We are excited to share an in-depth interview with Ed Dickson, the Head of Dealing at Winterflood Business Services. With nearly two decades of experience in the industry, Ed brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our dealing services. Under his leadership, Winterflood Business Services has established itself as a market leader, offering innovative products and ensuring resilience in all its dealing operations. In this interview, Ed shares his journey, and insights.

Background and Experience

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background and dealing experience?

A: After leaving university, I started working in the city. My career began at NatWest Stockbrokers, but my first dealing role was at Pershing Securities Institutional Outsourced Dealing Desk. After several years honing my skills there, I moved on to work with asset managers like Quilter and then Charles Stanley, where I served as the Deputy Head of Dealing. When Charles Stanley decided to move their dealing operation out of London, I saw an opportunity at Winterflood Business Services, a new and innovative division of Winterflood, a firm I had respected and admired for the 20-odd years of my career.

Q: How did you come to join Winterflood Business Services, and what attracted you to this company?

A: Winterflood Business Services was on a growth trajectory and needed someone to lead their dealing team to the next stage. Knowing how the Winterflood business was run and the values they hold dear, I knew it would be a good fit for me. It was a place where I could add value and use my experience effectively.

Q: Please can you give us a brief overview of your team?

A: I’ve been at Winterflood Business Services for nearly eight years, always as the Head of Dealing. I currently lead a team of six, with varying degrees of experience and specialities. The more experienced members are people I’ve had the pleasure of working with for many years, and I’m proud that we’ve managed to attract and retain such talent. Our most recent joiner is someone we have trained internally, which is a testament to our commitment to nurturing talent from within.

Dealing Services Overview

Q: Can you give an overview of the dealing services that Winterflood Business Services offers?

A: WBS prides itself on our commitment to Best Execution across a range of instruments. Our core services include trading in fixed income, ETFs, and Investment Trusts. Over the past few years, we have significantly expanded and strengthened our international coverage, providing a wide range of global ETFs and other international options. To ensure comprehensive service for our clients, we have partnered with key institutions globally, enhancing our ability to deliver superior dealing services across various markets.

Q: How do these services differentiate Winterflood Business Services from its competitors?

A: Our services stand out due to a combination of highly automated execution and a skilled dealing team that adds significant value to orders requiring a higher touch. This blend of automation and expert handling ensures we deliver superior service compared to our competitors.

Resilience is core to the WBS offering. The high rate of automation and the robust governance and security around our proprietary dealing solution instil high confidence in our service. Additionally, we operate multiple RSP hubs, allowing us to continue trading seamlessly in the event of a failure in one of them.

We have also invested substantially in our product offerings, developing them in response to client demand and proactively innovating to stay ahead of the curve. We continually seek improvements and collaborate closely with our customers and partners to elevate our services to the next level.

Q: What is the ‘value-add’ from the Winterflood Business Services dealing team?

A: Apart from our excellence in executing orders, we run our dealing team as though it sits within each of our client’s businesses. We encourage clients to use our open communication channels to discuss how they want to work an order, ask any questions ahead of trading, or understand the data around our post-trade best execution analytics. We address any needs the client may have.

Order Processing 

Q: The Winterflood Business Services Straight Through Processing (STP) rate is approximately 98%. Could you explain the benefits of having such a high STP and why it is important for dealing services?

A: A high STP rate ensures scalability, resilience, and superior outcomes while safeguarding client orders. It allows us to process a large volume of orders efficiently and accurately, reducing the risk of errors and delays. The small percentage of orders that do not process automatically are typically those that we intentionally divert for manual handling. This approach allows our dealers to provide personalised attention, ensuring we deliver optimal service and protection for our clients.

Q: How does Winterflood Business Services ensure a high rate of STP for client orders?

A: We achieve a high rate of STP by being connected to a wide range of market participants through our comprehensive market connections to liquidity.

High and Low Touch Orders

Q: How does Winterflood Business Services ensure that high touch orders are scalable in conjunction with low touch STP?

A: We handle a significant flow of orders, which puts us in a good position with the market. Our experience and relationships within the market help us facilitate favourable outcomes for our customers. Our technology holds flexible criteria meaning it is able to identify orders that may benefit from the higher touch dealing desk experience, allowing us to add value where it is most needed, such as with high-value or illiquid market orders which may require execution over several days.

Q: How does Winterflood Business Services handle each type of order, and what benefits does this provide to clients?

