>>What have you seen change in the past few years in terms of what is needed and what you provide?
A couple of things have changed. There is now recognition from major exchanges that co-location is important to their client base. They understand that traders want proximity to their matching engine. We’re also seeing increasing fragmentation in the markets – first in the securities world in the U.S. and now in Europe with the creation of multi-lateral trading facilities (MTFs). We’ll be seeing this in Asia soon as well. With all of the fragmentation, what’s important again is the network-rich offering. If your firm does market sweeps or smart order routing, it’s critical that you be in a location where you don’t have a latency disadvantage.
How have 9/11 and the recent economic crisis affected your way of doing business?
9/11 had a tremendous impact, of course, on everyone. In our case, we were very focused on September 17, 2001, when we were reconnecting networks and service providers and addressing the major outage in Manhattan as the markets prepared to re-open. Post 9/11, what really hit home for companies was the importance of eliminating the possibility of single points of failure and putting disaster recovery plans in place. There was increasingly demand for a location that was geographically distant from the primary site.
In regard to the current economic crisis, we’ve seen an uptick in business and acceleration of projects. Those firms that haven’t been exclusively employing electronic trading are recognizing the ability to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Firms are also increasingly interested in pre-trade and post-trade risk monitoring. With all of the M&A activity, that tends to lead to a good upsurge in demand for our services as well.
What is your outlook for 2009?
In 2009, we are expanding our presence in Asia beyond Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. In addition, we’re extending our Equinix Financial Exchange offering to Amsterdam, which is a good location for firms trading between London and Frankfurt. This will supplement our Chicago, New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt offerings.