Turret phone systems still have a place in smaller investment firms

Originally Published in Financial Post

Since the pandemic, next-generation, mobile-enabled Voice Over IP (VoIP) systems have achieved credibility in the financial sector, as large banks and financial services firms have adopted them in response to the pressure to enable remote work. With a growing cohort of young, tech-savvy traders, future-focused banks invested in deal desks that integrate a multitude of apps for their traders to communicate, monitor the market, execute trades, and conduct research, from anywhere.
Most smaller firms, even those who pride themselves on their use of cutting-edge financial technology (Fintech) solutions and applications, have not abandoned their analog turrets in favour of portable or soft clients – which is surprising. The turret phone brings together private wires, direct dials, and open channels to offer instant and reliable communication channels between traders,
brokers, and other markets, which is essential in time-sensitive, high-frequency trading environments. In other words – it’s still a powerful and essential tool.


What is keeping small financial firms from upgrading their turret systems?
Complex trading workflows

In boutique and modestly sized investment firms, the workflow leading up to and beyond a transaction is more multichannel in nature. There’s an emphasis on high-involvement pre-sales, with traders having frequent communication with office staff and individual clients, as opposed to conducting transactions all day. So, while the turret phone might give them a competitive edge on speedy trades, it’s just one asset among a range of communication channels and applications.

The high cost of upgrading to next-generation platforms

The trader turret is an extremely niche product with very few providers, and there is not much incentive for the incumbent service providers to compete with one-another in terms of price. In large financial institutions, the huge volume and value of the transactions that happen over their turret phones throughout the day means any service interruption would be extremely costly. So, they would rarely risk considering a lesser-known provider to save on costs. As a result, the main turret providers don’t experience any market pressure to make soft client turret systems accessible to smaller organizations.

The Beanfield Trading Floor Voice Solutions are ideal for small financial firms

In June 2022, Beanfield completed the acquisition of the complete range of Eclipse trading communication products from Wesley Clover Solutions. Beanfield’s Trading Floor Voice Solutions include a cloud-based turret system with the most compact fold-and-go hard turret on the market, as well as a soft client option. As a result, Beanfield is now capable of assisting financial services customers in transitioning from outdated communication solutions to cutting-edge, cloud-based systems. By embracing this digital transformation, customers can reduce risk, complexity, and costs associated with legacy infrastructure while working towards their digitalization objectives.

What sets Beanfield’s turret system apart is their ability to integrate it with the office phone system and a UCaaS platform, to truly provide a comprehensive communications suite that allows traders to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, clients, and trading partners. Beanfield’s Hosted Turret solution interoperates with both our Trader Link Network (or TLN): a vendor neutral SIP network of ARD and HOOT private wires that connects the Canadian financial markets from coast to coast, and our Cisco Broadworks UCaaS backbone – all this, at a fraction of the cost of other next-generation turret systems.

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