Harrington Star, January 2014 - Latency is a big deal for trading in FX and other financial instruments for that matter. At LMAX Exchange fast and consistent execution is really important for our clients - as are our unique vision of a level playing field for buy and sell side, transparency and fairness. Speed of trade execution is really important but it isn’t everything. There’s no point being the fastest exchange on the planet if it takes you for ever to get business ideas to market.
Fundamentally business change and business growth are inextricably linked – like two sides of a coin or space-time if you’re into that sort of thing. Growth both necessitates and stimulates change right across the business. These days business agility and business velocity are largely dictated by technical considerations whether they relate to people, process, platform or product. At the end of the day the key question is how long it takes to deliver a new business idea from concept to cash.
Some organisations try to optimise the ability of IT to support the business through top-down initiatives such as enterprise architecture, alignment exercises, strategic roadmaps and the like. While these things have their place there is another way. Here at LMAX Exchange we believe that our mature agile process is the real key that allows us to change and grow at a phenomenal rate.
The first principle is really a matter of perception. For us there is no gap between the business and IT. Everyone regardless of their role has the mind set “we are the business”. After that every detail of our process is optimised for quality, knowledge sharing and velocity – in that order. It may seem counterintuitive that velocity is last but if you think about it makes sense.
Quality is king and no-one does quality like us. LMAX Exchange probably has the most sophisticated automated testing and continuous delivery set-up on the planet, and our developers and testers live and breath test driven development. We also do test driven configuration and have put a lot of energy into release automation. Achieving a high level of quality requires real investment and as a result we actually have more test code than functional code, but lack of quality really kills velocity and the later in the process that defects are found the more it hurts.
Quality helps to improve velocity and so does knowledge. Knowledge also helps to improve quality in kind of a crazy love triangle. Knowledge includes the domain, the requirements, the architecture and the code. We do a lot to promote knowledge sharing like pairing, swarming and constant rotation both within and across teams and departments. This also provides variety and opportunities to learn and grow leading to happy and fulfilled individuals which is also great but that’s another story.
We improve velocity in many ways like swarming and automation but some of the most interesting are the things we don’t do. We don’t bother estimating and we don’t expend energy in tracking progress in terms of effort. Our business stakeholders understand and trust our developers, and vice versa. It is more important that stories are delivered when they’re ready – which is usually pretty quickly anyway.
We release new software every two weeks, so we can get business changes into production very quickly. That means we can get business feedback and iterate business concepts in the same sort of time-scales. Being able to get ideas out there quickly means that we can experiment with lots of new business initiatives until we find and perfect those that work.
This year we’ve launched two additional execution venues (LMAX InterBank and LMAX Institutional) and we’ve done a lot of work to improve our architecture and performance. At the same time we’ve turned out a stream of new business features and some amazing internal tools.
We certainly couldn’t have achieved so much if we hadn’t also driven production issues virtually to extinction. We truly believe that optimising for quality and knowledge sharing is the intelligent way to drive growth through business agility and business velocity.
KEY IDEA: QUALITY AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING DRIVE GROWTH THROUGH BUSINESS AGILITY AND BUSINESS VELOCITY
Growth both necessitates and stimulates change across the business. Here at LMAX Exchange we believe that our mature agile process is the real key that allows us to change and grow at a phenomenal rate. Every detail of our process is optimised for quality, knowledge sharing and velocity – in that order. Quality, knowledge and velocity drive each other to varying degrees. We believe that optimising for quality and knowledge sharing is the intelligent way to drive business agility and business velocity.
For further information please contact:
LMAX Exchange (London):
Barbara Pozdorovkina T: +44 20 3192 2510 E: email@example.com
About LMAX Exchange
Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms for three consecutive years (2015, 2014 and 2013 Sunday Times, Tech Track 100), LMAX Exchange is the leading MTF for FX, authorised and regulated by the FCA. Servicing retail brokers, funds, corporates, asset managers and banks, LMAX Exchange delivers a unique vision for global FX trading - a transparent, neutral, level playing field for all market participants, regardless of status, size or activity levels.
The LMAX Exchange OPEN order book is driven by streaming, no ‘Last Look’ limit order liquidity. LMAX Exchange offers a range of key products, including spot FX, precious metals, commodities and equity indices, with complete pre and post-trade transparency and order execution where no ‘last look’ is standard. Orders are executed in strict price/time priority.
LMAX Exchange – the emerging benchmark for global FX.
Business growth awards:
2016, 2015 Winner – Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 more
Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 is a ranking of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the UK, based on percentage growth of fiscal year revenues over the last four years. close
2015, 2014, 2013 Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK – The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 more
LMAX Exchange has been recognised amongst the UK’s fastest growing technology firms for three consecutive years. Tech Track 100, compiled by Fast Track annually and published by the Sunday Times each September, lists Britain’s 100 fastest-growing private tech companies based on sales growth over the last three years. close
2016, 2015 Winner – Deloitte EMEA Technology Fast 500 more
The Deloitte EMEA Technology Fast 500 pre-eminent technology awards program is a ranking of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa's fastest-growing technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over three years. close
FX industry awards:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best FX Trading Venue - ECN/MTF – WSL Institutional Trading Awards more
LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Wall Street Letter Institutional Trading Awards “Best FX Trading Venue - ECN/MTF” for four consecutive years. WSL awards honour excellence among providers to the institutional trading industry. close
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best Margin Sector Platform – Profit & Loss Readers' Choice Awards more
LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Profit & Loss Readers’ Choice Awards “Best Margin Sector Platform” for three consecutive years. These awards are voted on by the readers and recognise excellence within the foreign exchange industry throughout the previous year. close
2014 Best Infrastructure/Technology Initiative – WSL Institutional Trading Awards more
LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Wall Street Letter Institutional Trading Awards “Best Infrastructure/Technology Initiative” in 2014. WSL awards honour excellence among providers to the institutional trading industry. close
Financial technology awards:
2016 Best Trading & Execution – HFM US Technology Awards more
The HFM US Technology awards recognise hedge fund technology providers that have demonstrated exceptional customer service and innovative product development in the past 12 months. close
2013 Best Overall Testing Project – The European Software Testing Awards more
2011 Best Trading System – Financial Sector Technology Awards more
The FST Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the field of information technology within the UK and EMEA financial services sector. close
LMAX Limited operates a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Registered no. 509778.