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LMAX Exchange: Agile Challenge to the Status Quo

Automated Trader, October 2012 - LMAX Exchange is an exponent of the agile development methodology, but does that agility also extend to the business as a whole? In this issue’s Exchange Views, David Mercer, CEO, Andy Phillips, Head of Systems and Mike Barker, Head of Software, describe how LMAX Exchange has evolved both rapidly and sometimes in unexpected directions over the five years since its inception.

What were the origins of LMAX Exchange?
David Mercer: It was born from the Betfair new ventures team in 2007, which was trying to take maximum advantage of the very strong exchange technology they had already developed. To put it in perspective, Betfair matches 7,000,000 orders a day, which is more than all the European stock exchanges put together. So it was hardly a massive leap to take the decision to look at mapping that technology to an exchange for financial trading.

LMAX Ltd was the result of this decision and LMAX Exchange was launched at the end of 2010. Initially, it didn’t really get the traction it deserved, perhaps because it was directed only at a Betfair style audience, who would probably be best described as retail users. By April 2011 it was increasingly apparent that the product actually had a much broader scope than that, and that in terms of functionality wasn’t a purely retail product in the same way as the Betfair exchange.

So how did you respond to that?
David Mercer: We felt that we had a very fast, robust and scalable exchange, which would be appropriate to a much broader range of clients in terms of size and sophistication. I joined LMAX Exchange at the end of April 2011, and at that point we took a close look at who the target client segments should be, which products we should focus on, and how we should be structured internally. On the basis of that re- evaluation, we re-launched in September 2011. Although we are still relatively small, we have grown substantially, so that we now often match $3 billion in a day and $30 billion in a month. Liquidity has increased due to a growing number of General Members (in LMAX Exchange parlance market makers are General Members). We initially had three, but now have eight, and that will soon be in double fi gures, which we expect will deliver better top of book pricing and liquidity.

Our main traction in the marketplace currently seems to be with retail brokers. However, because of the exchange’s functionality and range of markets, we are also seeing a growing number of money managers, funds and professional traders. So we would now classify ourselves as a professional exchange rather than the direct to retail-only organisation we once were. Since late 2011 we have also been working on building out the product set, which now consists of more than 70 products. Obviously, growing the number of FX pairs has been a major part of that, but we’ve also added spot gold/silver and the major indices..…

View the remainder of the Automated Trader article online here or download as a PDF -

Media Contacts

For further information please contact:

LMAX Exchange (London):
Barbara Pozdorovkina T: +44 20 3192 2510 E:

About LMAX Exchange

Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms, LMAX Exchange is the leading MTF for FX, authorised and regulated by the FCA. Servicing funds, banks, brokerages and asset managers, LMAX Exchange delivers firm liquidity, anonymous exchange quality execution and a secure, transparent level playing field to all market participants, regardless of status, size or activity levels.

The LMAX Exchange open order book is driven by no ‘last look’ limit-order liquidity from top tier banks and non-bank financial institutions. Orders are executed in price/time priority with real time streaming continuous market and trade data published to all members. Offering a comprehensive range of instruments including spot FX, precious metals, commodities and equity indices, 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.

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

2015 Recognised as a Tech City Future Fifty company – Tech City UK Future Fiftymore

LMAX Exchange is part of the Future Fifty programme, focused on accelerating the success of high-growth tech businesses. close

FX industry awards:

2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best FX Trading Venue - (ECN/MTF) – Fund Technology and WSL Awards more

LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Fund Technology and WSL Awards “Best FX Trading Venue - ECN/MTF” for five consecutive years. The 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 four 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

2013 Best Execution Venue – Forex Magnates Awards more

LMAX Exchange has been awarded the Forex Magnates Awards “Best Execution Venue”. The awards are granted to the top firms in their categories and announced at the annual London summit. 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

The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) recognise excellence and innovation in the software testing and quality assurance across a variety of industries. close

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

2011 Innovative Programming Framework – Oracle Duke's Choice Awards more

Oracle’s Duke's Choice Awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology and are granted to the most innovative projects using the Java platform. close

LMAX Limited operates a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Registered no. 509778.