Portware AI System Growth Leading To ‘Bionic’ Trading

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Building on the expansion of its Alpha Pro artificial intelligence agent for trading, begun in November, trade execution management system (EMS) provider Portware is moving toward what its CEO, Alfred Eskandar, calls a “bionic trading desk.”

From March 2009 to March 2017, Portware’s Alpha Pro technology has delivered 133 basis points in return on micro cap stocks, 63 basis points on small cap stocks and 17 basis points on large cap stocks that it has handled.

Over that eight-year period, Alpha Pro, as an AI-enabled algorithmic trading management solution, has handled $168 billion in notional value traded. The volume and returns have been achieved through a combination of AI and human action, Eskandar explains.

“Developments will ultimately lead us to a trading blotter partly managed by computer and partly by the human trader,” he says. “What’s most valuable is when machines inform traders ad traders use their experience to make an even more optimal decision. All-machine is not ready and all-human is not fast enough. But the combination of the two dissecting the blotter into the parts that are best fit to the various combinations of human and machine handing, is proven to give firms tremendous competitive advantage.”

The improvements to Alpha Pro and Portware’s Enterprise EMS which contains Alpha Pro help firms cope with accelerated market activity. “Traders need to consume, digest, analyse and spit out decisions at a much faster rate,” says Eskandar. “That can’t be done without machine-enabled workflows. … We want this to be very accessible to asset managers and all their brokers.”

Along with handling greater amounts of trading and trade-related activity, Portware’s improvements have also made it possible to automate trading of more assets under management, according to Eskandar. “You can double, triple or quadruple the size of assets and not need more technology or have to hire more people,” he says. “Users benefit from a scalable solution that gives more bandwidth to the people they have on the desk already.”