FIX Initiatives

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The table below provides background on the various initiatives underway within the FIX Trading Community™.  If you are interested in learning more details about or getting involved in any of the below initiatives, please contact the organisation’s Program Office.

Name of Initiative Purpose Latest Status
Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) To further assist firms with their CAT implementations specifically looking at where FIX coverage is necessary to support the various CAT reporting requirements whether it be through existing tags or the creation of new tags. The initial meeting for this group identified two areas of focus:
• Transferring of FDIDs
• FIX to CAT Mapping Exercise
Subgroups will be formed to address these to areas of interest. Contact the FIX Program Office to get involved in this effort.
Cybersecurity To discuss current issues and challenges on this front, review processes and procedures, and leverage the community to develop best practices on how best to handle security concerns. The initial FIX-over-TLS (FIXS) standard was produced for using the Internet Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol with FIX.  Follow link in the first column to access the standard.  The group is now looking at better ways to authenticate firms at the application level.  A new initiative, FIX Authentication (FIXA), brings a number of benefits, including improved security, greater flexibility and ease of use as well as removing out-of-date methods.  The current thinking is to leverage HTTP Authentication which is widely used on the Internet today, and introduce it as a new framework with authentication schemes for FIX.  Contact the FIX Program Office to get involved in this effort.
Digital Currency / Blockchain To educate the FIX community on cryptocurrency, with a particular focus on how cryptocurrencies are being traded as well as how the trading life cycle is impacted by cryptocurrency. A draft version of a set of FIX for cryptocurrency best practices is currently being developed and will be shared with the larger community once ready for wider review.
Execution Venue To standardise the reporting of the executing venue and create a set of guidelines to provide greater transparency for buy-side clients about where and how their orders are executed by their brokers. An updated version of the ‘Execution Venue Reporting Best Practices’ was distributed (see link in first column) and is focused on adding further clarity around Last Capacity and Liquidity flag definitions, as well as mandating all executing venues, including broker crossing and alternative trading systems, to supply valid Market Identifier Codes (MICs) on their executions.  These changes were made to comply with MiFID II requirements.  Going forward, the group has expanded to include all firm types to work through some of the issues and will also globalise the initiative working with representatives from Europe and Asia.
FICC To oversee the multi-asset class activities and strategic considerations of FIX with regards to the Derivatives, Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange areas especially given many of the common and overlapping initiatives in the pre-trade, trade and post-trade space. Market consolidation, regulatory changes often involve multiple asset classes, and portfolio diversification increases the need for a comprehensive view. Several sets of FIX best practices have been developed in both the fixed income and foreign exchange arenas.  These can be accessed via the link to our guidelines page in the first column and under the ‘Fixed Income’ and ‘Foreign Exchange’ headers you will see the various guidelines listed.  Additionally, recently a MiFID FICC Advisory Subgroup was developed to work alongside existing FIX MiFID working groups to review content and standards that are being created in the organisation and for the group to review from a FICC perspective.
FIX Orchestra To address the work of generating machine readable rules for FIX Specifications to improve operational efficiency and the value of the FIX Protocol by reducing the time and effort it takes to onboard, certify, and deploy new FIX connections with counterparties. Participants of this group are currently defining the requirements for creating a machine readable FIX specification.
High Performance To focus on specific aspects where fit-for-purposefulness of FIX for high performance financial transactions can be improved. The working group which is organized into subgroups focused on specific aspects where fit-for-purposefulness of FIX for high performance financial transactions can be improved, continues to meet.  Subgroups include Application layer, Session layer, FIX Simple Binary Encoding (SBE), ASN.1 and Google Protocol Buffers.  SBE and FIXP were moved to GitHub to add participation outside of the FIX Trading Community.
IPO To create a practice that would bring the new issue order placing process in line with the same procedure used for secondary market orders and trade fills. See IPO recommended practices by following the link in the first column and scrolling down to ‘IPO’.  A successful proof of concept sending an electronic order between a buyside trading desk and a sellside syndication software was completed.  Next steps to include keeping the momentum going, increasing awareness in all jurisdictions (EMEA, US, Asia), determining what other work needs to be done and encouraging the sell-side to participate.
MiFID II / MiFIR To explore how to effectively address the many challenges impacting global post-trade processing to encourage the development of increased transparency, reduced costs and greater efficiencies in this space. The following set of subgroups were developed:

