LONDON (HedgeWorld.com)–FXall founders have long known their online foreign exchange trading system had the possibility of gaining traction, but 2004 proved the staying power of electronic routing.

Mark Warms, global head of sales and marketing for FXall, said that electronic trading has made foreign currency trading more widely available to the hedge fund community and that in turn hedge funds are one of the fastest growing segments of their business, accounting for roughly a quarter of the trading platform’s volume.

In 2004, that volume grew to US$4.9 trillion, which represents a gain of 104% from the previous year. Last December the platform recorded a record trading volume–surpassing for the first time US$500 billion and also surpassing daily volume records with days trading totaling more than US$30 billion.

FXall’s growing profits have helped the company reinvest in the electronic trading platform and to improve the functionality for hedge funds and commodity trading advisers, said Mr. Warms.

Competition in electronic foreign exchange trading is heating up with electronic markets such as HotSpot FXi, COESfx, RealTick and Refco (see ) wooing hedge funds.

It’s all about liquidity and work tools, according to Mr. Warms. FXall offers a number of work-flow tools that assist in automated trading strategies. Its system is connected to 53 banks and allows traders to access streaming prices through the firm’s QuickTrade offering.

FXall’s expanding business has led to the hiring of two senior foreign exchange specialists and the opening of a Boston office. The new office will deal with the growing asset management sector that has helped deepen the liquidity of the platform and its popularity.

Melissa McCarthy joined the Boston office as director of customer marketing and relationship management. Previously, she was vice president and senior relationship manager for State Street Corp.’s Global Link trading platform.

Joedy Tran also was appointed as a relationship manager and also was at State Street, as a business development officer responsible for sales, relationship management and developing product rollout strategies.

In a news release, FXall officials said they are evaluating a number of financial centers around the world as locations for new offices and are looking for “first-class individuals” to run these offices to work with existing and prospective clients.

Besides London and Boston, the company already has offices in New York, Tokyo and Singapore.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.