pretrade, trading mode and posttrade, says Ron Levi, the firms COO since 2006. The jumble of choices can get complicated, but GFI has succeeded over its 26-year existence by helping clients navigate among countless pretrade research, pricing and analytical tools; order types, asset classes and exchanges; and clearinghouse connections. That complexity has been compounded by unfinished Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regulations affecting over-the-counter markets, yet Levi has been saying Were ready since soon after the law was passed three years ago. Girding his confidence is the commitment to homegrown systems that sets GFI apart from rivals, and what Levi boasts is the most agile development team on the Street some 200 technologists led by CTO Jerry Dobner. Trading volume declines have been reflected in GFIs revenue, which fell 12 percent, to $200 million, in the first quarter. But software, analytics and data revenue grew 11 percent, to $22 million, much of that from the Trayport subsidiary, which reports to Levi. In up and down markets, GFI invests steadily in technology, and we cant stop, says the 50-year-old, who was director of fixed income at ICAP predecessor Garban before joining GFI in 1993. We have to be ready for the new market structure.
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