Vontobel's commitment to Transaction Banking: A business for local customer banks

Insights, Innovation, Technology
08.03.2019 Reading time: 3 minute(s)

Interview with Matthias Schiesser, Head of Sales & Account Management


What developments do you see in the market?

Matthias Schiesser: We have noticed that some providers are reducing their customer service and the number of employees involved in servicing banks. Certain tasks are outsourced to external companies. There are also providers that offer very few alternative trading venues and thus do not provide maximum liquidity. Competitive pressure has increased massively. We stand out from the competition by developing and operating our services exclusively in Switzerland. The entire value chain is covered within a single department. We are convinced that local service from a single source with full coverage will prevail in B2B business with institutional clients.

What services does Vontobel Transaction Banking offer?
Matthias Schiesser:
Essentially, we offer three services from a single source. These are Global Execution across all asset classes, Global Custody and our forex trading platform FXTrade. A B2B customer receives comprehensive support and, in addition to an attractive price, the latest technology paired with outstanding service. Our three main services are fully covered and developed by Vontobel Transaction Banking in the heart of Zurich. The Vontobel family, as a long-standing majority shareholder and guarantor of stability, gives us entrepreneurial independence. More than 90 years of experience as a service provider and securities dealer testify to our commitment.

Why does Vontobel want to grow in this competitive business in particular?
Matthias Schiesser:
Transaction Banking at Bank Vontobel is growing strongly. Vontobel focuses on services that are highly scalable and can be handled efficiently from one interface. We have invested a great deal of resources in the right people and in our platform. This technology can be used both for our customers and for various units, especially for Bank Vontobel's structured products. Thanks to our lean organization and modern infrastructure, we can offer flexible and cost-effective service packages. The customer is wholly served by an Account Manager for Transaction Banking services. We are proud to be able to serve more than 110 financial institutions throughout Europe.

What sets Vontobel Transaction Banking apart from the competition?
Matthias Schiesser:
With our Trading Access Desk, Vontobel Transaction Banking offers a central point of contact for the buy-side trading desk. Three experienced customer traders have recently been hired to handle all inquiries (multi-asset, middle-office inquiries etc.) in the daily business. All of the services we offer are produced and developed in Switzerland. Our platform is very flexible and allows our customer banks to strike the ideal balance between avoiding mistakes such as “fat finger errors” and one of the highest straight-through processing rates with the lowest latency (front to back). We implement tailor-made pre-trade checks for each customer. The customer has the option of defining various parameters for different types of flow (e.g. nostro, e-banking and asset management). A dedicated team of algorithmic experts, traders, and developers covers the entire spectrum. We measure the performance of our smart order router per customer and transaction and provide these detailed analyzes to our customer banks. Each of these analyzes is verified by an independent third party and far exceeds MiFID II requirements.

What are the differences between your algo strategies and those of other vendors?
Matthias Schiesser:
Our electronic trading team has advanced analytical tools and an appropriate understanding of the balance between risk and opportunity costs to help achieve the best results. We perform constant liquidity and toxicity checks and adjust our parameters in real time as needed. Vontobel offers 12 proprietary algorithmic trading strategies, multiday strategies (TWAP & TVOL) and trailing stops. With these latest developments, Vontobel was one of the first banks to introduce these strategies. In addition to the usual TWAP, TVOL and VWAP algorithmic trading strategies, Vontobel has implemented five other opportunistic strategies (SMART, Pace Now, Pace Mid, Pace Join, and Pace Passive) and three liquidity-seeking ones (Dark, Gray and Sniper).

Which markets and trading venues does Vontobel offer?
Matthias Schiesser:
Vontobel has recently added four alternative trading venues. The total number of alternative liquidity venues has now grown to thirteen, including MTF (Multi Trading Facility), OTF (Organized Trading Facility), Dark Pools and Systematic Internalizer. Liquidity, state-of-the-art platform technology, and 100% commitment in the B2B business are a matter of course for us. Vontobel's connection to various liquidity pools offers our customers further access to block volumes and complements our existing broad access to over 124 markets and liquidity venues in global markets.

Where do you see the business with customer banks in a few years?
Matthias Schiesser:
There will be a concentration on the most capable, agile and efficient providers. Smaller players will retire because the development costs are not worthwhile. Developing smart order routers, algo trading, and transaction cost analysis (TCA) as well as maintaining connections to the various stock exchanges and trading venues only pay off for the banks that operate this business with conviction and full commitment. You can count on Vontobel to continue to play an important role in the B2B business. Our sales team will be pleased to answer any further questions you may have and is at your disposal for further comments.



Matthias Schiesser

Head of Electronic Trading Solutions, Platforms and Services

+41 58 283 58 82




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