Rei Kawachi Monex Securities General Manager of System Development Dept. II
Makiko Nozaki Monex Securities Senior Manger Global Product Delivery Group, System Development Dept. II
Rei Kawachi Monex Securities General Manager of System Development Dept. II
Makiko Nozaki Monex Securities Senior Manger Global Product Delivery Group, System Development Dept. II

Collaborating across differences: Language, culture,
time difference, and development methods

Interview with the System Development Department

Monex Securities and TradeStation

Since TradeStation became part of the Monex Group, Makiko Nozaki at Monex Securities has been leading product
management for Monex Insight, an investment information platform for our customers, while Rei Kawachi has been facilitating
the system development project, working closely with TradeStation. Let’s hear what they have to say.

Most Advanced Remote Working Team Even Before the Pandemic

Nozaki: Monex Insight was launched right after TradeStation became part of the Monex Group and was built upon TradeStation’s capabilities. Ten years have passed since the launch, and I see it has become quite mature over the last four to five years. Some members at TradeStation actually work in the Japan time zone to align with the system at Monex Securities. Our team is multinational and current members are from about ten countries, showing how truly diverse Monex Group is, although the diversity came naturally, not intentionally. We have learned that both systems and communications go smooth if we have a creative mindset.

For example, we have developed a system in which requests from customers through the contact center are automatically captured, connected to Slack, and translated for developers. Before this system, it was difficult for developers to hear directly from customers, due to language issues. This is a great invention that allows developers to get customer feedback firsthand. We are happy with this system. 

Because our team works from both Japan and the US, we were working remotely even before the pandemic. To be honest, work from home during the pandemic made it even easier for us (laugh). Through work from home, we have gained more stability and flexibility, which are also strengths of our team.

Challenges in Developing US Equity Margin Trading Service was Rewarded at the Launch

Kawachi: We launched the US Equity Margin Trading service in January 2023. It took us roughly a year and half to develop the service. Previously, customers had to place trading orders for US equities through TradeStation’s system. For this service, we endeavored to take a new approach - connecting a US equity margin trade system developed in Japan to the TradeStation system in real time.

What made the project complicated was that we had three players - an IT vendor in Japan, TradeStation, and Monex Securities. From the experience of previous projects, we could anticipate what the outcome would be if the development had only been between Monex Securities and TradeStation. With the IT vendor joining the team, however, we saw a different approach to system development and experienced communication challenges in English and Japanese. Even minor changes took a long time to complete as both the vendor and TradeStation had to talk through Monex, with translation and time spent on solutions. The challenges took a toll on all members. We really appreciate our IT vendor who supported us along the way. These challenges ultimately worked to unite us all and helped us focus on the project down to the very last minute, though always anxious about the progress we were making. To our relief and excitement, no major issues have been detected after the release of the system, proving that the development was a success. There is no doubt that we gained new insights through this experience.

In Japan, we tend to focus on not having system glitches, while in the US, the focus is on the recovery time objective (RTO), an indicator of how much time is required for recovery of the system or the service. Because of this difference, the team in Japan is more inclined to use matured technologies to play it safe, whereas TradeStation is always open to emerging technologies. Working with the TradeStation team made us keenly aware of the difference, encouraging us to explore new possibilities.