Executive Summary

By most accounts, 2016 was an unusual year.

The financial services sector began to absorb the wide-ranging impacts of Brexit, negative interest rates and the Trump presidency. As 2017 is unfolding, more twists and turns surely lie ahead.

How these events will affect the financial landscape depends greatly on the evolution of technology and the direction market regulation takes in the months ahead. Trading desks across asset classes have already begun to prepare for the changes to come.

This report outlines the total budget of buy-side trading desks around the world, how it's shifted year over year and the allocation across asset classes and different technology needs.


From June through November 2016, Greenwich Associates interviewed 270 buy-side traders across the globe, working on equity,fixed-income and foreign-exchange trading desks. Topics included trading desk budget allocations, trader staffing levels, OMS/EMS/TCA platform usage, and the impact of market structure changes on the sector.