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Does Fidessa’s buy side / sell side approach offer a unique service to clients, or has their broad outlook spread Fidessa too thin in a competitive market?

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Fidessa's long-standing position in the global markets, and its ability to deliver solutions to both buy-side and sell-side firms, creates a unique selling point for clients worldwide.

It has been said that the main challenges facing fund managers today are: the increasing complexity of portfolios as firms expand their trading across a broader range of asset classes; globalisation; calls for stricter regulation and greater transparency and control; fragmentation of liquidity; and cost pressures. Venquis have decided to take a look and see how Fidessa addresses these issues …

Fidessa is unique in the vendor space in that its clients are spread across both buy- and sell-side giving them a distinct advantage. One way this is demonstrated is by the success of their critically acclaimed fragmentation tools which they have developed, and make freely available to the wider trading community, to demonstrate the level of fragmentation across global markets and, with the Tradalyzer (launched in April this year), a detailed analysis of trading effectiveness. 

What’s more, Fidessa's size and scale allows them to provide a tailored support service to their buy-side clients. For those willing to pay a premium, bug fixes and new functionality can be achieved on an individual basis. This tailored support service allows Fidessa to better engage with its clients, and manage their systems development to support the real users of the system, addressing the issues on the front line, before delivering change across their system as a whole.

But is Fidessa making the most of its unique selling points? It has been suggested that by spreading themselves so broadly key functionality for its buy-side software is no longer advancing as quickly as its rivals. The ultimate aim surely is to give the fund managers an easy to use interface to support their activities. Some have also argued that previous upgrades have brought with it a series of bugs and new problems which are then solved, only for the fixes to break other functionality. Some have said Charles River version 9, for example, offers rich functionality in comparison, more regular upgrades, and a better interface and will be hard to compete with. 

Despite these arguments, we at Venquis feel Fidessa is in a great position operating across both the buy- and the sell-side, and that support issues on an individual basis can be resolved quickly and efficiently with their current support setup. Rolling out new functionality every year may leave some clients without the option of functionality developed at the beginning; however, in tailoring solutions for their largest clients first, this certainly gives Fidessa a great starting point for developing an upgrade to suit the majority. What could be argued as a ‘broad outlook’ is more a clever way to specialise in an area few compete in.