The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) effort was initiated in 1992 by a group of institutions interested in streamlining their trading processes. These firms believed that they, and the industry as a whole, could benefit from efficiencies derived through the creation of a standard for the electronic communication of indications, orders and executions. The result is FIX, an open message standard controlled by no single entity that can be structured to match the requirements of each firm. The benefits are:
From a business perspective FIX provides institutions, brokers, and other market participants a means of reducing the clutter of unnecessary telephone calls and scraps of paper and facilitates targeting high quality information to specific individuals. FIX provides a foundation for straight through processing.
For technologists FIX provides an open standard that leverages the development and production efforts of the securities industry. FIX allows for the efficient creation of connections with a wide range of counter-parties.
Openness has been the key to FIX's success. For that reason, while encouraging vendors to utilize the standard, FIX has remained vendor neutral. Similarly, FIX avoids over-standardization. It does not demand a single type of carrier (e.g., it will work with leased lines, frame relay, Internet), nor does it require a single security protocol. It leaves the technology decisions to individual firms.
FIX standardizes the language and paradigm of a securities transaction. FIX is comprised of message types such as a 'quote request' or 'new order' that mirror the steps of the trade cycle. The cycle begins with the 'indication of interest' message and extends through the '3rd party reporting' message. Standardized fields of data are the building blocks of the messages. These building blocks allow the movement of data from the beginning to the end of the transaction. The development of trading and analytic systems based on FIX creates a true foundation for straight through processing.
FIX is now used by a large group of firms and vendors. It has clearly emerged as the preeminent global messaging protocol. FIX has grown from its original buyside-to-sellside equity trading roots and exchanges, ECNs and other industry participants now use FIX. This Guide was created to share the progress developed in the equity side of the market with the fixed income community and other parts of the securities industry and to enable firms to quickly and efficiently implement the use of FIX into their firms.
The FIX website is the main source of information, discussion, and notification of FIX-related events. We look forward to your participation.