Forefront Communications

On Tour with an Outsourced Trading Specialist, Vol. 2: Navigating Disruption

Confluence

Sam Belden

Sam Belden

In On Tour, Vol. 1, Tourmaline Partners shared our insights gleaned from visits with investment firms around the world, many of whom lean on us for supplemental support, the fastest-growing sector of our business.

Today, we share our thoughts and observations on what we have learned from helping firms navigate the recent disruption and why being independent matters.

In March and April 2020, our industry faced unprecedented spikes in volume and volatility. This was compounded by the fact that many key employees, in some cases entire firms, were working from home or disaster recovery (DR) sites. Few firms were left unaffected and Tourmaline Partners was no exception.

Our clients shared with us a number of similar frustrations and challenges. A few observations:

We received increased outreach and greater demand for color/information, both generally and on specific topics like trading in offshore markets for clients when they are asleep (during their non-market hours).
Many clients encountered capacity and bandwidth issues during periods of increased demand. Some clients were asked to “trade away”; that is, due to volumes, outages or other reasons, brokers had to send clients elsewhere at times. These challenges were exacerbated with hard-to-trade names. As these rare interruptions did occur, our robust toolkit allowed us to quickly move to alternative providers and venues on our clients’ behalf.

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