Forefront Communications

24 for ’24: Predictions and Insights from Capital Markets and B2B Fintech Leaders

Alexandra Benavides

Alexandra Benavides

Throughout late November and December, Forefront Communications is lighting up its social media channels with daily predictions and insights for 2024 from some of the financial services industry’s most innovative organizations and thought leaders. Follow along as senior executives from buy- and sell-side firms, technology providers, venue operators, market structure consultancies and more share their perspectives on the people, trends and market forces that will shape our space over the next year and beyond.

Pierre Haren, CEO of Causality Link:

“Going into 2024, I believe that at least 10% of these predictions (and others like them) will be written with the help of a large language model. For 2025, it will be 50% or more, as “copilot” systems will make recommendations as easy to consume as spellcheckers are today. This use case is rather harmless, but influence of the same technology leading up to big elections in 2024 may be much more nefarious.”

Dave Barnett, CEO of OptimX:

“In 2024, we expect to see a new breed of technologies that restitch the fractured pathway between liquidity suppliers and consumers. These tools will encourage transparency and enhance the relationship between brokers and their customers.”

Rob MacKay, CEO of Regnology:

“As the pace and complexity of regulation accelerates – with heightened requirements demanding more granular data – financial institutions will increasingly embrace the reliability and scalability of hyperscaler cloud technology. AI, the next technology frontier, will unlock potential for further automation and data insights. Greater adoption of both technologies throughout the landscape will empower regulators and the regulated to meet their goals with efficiency.”

John Shay, CEO of American Finanical Exchange (AFX):

“2023 was a powerful illustration of why banks – particularly regional and local institutions – need to be ready for anything. In an uncertain environment, efficient, economical access to the interbank lending market is absolutely crucial, and we predict that an unprecedented number of banks will take steps toward securing this access in 2024.”

Jesse Forster, Head of Equity Market Structure & Technology, Coalition Greenwich:

“As electronic trading (including via SDPs) continues to increase, capabilities such as analytics and measurable execution quality, as well as trade automation (including algo wheels), will become even more important. That means integration ease and reliability will be paramount as more firms across the spectrum adopt a buy, build and integrate approach to their trading technology platforms.”

Sameer Shalaby, CEO of VersiFi

“2024 will be a year of renewed institutional interest in digital assets, and a crucial one at that. TradFi players were understandably rattled by some of the turmoil of 2022. Now, we are starting to hear less about existential fears around this asset class and more about the structures necessary to help it reach its full potential. With the expected approvals of the BTC ETFs, we are anticipating significant institutional interest and expanded volumes.”

Kevin Samuel, CEO of LiquidityBook

“In recent years, vendors and clients alike have recognized the importance of open architectures and ‘co-opetition.’ In 2024, that trend will only accelerate. Integrations and partnerships will reign supreme as clients rearchitect their trading infrastructure, whether piecemeal with best-of-breed solutions, or via wholesale refit. Organizationally, nimbleness, agility, and responsiveness to client needs will enable smaller firms to innovate and expand their reach, going upmarket as their solutions mature.”

Peter Gargone, CEO of n-Tier

“Regulatory complexity and enforcement ramped up in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, and haven’t let up. Rather than developing custom workflows and solutions for every framework around the world, we expect to see firms continue to embrace a more strategic approach. A core of data governance coupled with flexible, scalable data ingestion/output lays a foundation for success, and that clean data offers ancillary benefits even beyond reliable regulatory compliance.”

Jeffrey Estella, Principal of Estella LLC

“2024 will serve as a reminder of the importance of market participants ‘sticking to their knitting’ – in other words, focusing on their true core competency. Amid margin compression throughout the ecosystem, accelerating industry M&A and the increasing rate of regulatory change, a lack of focus in investment process strategy or product development can be paralyzing and dilutive to any firm’s mission. The C-suite must be honest with itself by leveraging data tools for real insights, outsourcing non-core functions and reassessing legacy oversight and governance models.”

Ann Sebert, CEO of CAPIS

“As costs increase and the pace of regulation accelerates, buy-side firms – particularly smaller funds and RIAs – will face intensifying pressure to optimize their budgets and streamline their operations. Whether to ensure coverage, extend sell-side access, or solve for hiring difficulties, these companies will embrace outsourced trading like never before.”

Sunny Kim, Head of Global Business Development at Raptor Trading Systems

“In 2024, fintechs and organizations with recent high-value acquisitions will face continued challenges limiting scale and flexibility. As these firms adapt, we predict that there will be increased collaboration across a wider set of organizations. Banks, brokers and investment managers of all sizes will use these conditions to their advantage by upgrading and prioritizing their foundational technologies and services. This focus on strengthening core platforms will drive practical innovations in the year ahead.”

Jen Nayar, President & CEO of Sterling Trading Tech:

“As the competitive environment intensifies and regulation becomes ever more demanding, the need to operate in a multi-asset capacity will only grow. The momentum around options will continue as they become an increasingly important element of many portfolios. That means having the right technology, with advanced reporting capabilities and risk calculations, will be key.”

Michael Higgins, Global Head of Business Development at Hidden Road

“In 2024, we anticipate that demand will continue to grow for innovative, multi-asset clearing and prime brokerage providers. Industry consolidation and maturing offerings will inspire both established clients and emerging managers to seek out new avenues to access markets in a capital-efficient way.”

Cynthia Sachs, Founding CEO of Versana

“Versana’s mission is to help drive the syndicated loan market’s modernization, and it’s just the very beginning. The foundational early objectives achieved this year have definitely set the stage for an even more transformative 2024. Our real-time digital data platform will be at the center of incredible innovation, and amongst many synergistic tech providers, to redefine the market ecosystem.”