What Is a Trading Desk?

By April 20, 2021 Trading
investor trading desk

A trading desk platform is part of an investment bank or financial services company where securities are bought and sold. The brokers and managers who work with the trading desk platforms deal with various types of financial assets including stocks, bonds, foreign currencies and commodities. These trading desk platforms are used to buy or sell either the actual assets or options that allow investors to purchase or sell them at a set price in the future. Larger financial institutions usually have a large trading floor with several trading desks, each specializing in a particular type of financial asset. 

The Benefits of Trading Desk Platforms

Trading desks (the platforms) were introduced in the 1970s after NASDAQ introduced regulations designed to add transparency and protect investors. In the decades since, governments around the world have introduced similar rules to prevent fraud and protect their financial sectors. Trading desks help investment banks to comply with these regulations because they ensure that all individuals who buy and sell securities work in a designated location and under close supervision.

Speed is another trading floor benefit. Putting managers, traders and brokers in one place ensures that they receive information in a timely manner. This allows banks to react to market changes quickly and observe trends as they develop. Money moves around the world extremely quickly, and the difference between profit and loss is sometimes measured in milliseconds.

Types of Trading Desk Platforms

The world’s financial markets are specialized and highly regulated, which is why banks usually have more than one trading desk to handle investment transactions. The trading desks you could expect to be used in a major financial institution include: 

  • Foreign exchange: Traders and brokers working at a foreign exchange trading desk engage in proprietary trading practices and deal with what are known as currency pairs. They compare the value of a base currency with the value of a quote currency to determine whether or not a trade is prudent.
  • Commodities: These trading desks buy and sell commodities including precious metals, agricultural products and fuels. 
  • Equities: These trading desks deal in stocks and shares and options to buy or sell stocks and shares. 
  • Fixed-income assets: This is the trading desk where assets that pay investors a fixed return are bought and sold. The most common fixed-income assets are government and corporate bonds.

What Goes on the Trading Floor?

In addition to the digital platforms used to buy and sell assets, another type of Trading Desk is required.  This is the physical piece of technical furniture that houses all the hardware needed to run these platforms.  They are also known as a Trading Desk.  Trading floors are typically wide open areas with each trader utilizing anywhere from 4 to 8 monitors each.  When a trading floor houses that amount of technology superior wire management is key.  That is when finding the proper trading desk furniture for your environment comes into play.  

Trading desks have become far less cluttered in recent years due to network computers slimming down or being located remotely.  This change has made the need for full base enclosures little to obsolete. That now allowed for the design of a more streamlined and open look on the trading floor.  Sightlines are very important, and workspaces are arranged to make sure that traders and brokers have access to the latest information and managers can see and hear what is going on.

Engaging in trades that can make people rich or leave them destitute is very stressful work, which is why trading desks furniture  is designed foremost with function and ergonomics while still keeping aesthetics in mind.   Many trading floors are also utilizing sit to stand trading desks allowing for the individual to stand or walk around while performing their function. This type of mobility has been known to alleviate physical and mental stress while increasing work performance. 

Technology usually becomes obsolete far more quickly than physical furniture. To account for this, trading desk furniture is designed to make it easy to swap computers and display screens while allowing for as little disruption to daily activities as possible. 

How do I Start a Trading Room Floor?

If you are setting up a trading floor, you will want to make sure that your traders and brokers are able to communicate seamlessly and work productively. Saraval Industries has been helping financial institutions to set up trading desks and floors for decades, and we work with our clients every step of the way from planning to implementation. 

Choosing a Trading Desk Furniture Supplier

Saraval Industries offers new and used trading desk furniture from prestigious manufacturers like Eurocraft, LaCour, Knoll, SBFI and Woodtronics, and we can even customize the pieces you choose to add features or match your décor.

 

To learn more about the products and services that Saraval Industries offers, you can call us on (516) 768-9033 or fill out our online contact and quote form.

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