By Damien Jenner, Managing Director & Fixed Income Product Owner at Horizon Software-

The Polish economy has become a key European success story.

Despite the current global economic slow-down, Poland stands out as a European growth champion. Poland is one of the fastest-growing large economy among large countries at a similar level of development. With an ongoing rate of high growth averaging 4.2% per year between 1992 and 2019, Poland is steadily catching up with Western Europe and has become the seventh largest economy in the EU. Poland’s resilience was proven during the financial crisis of 2008 when it was the only EU country to avoid recession. As being the first beneficiary of EU funds, it has faced a strong domestic consumption, as well as a real boom in construction and real estate. And the economy is supported by a well-educated workforce.

Poland today offers an attractive perspective to investors as a growth champion.

In the recent years some prestigious investment banks have settled down in Poland for their offshoring operations, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. And as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the country is hoping to win the most jobs from London’s financial center versus Germany or France. Now financial firms are also starting to move more sophisticated work there such as risk management and product development, taking advantage of a well-educated workforce as well as office space and wages that are cheaper than in most of Europe.

With a current head count of 50 foreign companies and total capitalisation (as of 7 June 2019) of PLN 1,128,595.70 million, the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) may now be one of the largest and most developed equity markets in Central and Eastern Europe, according to FTSE.

Among the many development strategies recently announced, one of the WSE objective is to expand on new instruments and improve the quality of the derivatives market while launching innovative products as turbo warrants. The Exchange also recently announced it would focus on technological development and innovative solutions. The WSE offers attractive conditions to market members in order to stimulate participation in liquidity and is willing to collaborate with software vendors to raise to technology bar. And part of its 2022 strategic plan is to attract new investors to the market.

As Horizon Software recently entered the Polish market by selling its market making solution to major investment banks, we had the opportunity to work closely with the local Exchange and noticed a strong willingness to attract market makers and diversify the range of instruments including derivatives. In particular, the WSE remains in close cooperation with market makers and high-volume liquidity providers who receive an “attractive fee” to encourage them to drive liquidity.

Horizon Software is taking a key part in this derivatives market making development in Poland as it already sold its platform to investment banks in Warsaw, helping the market provide increased liquidity across the board. Beyond automated trading our intent is to offer a cutting-edge solution with increased scalability, advanced algorithmic capabilities and a strong expertise on derivatives.

Ex-HSBC senior manager, Damien Jenner is a veteran in finance with over 15 years in Global Markets.
Previously Head of Americas (Fixed Income IT) – Risk and P&L at HSBC in New York, Damien brings significant experience and knowledge to Horizon as the company continues to expand in new asset classes. Previous roles include positions at HSBC France, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Commerzbank. With his global and diverse credentials in quant analysis, financial engineering and interest rates derivatives, Damien is responsible for Horizon’s growth and success in the development of the Horizon fixed income electronic platform. Having started his career as a financial engineer in Global Markets with investment banks, he worked with some of the highest-level quant researchers in the industry, before delivering multiple flagship projects for Fixed Income IT as global team manager at HSBC. This all contributed to Damien’s strong background in handling front to back solutions and large-scale initiatives using cutting-edge technologies, a perfect fit with Horizon’s philosophy of providing clients with the very best in technology, functionality, and support.