Improving foreign exchange

Improving foreign exchange
Document type
Corporate author(s)
Towers Watson
Towers Watson
Date of publication
1 June 2010
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Business and management
Material type

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This paper addresses what policies and procedures institutional investors should adopt to ensure that they are receiving good execution value for their FX transaction costs. Investment advisors have a fiduciary obligation to obtain the most favorable terms in executing securities trades for their clients. For portfolios that hold foreign investments, this responsibility extends to foreign exchange (FX) trading. Institutional investors routinely conduct trade execution studies to monitor the implementation effectiveness of their managers, but until recently FX trading effectiveness has operated below the best execution “radar screen.” After all, the FX market is a worldwide, decentralized over-the-counter (OTC) financial market that does not require traders to publish rates to an exchange. This has enabled FX trading to exist as a largely invisible business that may result in poorer-quality execution for investors. 

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