93% of financial institutions rely on algorithms

The Financial Insights survey of head traders at 60 institutions measured the adoption and usage of algorithmic trading strategies. 93% use algorithms, but for less than 10% of trades on average. Among respondents who have used algorithms, 73% said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the results of their algorithmic trades. 80% of those surveyed use Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs), 73% work with Direct Market Access (DMA) products, and 67% have experience with trading algorithms. The oldest, most primitive trading algorithm is also the most popular, with half of respondents indicating they use VWAP, or volume-weighted average price, most frequently. Fewer than half (40%) report that they use customized strategies. 51% expressed confusion over the intricacies and applications of algorithmic trading strategies, suggesting the sell-side needs a more robust effort toward education if it hopes to increase usage.