This is why it has become instrumental for brokers to secure liquidity providers in what has rapidly become a cutthroat industry.
Indeed, brokers are consistently demanding low prices for liquidity services. However, this is no easy feat and a fairly difficult decision given the wide range of factors that can influence business.
In 2021, brokers are looking more so than ever before to reconcile their liquidity needs while at the same time helping improve trading conditions for their clients.
This is hardly a novel concept, though one that has taken on a heightened layer of complexity during the era of COVID.
Rising Stakes in 2021
Brokers need access to a seamless flow of liquidity. Any delay or interruption has historically led to sizable consequences for brokers. This includes an exodus of traders or worse, a failure to fill orders that presents its own list of issues.
For example, brokers that operate primarily as market makers are more likely to benefit from this approach. In such instances, the decision of choosing the right liquidity provider is of large importance given the margin for error.
There are several brokers who stand to benefit from a single provider approach. Given the scaling costs associated with onboarding multiple liquidity providers, it makes sense for some brokers to focus on a single provider.
A broker relying on a singular source of liquidity means that they are reliant on that venue. This includes any potential issues or disruptions the liquidity provider may face.
This strategy is far from a one-size-fits all approach. For one, the cost could be higher of working with multiple liquidity providers.
Is Onboarding Multiple Liquidity Providers the Right Call?
For some brokers, the idea of relying on multiple providers is just as incompatible as focusing on a single venue for liquidity needs. This is a decision each brokerage must make in their best interests.
That being said, focusing on a diversified stream of liquidity does have several inherent advantages if they can be afforded.
With history as a precedent, some brokers are already looking ahead to shoring up operations and flow to ensure the best execution and practices. There are a number of ways to achieve this, though the most prevalent is simply diversifying one’s reliance on providers.
In a departure from previous practices, most brokers have come to rely on multiple liquidity providers. This strategy does present several benefits.
Brokers are able to effectively shop for the best price, focusing on providing the lowest prices for clients. A multi-faceted approach to liquidity is more likely to yield fewer constraints, improved prices, and often tighter spreads.
Moreover, the optics and branding of any brokerage are essential for the longevity and survival of any operation. Reducing such risks for a broker can pay huge dividends should the worst happen.
Ultimately, brokers have to decide what is in their best interests. An increased reliance on a diversified slate of liquidity providers comes with more cost to the broker.
For brokers relying on a single provider, the decision of choosing the right venue could be one of their most impactful decisions of 2021.
As the world looks to open up and brokers working to secure new business, nobody can afford interruptions of operations or temporary lapses.