Last year Liffe spun off its IT division as a separate company that would be able to offer consultancy and hosting services. Mark Hemsley, chief information officer of Liffe's technology business, is now holding up a number of innovative IT projects as evidence of the company's expertise.
Key challenges faced by the company include migrating trading platforms from the Paris and Brussels Euronext exchange, which acquired Liffe last year, and selling its Liffe Connect trading platform to other stock exchanges.
The company is also playing a key role in supporting a joint venture with US exchange Nasdaq, which will create a single stock futures market. It is due to begin trading in June.
"We have supplied Liffe Connect to Nasdaq for matching," said Hemsley. "We are putting in a number of new network connections to new customers and connecting them to existing Liffe customers."
Hemsley is also overseeing the transfer of the Brussels and Paris derivatives exchanges to the Liffe trading platform. The migration is due to be completed by early next year.
Last year Liffe signed a deal with the Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange to supply its Connect electronic trading system. Liffe's technology business is now working with Japanese IT services provider Fujitsu to install Connect in Tokyo. The platform is expected to go live by early next year.
The trend for stock exchanges to sell their technology assets gained momentum last year when the London Stock Exchange announced that it was considering launching a subsidiary, fee-earning consultancy, as a spin-off from its IT department. It later signed an £11m deal to supply its proprietary trading platform to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
However, Hemsley believes Liffe's experience will give it an edge over other exchanges that are trading software and consultancy services. "I think we have a significant lead on other organisations who are starting in this market," he said.
Liffe's IT projects
- Transfering the Paris and Brussels Euronext exchange to its Liffe Connect platform
- Working with Nasdaq to create a single stock futures market
- Installing Liffe Connect in the Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange.