An Interview with Vincent Dumontoy Global Head of Client Solutions & Services at Horizon Software
Financial IT: Could you please tell us more about Horizon Software?
Vincent Dumontoy: Horizon Software was created 20 years ago and launched an electronic trading platform specialized in derivatives and market making. Born in 1998, Horizon Software built up its software business firstly by acting as a consultancy, then via tailor-made software projects and IP development, which led to the launch of a first complete version of the Horizon Platform in 2006, first deployed at Credit Agricole.
Over time Horizon Software has evolved to become a pure software player offering a flexible electronic platform for agency and principal trading across all asset classes.
Today the company provides advanced algorithmic trading and connectivity to 100 buy-side and sell-side institutions in 26 countries.
Financial IT: Why Horizon Software is unique compared to other companies? And what are the main trends and challenges?
Vincent Dumontoy: Our software embeds native features for market making and principal trading for options, warrants, Delta One and structured products, as well as automatized agency trading functionalities with a sophisticated OEMS (Order & Execution Management System). Pricing, position and risk management are aggregated within the platform. All of our features are available out-of-the-box and, at the same time, we provide a powerful and integrated algorithmic framework so that our clients can create, test and implement automated strategies within incredibly short timescales, with further development available to suit specific needs or situations.
A key strength of Horizon is the ability to handle everything on a single platform: from monitoring and managing positions in a single view, to real-time automated trading, with embedded algorithmic capabilities.
Current main trends point towards improved algorithmic trading solutions and enabling traders to integrate and launch more sophisticated trading strategies, while at the same time adapting to shifting market conditions and regulations, such as a need for higher transparency in trades.
Therefore the challenge for our experts is to continuously improve strategic features of our trading platform so our clients can easily script and run their own algorithms and launch streamlined back-testing strategies, while leveraging financial reporting requirements and information overload, to reach a model for more intelligibility and enhanced decision-making.
Financial IT: What are the future milestones that the company wants to achieve?
Vincent Dumontoy: Horizon recently opened a Montreal office to support the North American region. In recent years we have also grown our significant presence across APAC, particularly in emerging countries: Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Turkey. We want to pursue our geographic expansion and continue to provide a flexible and customizable platform to support cross asset sophisticated trading needs which are becoming more and more complex.
Our recent announcements about the launch of Inline warrants in Hong Kong or the new dispersion algo show our commitment to support local clients’ needs and enrich the platform with advanced intelligent trading strategies.
Financial IT: According to your experience, what are the key features needed to succeed? And what are the main predictions?
Vincent Dumontoy: From experience, having a flexible, scalable platform that allows traders to trade their way is key. The market needs more customization in order to face a challenging financial environment. Traders need to launch more and more complex strategies (hedging, volatility strategies, and so on), and software providers need to offer an open and flexible algo framework.
Our prediction is that the MiFID II regulation and current investment climate will create many new requirements, but also bring lots of new opportunities to improve stress-testing and back-testing strategies. The monitoring, recording and reporting on investment decisions and executions bring new ways to assess risks and performance. In addition to this, the rise of neural networks and AI naturally lead the way to a need for predictive indicators and new trading strategies. Trading forecast and improved future execution will rely on past performance and complex scenarios insights - led by market specialists and based on machine learning and artificial intelligence.