THETA hires Flanagan amid whirlwind of connectivity ahead of launch

Dan Barnes

THETA, the specialist provider of buy-side trading technology as a service, has appointed Paul Flanagan as strategic sales advisor, managing relationships with buy-side firms.

Flanagan has worked in fixed income sales to financial institutions for over 30 years. Most recently he was managing director for institutional investor sales at Lloyds Bank in London, where he worked for over five years. Previously he has worked in fixed income sales management at Societe Generale, HSBC, Citi and Deutsche Bank.

He joins as THETA is due to launch its trading system for the buy-side, Apollo, later in 2021. Apollo is a cloud-native SaaS aggregator, designed to address the gaps and challenges faced by firms as market structures and trading landscapes change.

Abdullah Hiyatt, THETA

Abdullah Hiyatt, THETA Founder & CEO, said, “As we move closer to launching Apollo we continue to raise awareness among buy-side trading firms and grow our sales pipeline. Paul’s appointment accelerates this process, as he provides us with unrivalled Fixed Income knowledge, business development expertise and a wealth of senior industry relationships.”

The Apollo platform is designed to provide multi-channel liquidity aggregation and trading, initially for fixed income. FX trading will be added later in 2021 and equities during 2022. THETA has already built trading and data connectors for MarketAxess, Tradeweb, MTS, BondVision, UBS Bond Port, Neptune, BondCliQ, IHS Markit, ICE Data Services, and Refinitiv amongst others. The SaaS platform integrates with clients’ existing P/OMS systems via FIX and REST APIs.

Apollo reports it has proven FIX API integration with Thinkfolio and successfully certified earlier this year for the trading of government, corporate and emerging market (EM) bonds and interest rate swaps (IRS). The firm has heard further interest from users of Charles River, SimCorp, Eze Castle, Bloomberg AIM and Blackrock Aladdin P/OMS providers in addition to proprietary OMSs. According to Hiyatt, some of these users require closer dynamic integration with investment processes than what is currently offered in the market.

In addition to MarketAxess, Apollo is also fully integrated with UBS Bond Port. API connectors have also been built for Tradeweb, MTS BondVision, and TP ICAP CrossTrade.

The firm says it has received further interest for:
• Bloomberg (TSOX and DOR), Liquidnet, LTX, Trumid, ICE Bonds, CANDEAL, and Bond Connect for secondary market trading
• Direct Books, and Origin Markets for primary market trading
• CME, Eurex, CBOE, SGX, and BGC for Rates and Credit OTC and Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETD) trading
• FXall, FXGO, CME, Eurex, and SGX for FX OTC and ETD trading

Apollo has been built as a data provider agnostic SaaS platform, integrated with IHS Markit for real-time on-demand bond reference and pricing data, and is also in the process of assessing integrating its fixed income derivatives data.

Data API connectors have also been built for Tradeweb, Neptune, BondCliQ, 7Chord’s BondDroid, ICE Data Services, and Refinitiv with interest also for MarketAxess, Bloomberg, GLEIF, Stamdata, ANNA DSB, ESMA FIRDS, FCA FIRDS, FINRA and direct from LPs.

In many conversations with prospect clients, THETA reports it is increasingly hearing an appetite for direct connectivity with Liquidity Providers (LPs) not just for pre trade pricing but more so for direct trading via RFQ/M, click to trade, order execution workflows covering outrights and multi-leg strategies (same and cross assets and currency) trades.

It also notes conversations with about direct connectivity and evolving trading protocols to support digitised over-the-counter (OTC) trading workflows which are also generally not available on venues and electronic communication networks (ECNs). It has named interested LPs expressing interests as Barclays, Citi, Commerzbank, Jefferies, ING, Lloyds, Nomura and UBS, subject to demand from their clients.

©Markets Media Europe, 2021