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Looking for a Quant? We've Got an App for That

Most of you have probably heard about video on demand and publishing on demand. Well, now you can have a "quant on demand," or at least a custom-designed algorithm that does quant-like work if you're a trader.

As part of a new, client-centric approach to execution consulting called UBS Quant on Demand, the giant Swiss bank announced today it was launching a new algorithmic trading tool called “UBS QUOD Studio.”

At its core, the UBS QUOD Studio is an iPad® app that allows the bank's algorithmic trading team members to collaborate with clients in order to rapidly design, simulate and develop execution strategies for trading in the securities markets.

“Our aim is to turn the process of product development and execution consulting on its head – making our platform client-centric and more immediate,” said Owain Self, Global Head of Algorithmic Trading at UBS. The first tool they're launching is the quant on demand studio. Self says it delivers a next-generation, rapid algorithmic development framework. He adds that, over time, it will deliver a series of highly sophisticated and automated quantitative, consultative and personalized solutions to clients "on demand."

Algorithmic Trading

Using a proprietary interactive iPad app, the UBS algorithmic trading team works with clients to design and build custom strategies that fit their specific workflow, view of the market and individualized objectives – a strategy they can use the next day.

Phil Allison, Global Head of Cash for UBS, said: “What makes QUOD Studio unique is that UBS is custom fitting our technology to meet client needs, not vice-versa. Traders can simulate performance of algorithms before they build them – so they can try 'what if' scenarios to see how the outcomes may change when various components and triggers are changed.”

Direct Execution

A traditional custom algorithmic development process takes weeks to achieve and consumes significant resources, so clients and brokers are less likely to undertake projects to build strategies that may not have broad, long-term applications. UBS QUOD Studio allows users to create strategies opportunistically and change their minds often. They can design strategies that serve a very specific short-term need, or strategies that fundamentally alter the way they trade in certain circumstances. This level of speed and flexibility has never been offered before. With the UBS QUOD Studio iPad app, a process that used to take months – requiring quantitative analysts and developers to code thousands of lines of commands and engage in weeks of testing and adjustments – is now possible in 24 hours.

This platform will be made available immediately for UBS specialist-driven client use in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa. It will be made available across the Asia-Pacific region later this year.

While a UBS spokesperson refused to say specifically what this meant in terms of hiring, he did point out that the quant on demand tool is just the latest in an evolutionary process at the bank and that the entire technological trading environment in financial markets is a rapidly growing area that will be employing more quant and financial tech skilled employees in the future. In other words, quants and fintech employees will also be in demand for some time to come.

AUTHORFred Yager Insider Comment

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