The action really started Jan. 3," says Ian Domowitz, CEO, ITG Solutions Group (booth 2609), referring to the date on which his business division was founded with the closing of two acquisitions. Those acquisitions - Macgregor, a trade order management technology provider, and the Plexus Group, a provider of transaction cost analytics - were combined under the ITG Solutions Group umbrella along with ITG's Analytical Products and Research group.
"The goal of our network was to offer an array of open and flexible solutions that would cover everything," Domowitz says. Covering everything, according to Domowitz, involves integrating advanced execution management tools directly into the OMS for sophisticated buy-side traders. "So, at this stage, part of our overall integration strategy is actually to bring those two together," he says.
New York-based ITG, Domowitz says, supplies the execution management experience through its work on the broker side of the business, while Macgregor furnishes the OMS piece to the marriage. "The overall goal will be a complete rewrite of the OMS blotter," he says. "But, as you might expect, that will take a while."
The first step, slated to begin midsummer, will involve integrating ITG's existing Triton execution management system into the Macgregor OMS. On the analytics side, Domowitz says, clients are clamoring for greater integration of pre-trade content directly into the OMS blotter. The company is responding by integrating its Logic pre-trade toolkit into the Macgregor OMS, slated for release in mid-June.
Also expected this June will be an expansion of ITG's TCA service through Macgregor. As part of the integration, ITG will rewrite the data extracts - the capture of transaction data that allows for reporting on algorithmic trading, not just by vendor but by strategy also.
ITG currently offers algorithms from approximately 15 providers, or 256 components (algorithm suites), to its clients - yielding around 1,000 different trading-strategy options.
On the Plexus front, Domowitz relates, the goal is to move the paper-based analytics provider onto ITG's technology platform. "Going forward, Plexus clients will get the same interactive access and drill-down capability as the dealer reports that TCA provides," he says. Asset management clients of the company can expect to see progress on that front by the beginning of the third quarter.
So have these recent acquisitions quenched ITG's appetite on the M&A front? Not quite. Though he denies having any such plans in the works, Domowitz admits that more deals could be in the company's future. "The possibility of inorganic growth is certainly always on our minds," he says.
On the analytics side, future acquisitions could include better optimization and performance attribution platforms, while on the OMS side, accounting platforms might be added down the road. "We're also interested in partnerships - both at the distribution level and integration level - as much as we are in any acquisitions at this point," Domowitz adds, "especially with respect to things such as commission accounting, which we see as a coming issue given the unbundling pushing the industry."