The platform that's coming for your quant trading job
Martin Zinkin has a long history in electronic trading. A former head of electronic trading at Deutsche Bank, of BNP Paribas’ electronic fixed income research and strategy team and of fixed income electronic trading at Nomura and Lehman, he's been in the market for over two decades. He knows the pain points, and in his new iteration he's trying to fix them.
"I came into banking on the quant side and I was frustrated with how long it took to iterate and improve on trading algorithms," Zinkin says. Historically, he says creating applications for electronic trading was a clunky, manually intensive process that couldn't be replicated across products. Zinkin, who left Deutsche in 2015, has set about resolving this. Last week, his solution was launched.
Known as QubeAlgo, it offers 'building blocks for institutional grade algorithmic trading.' "A lot of applications can already be developed and modified simply by configuring and wiring together existing functional blocks," says Zinkin. For the moment, that wiring requires QubeAlgo users to write XML code. In the future, Zinkin says the intention is, "to move to a visual configuration tool which will allow business users to do this without editing files."
QubeAlgo is product agnostic and can be used across all traded products. The functional blocks it brings together include everything from market data feeds to risk and order calculators, pricing models, models for executing hedges and generating trading algorithms across multiple venues, plus client and execution performance analysis. Zinkin says it's a summation of tools he created for himself and for his teams while he was in banking: "This is the commercialization of something we've worked on for a long time."
For clients, the appeal is obvious. Using the new platform, Zinkin says it's possible for a single person to implement a risk model based risk management and auto-hedging solution for digital assets within a three-week period. Without the platform, he says the same thing would take six man months, have a higher risk of project failure and "be much less sophisticated and extensible."
While this is great for clients, it's less clear that QubeAlgo heralds a shiny future for quants and quant developers currently working in systematic trading. As QubeAlgo evolves into a low-code system where traders with limited coding knowledge can use a visual configuration interface to create their own tools, quant developers especially will be far less necessary than they are now.
Zinkin offers some reassuring words. QubeAlgo will simply mean that existing staff are more productive and can get more done, he says. Hopefully banks will feel the same.
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