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FX Algo trading at GlaxoSmithKline: Helping to add value for stakeholders.

It has three global businesses that research, develop and manufacture It has three global businesses that research, develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. Fabio Piga Fabio, please tell us a little about your day to day responsibilities at GSK and what your job involves.

I joined GSK 2 years ago as treasury front office manager and I am responsible for all risk management execution activities relating to cash management, foreign exchange and interest rate glaxosmithkline trading, and ensuring the delivery of a high-quality front office function to the business.

I work closely with various areas of the business to support payables, receivables and inventory management and enhancement of the Treasury Management System TMS and glaxosmithkline trading processes.

FX Algo trading at GlaxoSmithKline: Helping to add value for stakeholders.

How would you describe the key objectives and guiding principles of your trading desk? We cover the full FX exposures as soon as they arise, and we make sure there are no open risks for GSK.

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We will start soon hedging more forecast flows and introducing new execution strategies and hedging programmes by pairs. How much importance does GSK place on increasing automation and continuously working to improve its own trading infrastructure? GSK treasury is making significant changes to its use of technology.

We are moving to system that allows more automation and gives the team more time to analyse the market and focus on greater cost reduction. I am personally very keen on increasing automation and reducing manual interaction with the orders being executed, so that the traders can spend more time on tasks that add value i.

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GSK like many large firms has dealing teams currently working from home Did GSK suddenly decide glaxosmithkline trading adopt algorithmic FX trading or was it a more gradual process? I would say it was a quite fast process. I introduced algo trading in my first 4 months here.

I spent those initial months glaxosmithkline trading GSK currency portfolio, execution style and processes in order to gather a better understanding of how the company operates. I had to make sure a switch to algo trading would not be disruptive for the team, the system or the existing processes. In the end, it was a success and senior management has been very supportive and happy with the change.

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What are your main goals when undertaking algorithmic FX trading and what types of FX orders are usually a good fit for it? The main goal of GSK algo execution is to reduce execution costs by capturing spread and achieving cost savings versus risk transfer whilst minimising market impact. Some of the other benefits of introducing algos included the efficiency versus traditional voice execution, and transparent TCA.

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Post-trade TCA has great value of course but how important is the ability for you to see how an algorithm is performing in real-time and how can that be achieved? I believe that real-time TCA is essential, particularly for orders with a longer time horizon, which are most likely to earning bitcoin from scratch impacted by changing market conditions.

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Real time market data such as TOB spreads, liquidity, execution venues, economic data releases can be used for a better decision-making process and to adjust the strategy under changing market conditions. Few algo providers have invested heavily in real time TCA and we started using them more and more, especially those that prioritized ease-of-access via Bloomberg.

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What is important is making sure you know your algo before interacting with it; most third generation adaptive algos are actually designed to read markets in real time, understand glaxosmithkline trading changes and then formulate dynamic strategy accordingly.

The question is do you think you can do better than a machine?

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TCA is key for us to understand algo performance and our performance too. We use a combination of pre trade, real time and post trade TCA to make trading decisions and this has glaxosmithkline trading to be beneficial and improved our execution costs.

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Initially we used the post trade TCA only, but then started adding pre trade analysis to get a better view of liquidity, volumes before trading and adjust to changes whilst the order is executing with real time tools. What types of FX algorithms are your trading team currently employing and what factors generally influence this?

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We tend to be extremely glaxosmithkline trading with our algorithmic orders, opting for less impact and more spread savings. Of course, the type of FX algorithm a trader decides to use depends on benchmark, order size, currency pair, liquidity, and urgency of the FX order.


We want to be dynamic and able to adapt execution if market condition changes. An example has been the COVID situation; on some days we realised that passive algos were not performing as expected due to the poor liquidity and high volatility hence we chose a more aggressive type of execution, in order to get the order done and close out the risk.

How willing are you to let algos do their job without micromanaging many aspects of the execution process? This is true especially when market conditions glaxosmithkline trading not normal; this is where I believe the trader can still add some value vs the algo. The main goal of GSK algo execution is to reduce execution costs by capturing spread and achieving cost savings versus risk transfer whilst minimising market impact What do you see as the key benefits that algorithmic FX trading delivers for GSK?

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The main benefit of introducing algorithmic FX trading has been the reduction of execution costs vs mid, which are significant. Not only do we not pay the premium of the risk transfer price, we also save against the mid-price. Algo trading makes even more sense now because banks no longer warehouse risk for very long. Other benefits have been the access to a wider liquidity pool, full control over execution, transparency of execution with detailed TCA, reduction of time spent on a deal and the ability to analyse large amounts of data in order to conduct price discovery and identify optimal glaxosmithkline trading.

Have your algos performed as expected during the recent Covid crisis and have they proved resilient under sometimes quite volatile conditions?

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With greater market volatility, wider spreads, less liquidity beyond top of the book, executing via a pure passive strategy has proved challenging.

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