News & Insights

2023: Connamara’s Year in Review

As we celebrate a quarter-century of Connamara’s journey, 2023 marked a year of remarkable achievements and continued growth. It was one of our best years ever, and we are thrilled to share our wins with our clients, customers, and colleagues.

Updating QuickFIX/n and QuickFIX/go, Providing Support

Throughout 2023, Connamara continued to demonstrate its technological prowess with consistent QuickFIX releases. We updated QuickFIX/n to have enhanced sequence number support and conversion between the FIX trading community’s JSON Encoding for FIX protocol. We also released QuickFIX/Go v0.9.0 with backing for Golang v1.21, weekday configurations, and MessageStore enhancements. 

We’d also like to highlight a moment this year in which our COO, Mike Gatny, hopped on last minute to help a QuickFIX support customer by completely writing a faulty application that a third-party team had designed. In a matter of hours, Gatny saved the day for the investment management company, going above and beyond to serve our support customers’ needs.

FIA Tech Onboards Users to Trade Data Network (TDN)

Connamara assisted FIA Tech in developing the Trade Data Network (TDN), which was released this year. The Trade Data Network is an initiative to provide a shared ledger of trading information to address the fragmentation and lack of transparency in exchange-traded derivatives (ETD) post-trade processing. The TDN initiative currently includes 16 banks/brokers, over 40 investment managers, and hedge funds with combined assets under management of over $37 trillion. FIA Tech also recently announced that TDN is now connected with the Singapore Exchange.
Read more about the innovative software solution for FIA Tech here. 

Our Continued Engagement With American Financial Exchange (AFX)

American Financial Exchange (AFX)

In 2023, Connamara’s involvement with AFX extended beyond traditional support. When the American Financial Exchange embarked on a transformative journey, Connamara’s software solutions were crucial in facilitating their sale to 7RIDGE, showcasing our collaborative approach and innovative technology. Furthermore, Connamara’s swift and decisive action during a critical production issue at AFX, despite its origin not being within our domain, exemplified our proactive stance and dedication to our clients’ success. Read the Success Story here.

Improvements to CME Futures Institute Trading Simulator

In enhancing the CME Futures Institute Trading Simulator, Connamara made significant strides. A performance improvement update culminated in a monumental achievement: the largest-sized challenge ever undertaken in the Simulator’s history. This enhancement phase unfolded seamlessly, devoid of any operational issues, ensuring a smooth and optimized trading experience for users.

Read the full Success Story here.

Professional Development: Conferences, Sponsorship and Meetups

After many years of support and attendance at conferences, Connamara formally joined the Futures Industry Association (FIA) to signify our commitment to actively engaging with industry leaders and innovators. Our sponsorship of The Innovators Pavilion at EXPO 2023 showcased our dedication to fostering new voices, ideas, and collaboration within the derivatives industry.

Connamara also attended the International Derivatives Expo (IDX) in London, the FIA Wrigley Baseball Outing, renewed our FIX Trading Community membership and attended their events, including the flagship FIX Americas Trading Conference, and attended the Clear Channel Wrigley Outing. These in-person events further enriched our connections and insights within the industry, fostering valuable relationships and exchange of ideas.

Watershed Receives FINRA Approval and Launches Auction-Style ATS Platform 

Watershed Technologies approached Connamara, seeking expertise to revolutionize exchange-listed derivatives brokerage. Leveraging our FIX expertise and market experience, we became their natural partner in for building their vision of an auction-style platform that blends the improved price discovery of traditional brokerage with the speed benefits of technology. Our agile development approach swiftly produced a proof-of-concept and a fully operational application within months. Our support extended to regulatory filings, contributing to Watershed’s FINRA approval and reaffirming our collaborative success.

Read the full success story here. 

Continued SOC 2 Maintenance and Support

In a landscape where compliance can be overlooked, Connamara prioritized our commitment to cybersecurity and safety. We spent 2023 constantly refreshing our compliance policies, updating our risk treatments to reflect new developments, and further educating our team members on safety issues. By prioritizing safety in 2023, we put cybersecurity in a first-class position within Connamara, so we could seamlessly meet our clients’ needs.

Empowering Our Team: Employee Engagement and Events

Launching our inaugural Employee Engagement Survey reinforced our commitment to nurturing a supportive work environment. Embracing remote engagement, our first virtual happy hour highlighted our adaptability and dedication to fostering a cohesive team culture. In the spring, Midwest-based Connamarians enjoyed a day of go-karting, dinner, cocktails, and team-building activities. 

Revamping Identity: Brand Refresh and Digital Transformation

An evolution beyond aesthetics, our July rebrand and website refresh reflected Connamara’s commitment to innovation. This transformation showcases our decades of work with a new Success Stories page and a visual diagram of who we serve.

Talent and Client Success: New Team Members

The addition of Amanda Peterson, CPA, as our Director of Finance infused our team with invaluable financial expertise and strategic guidance. Her wealth of experience and industry insights significantly bolstered our day-to-day and long-term operations, reinforcing our commitment to robust financial management and stewardship.

Furthermore, welcoming Jenny Deutschendorf as our new Human Resources Consultant expanded our capacity to deliver exceptional service. Jenny’s Connamarian-centric approach and dedication to fostering strong relationships underscored our commitment to prioritizing in-house success and satisfaction.

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