A: We handle limit orders electronically, manage all-or-none orders, and tailor our execution to suit our clients’ systems or profiles. This flexibility ensures that we can meet the specific needs of each client, providing a personalised and efficient service.

Range of Instruments and Innovative Products

Q: Winterflood Business Services trades a large variety of instruments. Could you elaborate on the types of instruments available?

A: We trade cash equities, fixed income, structured products, and funds.

Q: What innovative products, such as fractional equities, does WBS offer, and how do they benefit clients?

A: We offer fractional equities both in the UK and internationally, and we are hoping to expand to fractional-fixed income products. Additionally, our systems support portfolio modelling and services such as dual authorisation to safeguard clients' businesses. In the future, we aim to deal in exchange-traded derivatives and enhanced FX products.

Market Leadership and Competitive Edge

Q: In your view, what makes Winterflood Business Services a market leader in dealing services?

A: We’re a top 5 client of many market makers, which gives us goodwill and allows us to leverage relationships to improve outcomes, pricing, and liquidity. This often results in better-than-market prices for our clients which will be reflected in the Best Execution reports issued to them.

Q: What specific strategies or technologies have contributed to WBS’s market leading position?

A: Our in-house software (EOS) and development talent have enabled Winterflood Business Services to adapt quickly to industry and regulatory needs. A focus on resilience has been instrumental in maintaining our platform’s market-leading position.

Resilience and Reliability

Q: Resilience is a key aspect of the Winterflood Business Services’ service. How does WBS ensure resilience in its dealing operations?

A: Besides scalability through high automation, we ensure resilience at every stage of our trade life cycle. We run two RSP hubs in parallel and have the biggest market maker in the country in the same building, which we can utilise if necessary. We also have the option to pass all trades through our partner for international trading, UBS, should there be an issue with both RSP connections.  Clients can place orders through various methods, including directly with our dealing team. We also have an Operational Resilience team to ensure we follow industry best practices.

Q: Can you provide examples of how Winterflood Business Services has demonstrated reliability in challenging market conditions?

A: We've shown proven resilience when third-party providers have failed, in a recent example when a third-party polling engine failed, we were able to seamlessly switch across to our resiliency service. Our experienced dealing team has successfully navigated through major world events, maintaining reliability and client trust.

Client Experience and Feedback 

Q: How does Winterflood Business Services gather and respond to client feedback regarding dealing services?

A: We often receive positive feedback when interacting with clients, either to the dealers themselves or to our Client Relationship Management Team. Annually, we conduct a client survey, where feedback has been largely positive, particularly highlighting our dealing services as the jewel in Winterflood Business Services' crown due to efficient STP and our helpful, experienced dealing team. Clients also appreciate the wide range of instruments we can trade.  The dealing team are also happy to take part in client meetings themselves, whether this be review meetings or more specific sessions on Best Execution.

Q: Can you share any client success stories that highlight the effectiveness of Winterflood Business Services' dealing services?

A: We’ve had numerous success stories with our clients that really highlight the strengths of our dealing services across various aspects such as resilience, innovation, great service, and our wide range of products.

Fidelity are impressed that our partnership has significantly improved their customer dealing outcomes and platform resiliency feeding back to us that "Partnering together has allowed us to improve customer dealing outcomes and general platform resiliency, positioning Fidelity to further scale our business over the coming years." 

In terms of innovation, we recently enhanced our fractional dealing solution in collaboration with Fundment, whose CEO, Ola Abdul noted that “WBS’ commitment to fractional trading is exemplary and we are delighted to deepen our relationship with them. We look forward to continuing to collaborate and innovate for many more years to come.” 

In relation to our core dealing service, Al Ward, Head of Advisor Platform at Aviva, gave us some high praise. He said, “Our partnership with WBS helps our customers grow their wealth with investment exposure across a wide range of markets and industries, combining excellent customer service and execution quality.” This ties into the feedback we’ve received from Benchmark and Wealthtime who have both commended our wide range of products allowing them to feel supported as their respective firms grow.


Ed’s insights highlight the strength and innovation behind Winterflood Business Services' dealing services. With a robust combination of technology, expertise, and client-centric approaches, Winterflood Business Services' continues to lead the market, offering unmatched service and resilience. As we look to the future, we remain committed to investing further to stay ahead of industry trends and maintaining our position as a market leading and trusted partner for our clients.

If you'd like to discuss the interview or have any questions, please contact wbsenquiries@winterflood.com