Buy-side Perspectives Issue 3 - Page 7

step. But Bellaro justifies it with the argument that if a buy-side firm cannot trust a broker, then that broker should not be on the broker list anyway. “We opened our electronic flow in order for our sell side coverage to see our flow. We wanted to be able to interact with available strategic liquidity at a broker if it existed. As a result some of our largest block trades have taken place as a result of this initiative. We can still be stealth on our electronic orders if needed but we find less need to do so currently.” Aside from such open collaboration with the sell-side, there are also opportunities to be had by partnering and collaborating with other players in the industry, both on the buy-side and the sell-side. One example of this is the Plato Partnership, a consortium of buy- and sell-side firms that aims to create a block trading utility. Deutsche Asset Management is one of the founding members. Deutsche Asset Management is keen to emphasise the importance of education on the trading desk. The company completed a major round of investment in its technology platform in 2015. Deutsche Asset Management has also been building up its operations in the US, where it has been active since 2013. The US trading desk is headed by Matt Montana, who was previously at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for 20 years. Bellaro reports that the company’s stakeholder interaction has improved in recent years due to better organisation and communication. In addition, Deutsche Asset Management’s program trading activities were given a boost when the company hired Vincenzo Vedder, a well-respected program trader. Bellaro estimates that roughly 40% of his notional value traded is now program traded. In addition, Deutsche Asset Management is building an Asian trading operation, which is expected to launch this Spring and is due to be headed by Andy Ho. “To be successful, you need resource and technology support,” said Bellaro. “We have to continue to reinvent ourselves to be successful. As the winds of change are coming it’s important to keep an eye on what’s new. Read the tea leaves and put a structure in place that will give you the advantage.” 7