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NYBOT Builds a New Home

The New York Board Of Trade is building a sophisticated trading floor, preparing its return to lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The New York Board Of Trade - home to the world's leading coffee, sugar, cotton, orange juice and cocoa contracts - is beginning a more than $30 million project to rebuild a state-of-the-art trading floor in lower Manhattan, where it leased space at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

A traditional open-outcry exchange, which lost its entire 4 World Trade Center (WTC) trading facility in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, NYBOT has been operating out of its back-up facility in Long Island City, Queens.

In March, the NYBOT revealed that it chose Business Technology Partners - a New York-based IT consulting firm - and Constantin-Walsh Lowe - based in Hoboken, N.J., an expert in trading-floor relocations and project management - to work collaboratively on the relocation and trading floor project. Plans are to finish construction in late summer for an early September, or no later than Labor Day, move.

By signing a historic 10-year lease agreement with NYMEX in the World Financial Center, NYBOT will share space with the COMEX Division of NYMEX.

In total, the NYBOT will occupy 58,000 square feet of space, of which the trading floor will cover 13,100 square feet - similar to NYBOT's original trading floor - and contain 13 trading rings (or pits) and customized trading booths.

The first part of the multi-staged project entails rebuilding the COMEX trading pits. According to Patrick Gambaro, interim chief operating officer, the gold and silver futures and options rings were rebuilt as of Feb. 18, and copper will begin trading in the new environment in March.

Market-data distribution is one of the most important aspects. Inspired by Madison Square Garden's scoreboard descended above the court, NYBOT is going to hang a gondola in the middle of the trading floor that will drop down and support more information screens for the brokers. "We deployed it here at Long Island City, the members liked it," says Gambaro.

Instead of using Translux wallboards with red, green and amber light-emitting diodes, NYBOT is opting to go with 21-inch liquid-crystal displays, suspended over the trading pit, says Michael Diodata, a principal with Business Technology Partners.

In order to support this, Business Technology Partners and Constantin-Walsh Lowe are constructing a super-truss that will support two tiers of flat-panel monitors. A total of 700 NEC 21-inch monitors will display a combination of information from the price-reporting system, market data, cable TV and news.

According to Joe Teutonico, principal and partner at Constantin-Walsh Lowe, NYBOT chose SDS Market Watch Securities Dealing System from Securities Dealing Systems (SDS) along with a Troy video switch, also supplied by SDS to accommodate sharing of market-data services. "That will provide a cost-effective solution for market-data display," says Teutonico. Each trading booth will have a Pixelvision touch-screen tablet, a flat-panel PC and a Wizmer time-stamp system."We're trying to make each booth modular and self-contained so that they have the ability to get all the information, plus connectivity to the NYBOT back office, their firm's back office, any electronic-order-routing process and the Net," says Gambaro.

In an effort to give its 1,700 traders access to its Electronic Order Routing System (EOR) along with wireless applications, currently being used in Long Island City, NYBOT is building a wireless fidelity or WiFi network, also known as the 801.11b standard. "Traders are going to have hand-held devices to expedite trading and track orders," says Diodata. NYBOT was using the hand helds as early as April of 2001 in 4 WTC, says Gambaro, but then Sept. 11 came. It began using them again at Long Island City. Now, it will migrate both the EOR and wireless applications to the new facility.


Backing Up Data Centers

When the New York Board Of Trade's primary trading floor was destroyed on Sept. 11, it moved to a back-up disaster-recovery facility in Long Island City.

Come September, when it moves to the New York Mercantile Exchange's building at One North End in the World Financial Center, NYBOT will deploy triangulated data centers that back up data in three locations. That's because in July, NYBOT leased space at 39 Broadway, so now the primary data center is in Long Island City, with the back up site at 39 Broadway.

"All transactions that take place at One North End will be processed remotely in real time up at Long Island City and at 39 Broadway," explains Patrick Gambaro, NYBOT's interim chief operating officer.

A high-speed fiber-optic network, known as a Sonnet network provided by Verizon, connects or triangulates all three locations, says Joe Teutonico, principal and partner at Constantin-Walsh Lowe. Because a Sonnet network provides fault tolerance and self healing in the event of a failure in one of the legs of the network, it has the ability to reroute traffic via an alternate path, says Teutonico.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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