  • Transparency – pre- and post-trade transparency requirements including scenario modeling and data considerations for consolidated tape, leveraging related work from the FIX Trade Data Standardisation Working Group
  • Best execution– documentation of best practices for best execution reporting, leveraging related work from the FIX TCA Working Group.
  • Microstructure– implications of the requirements for algorithm testing, pre-trade controls, monitoring, tick sizes, OTR and market making regimes, leveraging related work from the FIX Risk Management Working Group.
  • Order data and record keeping– analysis of the data requirements for order record keeping, working on best practices, adoption of standards and implementation implications.
  • Clock synchronisation– implications and implementation considerations, leveraging related work from the FIX Interparty Latency Working Group
  • Reference data– ensuring the community fully understands the requirements and implications for reference data and is engaged in relevant industry discussions on common standards
  • Trade & Transaction Reporting– address the post trade reporting process across the transaction life cycle and try to create and adopt common standards, for post trade reporting and transaction reporting.
  • Commission Unbundling– provide guidelines as to how the use of FIX and standards can provide a solution with particular attention to the funding of an RPA via trading.

For additional details, please visit the link to the page in the first column.

Pre-Trade To develop best practices and guidelines for pre-trade i.e. increasing transparency of IOIs, actionable IOIs and regulatory impacts. An extension pack, initiated by the FIX EMEA Business Practices Sub-Committee in collaboration with AFME-IA, introduces an IOI categorisation schema which seeks to provide a common taxonomy for defining IOIs in terms of their price, underlying liquidity and, for client natural IOIs, their temporal availability.  See link to extension pack in the first column.
Post-Trade To discuss and address specific regulatory technical standards (RTS) items and provide guidelines and best practices to meet these regulatory requirements. The group published a standardized and detailed set of guidelines for a number of different asset classes and workflows:  Common Framework, SEF, FX, FI, Futures, Equity Swaps, Qualified Vendor, Equity Allocations.

See link to our guidelines page in the first column and under the ‘Post-Trade’ header you will see the various guidelines listed above as well as the original equities version.

Current developments are underway to further extend FIX into the post trade FX space; track post transaction payment status via FIX; and communicate clearing and settlement status via FIX.

Risk Management To provide information around risk management and encourage firms to incorporate best practices in support of their electronic trading platforms.

A set of best practices was developed to provide guidance on risk management best practices in global electronic trading for institutional market participants. The objective is to provide information around risk management and encourage firms to incorporate best practices in support of their electronic trading platforms across a range of asset classes.  Please see link to the best practices in the first column.

Risk Mitigation Symbology To increase the availability of ‘listed’ test/spurious financial instruments in the industry.  As FIX Protocol adoption for post-trade matures, increased demand will follow for allocations and if so would therefore require test symbols that can be allocated and cleared without the transfer of monies. A set of best practices is currently being pulled together.  The group received its first futures test symbol from the CME (including a rules of engagement), which will be available for pre-market testing for futures.  Toronto Stock Exchange has granted a test symbol.  Regulation will likely require more test symbols to be utilized by a number of exchanges.
Transaction Cost Analysis To create a standardised set of guidelines for understanding the true cost of transactions among brokers and liquidity destinations. Phase II (not officially underway yet) of the project will expand the document to include TCA perspectives on Futures and Listed Options, Foreign Exchange and Fixed Income.  In early 2014, a set of best practices for equities was released to develop industry-wide terminology and methodology for TCA equities, from pre-trade to post-trade analytics.  This was recently updated by the IA (Investment Association) – see link in first column.