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 InitiativePurposeLatest Status
BrexitThe impact of Brexit on how the cross-border trading between UK and EU in financial services and capital markets is still unknown. However, there will be an impact on potential trading scenarios which will impact transaction lifecycle in relation to reference data, transactional data, and standards.Identified values for Shared Trading Obligation identification to be used in conjunction with OrderAttributeType (2594)

Recommended FIX tags for the purpose of MiFID II post trade transparency and STO determination

Co-ordinating with the MIFID II Reference Data Working Group to discuss the impact of difference of data upon the likely scenarios of divergence from the UK and ESMA FIRDS Database.

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 group currently has two areas of focus:

FIX to CAT Mapping Exercise – Identified FIX extensions needed to address requirements related to data reporting required by the CAT NMS plan.

Identified a standardized use of FIX to communicate Firm Designated Identifier) FDIDs across different market participants. FDID is a unique identifier for each trading account required to provide data to the central repository.

Consolidated Tape (CT)The EU Commission and ESMA are pursuing the creation of a Consolidated Tape. Since March 2019 the Commission and ESMA have hosted a number of discussions and roundtables to which FIX has been invited to respond.ESMA has produced a Consultation Paper (CP)which poses a number of questions around the provision of a consolidated tape and the technical standards that could be adopted. The use of Market Model Typology (MMT) has been featured during the discussions and it is therefore important that FIX responds to the consultation on the areas which are relevant to the provision of clear and unambiguous standards.  FIX response to the ESMA CP.
CybersecurityTo 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.
Digital AssetThe Digital Asset Working Group (formerly the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain WG was created to develop best practices for the electronic trading of digital assets (Cryptocurrencies, Cryptoassets, STOs) using the FIX family of standards.The group has produced drafts of best practices document for buy-side to sell-side trading, and between market participant to trading venue. The group is participating in a thought leadership role in the ISO TC68/SC8/WG3 Second tier registry for digital currency codes. Taking a lead role in providing a forum for communication between various tokenization standards and is actively promoting and supporting industry efforts to create codes of conduct and digital asset classification schemes. FIX has a modern web based technology stack using JSON and SBE encoding operating over FIXP, the FIX high performance session layer, which compliments the cryptocurrency trading venues(exchanges).
Execution VenueTo 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.

Recent protocol extension proposal provided requirements for additional liquidity indicators related to orders requiring a firm order commit prior to execution.

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.

FICCTo 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.  Additionally, 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.
FIXatdlThe FIXatdl (previously known as the Algorithmic Trading working group is looking to improve and update the FIXatdl standard which enables algorithmic strategy providers to release specification to clients in a computer readable XML format. Objective is to add new functionality to the current version, FIXatdl 1.1 to address new features and changes which have been proposed by several sell-side firms and vendors of OMS platforms which support FIXatdl.A new release of FIXatdl 1.2 is envisioned. New features to be considered include:

  • Additional Clock control capabilities
  • Grid orientation for the layout of Panels
  • Support for multi-leg-type orders such as pairs and spreads
  • Hooks into EOMS variables to allow for more comprehensive strategy and parameter filtering, or for use in validation and state rules. (E.g. Region, Country, Security Type, Side, Order Qty, Ord Type, Time in Force, etc.)
  • Global parameter, GUI control, panel and rule declarations. (Make them global so they can be defined once and then be referenced within the Strategy and Panel definitions.)
  • Fine-tuning of GUI control sizing, spacing and alignment
FIX OrchestraTo 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.The Group is working on:

  • FIX Orchestra Technical Specification RC5
  • Updates to this Release Candidate will include:
    • Development of tools
    • Improvement to FIX Orchestra Editor “Orchid”
    • Inclusion of documentation editor in markdown
High PerformanceTo 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.
MiFID IITo discuss and address specific regulatory technical standards (RTS) items and provide guidelines and best practices to meet these regulatory requirements.The Best execution and Reference data MIFID II subgroups are currently revisiting:

  • Best execution – revising the Recommended Best Execution Practices document to ensure it becomes fit for purpose to the wider Non-Equity markets
  • Reference data– ensuring ongoing issues in relation to Data Quality, CFI Codes, Automated DVP Solutions, SIs, recent statements from ESMA & FCA in relation to MIFID Transparency Regime are addressed.
Market Model Typology (MMT)The FIX MMT data standard is an efficient operational solution for fulfilling trade flagging requirements raised by regulators.

MiFID/MiFIR RTS 1 and RTS 2 (Level 2 regulation) prescribe the adjunction of so-called trade flags embedded in outgoing market data messages. Trade flags provide standardised explanations about the type of price formation, the level of pre- and post-trade transparency that led to executions. FIX MMT supports the unambiguous identification of all execution types, irrespective of who is the original data producer. Consistent trade flags are of paramount importance to investors for assessing the quality of the price information they receive.

Consistent codes get disseminated efficiently across the market data value chain without the need of any local re-interpretation. MMT has been designed to support straight-through processing in data feeds, databases and display services.

FIX MMT data standard delivers higher data quality and lower processing costs.

The current version 3.04 of MMT data standard has been in place since MiFID/MIFR entry into force early 2018. More than 75% of all equity execution messages in Europe currently convey MMT flags. Latest update of the MMT FAQ on:

  • Best practice for flagging give-up trades further to ESMA Q&A update
  • Best practice for flagging trades with “pending price”/”PNDG” status
Monitoring, Onboarding and Software Testing (MOST) To raise the quality and reliability of platforms operated by FIX Trading Members. Decreasing the time to market and reduce costs related to outages and software issues in production.The group will create a catalogue of tools & methods for Monitoring, Onboarding and Software Testing of FIX-related applications. Discuss open-source and commercial solutions available for the members. Create technical guidelines related to reliability of platforms.
Post-TradeTo 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 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.  Please click here to view the guidelines.

The group has recently published a standard for periodic future payment management which aims to increase efficiency and reduce errors.  Please click here to view the recommended practices document and here to view the related extension pack.

RepoTo develop and maintain a standard and a detailed set of guidelines and message specifications for automating the full life cycle of Repos via FIX, including post trade, asset servicing, collateral management, regulatory reporting through the full life cycle and eco system of Brokers, Clients, Custodians and Service Providers.The group will identify the FIX messages per each categorisation of Repo components. A gap analysis will be conducted to identify any existing FIX messages already in place and gaps where new FIX messages is to be introduced.
Securities LendingTo develop a set of messages to support automated processing of securities lending.  The focus will be on cleared securities lending but consideration will be given for extensibility to non-cleared activity. The messages are intended to support loans collateralized by cash and non-cash securities and to support practices by global CCPs that cleared securities lending transactions.The group is in the process of generating an entire set of security lending messages for both pre and post trade. The group is working in sync with the SFTR Working Group identifying the gaps and mapping the workflow/fields required for securities lending.
SFTRTo assist firms as they meet the challenges posed by the European Commission’s introduction of the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR).  Identify the data, operational and reporting issues created by the introduction of SFTR, and guide the industry in associated implementation and best practice.The group has completed its review of the data-fields for reporting SFTs to SFT repositories for each type of SFT. It is now in the process of looking at reporting rules, generic consequences to the workflow of each SFT type, a gap analysis of FIX Tags is being undertaken in conjunction with the Repo and Securities Lending Working Group and will be shared with the group in the coming months.
Transaction Cost AnalysisTo 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.