REDI Global Technologies: An Agent of Change

REDI Global Technologies: An Agent of Change

CIO VendorRishi Nangalia, CEO
With roots that trace back nearly 25 years, REDI is one of the most enduring brands in the electronic trading space. Launched by the market maker and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) specialist Spear, Leeds & Kellogg (SLK) in 1992, REDI has led a fascinating existence over its history. In 2001, it became a Goldman Sachs platform through the bulge bracket’s acquisition of SLK, with REDI eventually helping to power much of the bank’s electronic trading franchise. And in 2013, in response to the buy-side’s demand for truly open, multi-broker systems, Goldman spun out the REDI business into an independent, industry-backed entity.

The company’s primary offering is its trade management platform, REDIPlus. Through it, clients can not only access nearly 175 brokers to trade futures, options and equities globally, but also advanced functionalities like Portfolio Trader and Spread Trader. The end-to-end platform lets clients execute everything from simple single stock trades to complex option strategies.

REDIPlus has historically been viewed as an EMS, and one of the industry’s most widely used. Nearly 1,000 institutions—including 62 of Bloomberg’s 100 top performing hedge funds in 2015—trade through it each day. But over the last several years, the firm has worked to broaden its user base beyond active trading hedge funds and its functionality to span the trade lifecycle. “The system and user base look much different today than a few years ago,” says CEO Rishi Nangalia. “We are now working to extend some of the middle office tools and capabilities we’ve built for U.S. equities to other asset classes globally. We should be complete by mid-year, at which point a tremendous amount of new opportunities become available to us.”

The firm also sees an opportunity to grow by working with others in the industry. “One of the most tangible ways the company is doing so is through technology partnerships,” says CTO Mark Etherington.

Meaningful collaboration is achievable if the focus is on the client instead of the tactical business benefits alone

“The technological shifts over the past few years have resulted in faster, cheaper and more robust integrations between some of the exciting new fintech offerings and the legacy, battle-tested systems that power much of Wall Street. Given that REDI in many ways straddles these two worlds, we’ve been working with many of the new entrants to leverage our open, collaborative platform to bring their applications to the hundreds of institutions who trade through REDI each day.”

Ultimately, Nangalia sees REDI’s philosophy of openness as being driven by the overarching industry trend towards transparency. He points to the buy-side’s increasing effort to get a grasp of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of their entire trading technology stack rather than just their trading costs as an example. “Unfortunately many vendors utilize opaque, bundled models that make it difficult for the buy-side to ascertain the totality of the fees they’re paying. At REDI, however, we make clear on our website how and for what we charge, providing an explicit rate card detailing our fees as well as the monthly rates for our a-la-carte services. We felt it was important that our revenue model be easily understandable by anyone who’d like to know.”

Nangalia believes the industry is on the cusp of a revolutionary period of change. He points to the fiercely competitive banks that have become much more collaborative over the past half dozen years, citing examples like Project Neptune, Symphony and the recent Reference Data effort. “Meaningful collaboration is achievable if the focus is on the client instead of the tactical business benefits alone,” he explains. “By doing so, we think there is a tremendous opportunity to not only do well business-wise, but also affect positive change for all market participants—investors, brokers, exchanges and vendors.”