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What’s the future for buy-side trading?

Michael Chin
Co-Head of Trading, Refinitiv

Buy-side trading is changing across many fronts. Our experts discuss technology and automation, regulation and how traders can operate with confidence across the entire workflow.


  1. Changes in buy-side trading are highlighted in three video interviews with our experts.
  2. Traders are no longer solely responsible for execution but are relied upon to generate money-making ideas.
  3. With fewer resources and more demands, traders need tools that will help them operate across the entire workflow.

The responsibilities of the buy-side trader continue to evolve at a rapid pace. So what’s driving this change?

The growth of automation, changes in workflow, the need to adapt to the latest technology, new regulations, and the demand to live in a multi-asset class world are just a few of the factors.

And the change is not exclusive to any one area of the globe. It’s universal, creating waves of change across the map.

To understand what this means for the future, we’ve asked our thought leaders to give their insight on the global developments and changes in buy-side trading.

Smarter humans, smarter machines

The role of the buy-side trader continues to be augmented because they are now expected to make key decisions using sophisticated trading tools and technology.

The trader is no longer solely responsible for execution but relied upon to generate money-making ideas.

Also, as hedge funds and asset management firms look to become more efficient, traders who in the past had asset-specific expertise are now faced with becoming knowledgeable and proficient in multi-asset trading.

More than just regulation

New regulations continue to reshape the trading landscape that buy-side traders are expected to operate within. But today’s challenges extend even further.

The buy-side trader is now being asked to do more with less while also dealing with cost pressures, regulatory analysis of fees and the changing market structure — a situation that presents new tests for the trader in their search for liquidity.

The buy-side trading desk is evolving

Trading trends are advancing, and part of this progress is how desks incorporate alternative data use into their trading strategies.

Additionally, many of the skills that have not existed or been required on the buy-side trading desk are now becoming essential, including having quant-based and data science knowledge.

Combined with new technologies, such as trading automation and algo wheels, this change may lead buy-side traders to discover that it’s not enough to simply specialize in one area; they may also be expected to be experts in multiple disciplines.

The future is here now and today’s traders must find that competitive edge.

With fewer resources and more demands, traders are searching for tools that will help them trade smarter, faster and with greater confidence across the entire workflow.

Learn more about our trading solutions

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