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In recent years, a combination of regulatory reforms, market structure evolution and technology innovation have combined to create a new paradigm for the global financial trading markets; one in which the speed at which transactions can be executed is fundamental to the success of market participants.

Put simply, for such a participant – be it an exchange operator, a broker or a trading firm – to win in the new electronic marketplace of complex algorithmic and high-frequency trading (HFT), they have to be faster than their competition. And the margin that separates the winners from the also rans is now measured in microseconds, with nanoseconds not too far off.

Colocation has established itself as the access mechanism for trading firms requiring the fastest possible execution. It’s widely accepted that for firms wanting the lowest latency access to a specific market there is no substitute for placing their trading applications as close as possible to the matching engines themselves, making it the solution of choice for all but those focusing on multi-venue multi-location arbitrage.

But the perception to date has been – and justifiably so – that exchange colocation is a premium service reserved for the larger institutions. For many smaller and remote practitioners – hedge funds and prop traders who lack the IT resource normally associated with colocation – cost is a prohibitive factor in their decision whether to colocate.

Redline Trading Solutions, a leading provider of ultra-low latency trading solutions, announced the InRush NBBO, an innovative solution for calculating the National Best Bid and Offer for the U.S. equities market. The company will present the solution at the SIFMA Annual Financial Services Technology Expo to be held June 14-16 in New York City.

Trading firms continue to invest significant sums in low-latency technologies, with connectivity and co-location being a big focus, and a large proportion of IT budgets. Reducing propagation latency from the trading chain - by going with the fastest network provider and installing systems in co-location data centres - remains for many the simplest approach to remaining in the lead of the latency race, though in itself it’s not a universal panacea for business success.

Speaking at A-Team’s recent conference focused on “The Business & Technology of Low-Latency Trading,” John Jacobs, COO of Lime Brokerage, made the point that trading in the increasingly fragmented equities markets is not always about being the fastest. Brokerages are required to understand “what the customers are trying to do,” with respect to their trading strategies when determining co-lo and connectivity requirements. Simply leveraging those approaches and technologies gets a firm “part of the way there but it doesn’t take you the whole way there,” he said.

ITRS Group, the industry supplier of choice of predictive, real-time monitoring and proactive application performance management products to the world’s financial community and Prelert, the leading provider of self-learning, application behavior analytics solutions, today announced a collaboration. Prelert will complement ITRS Group’s real-time predictive monitoring solution with a layer of statistical analysis which instantly identifies and isolates the root cause of end-to-end application/service anomalies where rules and exception traps have not been defined.

Mantara, a provider of advanced technology solutions for high-frequency trading and ultra-low latency direct market access, today announced the opening of its Toronto office to support the rapidly growing demand for its products and services across Canada’s electronic trading community.

Progress Software, a leading software provider that enables enterprises to be operationally responsive, today announced that Ativa Corretora , a Brazilian brokerage firm, has deployed the leading algorithmic trading solution -- Progress Apama Capital Markets platform. The Apama platform will play a critical role in Ativa’s new electronic trading business, enabling it to rapidly build and continuously customize low latency algorithmic and high frequency trading strategies.

Tervela, the leading provider of fast, reliable data movement solutions for mission-critical applications, today announced that it has appointed Mike Leeolou to the position of Vice President of Sales. With over 25 years of experience in enterprise sales and executive management, Leeolou brings a proven track record, strong relationships, and first-class leadership to Tervela. Leeolou will be responsible for leading Tervela’s overall revenue growth, and will report directly to Tervela CEO Eric Schnadig.

Nanhua Futures, a futures company in China, has selected the SunGard Global Network (SGN) to gain access to its international clients’ order flow and SunGard’s Valdi OMS and trading solutions to support its growing domestic and international business. SunGard’s solutions will help Nanhua Futures collect orders from Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFIIs), place orders with Valdi Trader, and manage and execute its orders on the China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX).