Fast Growth – LMAX Exchange
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 protected]
About LMAX Exchange
LMAX Exchange Group is a dynamic, visionary and award-winning financial technology company. Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms, LMAX Exchange is leading the transformation of the global FX industry to transparent, fair, precise and consistent execution. Operating one global marketplace for trading FX, metals, indices and commodities, LMAX Exchange delivers open access, transparency and a level playing field to all market participants.
LMAX Exchange Group offers all clients the ability to trade on LMAX Exchange central limit order book, driven by streaming no ‘last look’ limit-order liquidity from top tier banks and non-bank financial institutions. Servicing funds, banks, brokerages, asset managers and proprietary trading firms, LMAX Exchange offers an anonymous, regulated, rules-based trading environment, order execution in strict price/time priority, and access to real-time streaming market and trade data, enabling all market participants to control execution quality and total trading costs.
Offering a comprehensive range of instruments and ultra-low latency execution, LMAX Exchange operates a global FX exchange infrastructure with matching engines in London, New York and Tokyo.
LMAX Exchange - a unique vision for global FX.
Financial technology awards:
2017 Best FX Trading Venue - (ECN/MTF) – Fund Technology and WSL Awards more
2016 Best Trading & Execution Technology – HFM US Technology Awards more
2013 Best Overall Testing Project – The European Software Testing Awards more
2011 Best Trading System – Financial Sector Technology Awards more
FX industry awards:
2018, 2017, 2013 Best Execution Venue – Forex Magnates Awards more
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best FX Trading Venue - (ECN/MTF) – WSL Awards more
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best Margin Sector Platform – Profit & Loss Readers' Choice Awards more
2014 Best Infrastructure/Technology Initiative – WSL Institutional Trading Awardsmore
Business growth awards:
2016, 2015 Winner – Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 more
2016, 2015 Winner – Deloitte EMEA Technology Fast 500 more
2015, 2014, 2013 Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK – The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 more
LMAX Exchange Group is the holding company of LMAX Limited and LMAX Broker Limited.
LMAX Exchange is a trading name of LMAX Limited, which operates a multilateral trading facility, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 509778) and is a company registered in England and Wales (number 6505809).
LMAX Global is a trading name of LMAX Broker Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 783200) and is a company registered in England and Wales (number 10819525).