Volume Weighted Average Price Optimal Execution

E. Busseti and S. Boyd

Manuscript, September 2015.

We study the problem of optimal execution of a trading order under Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) benchmark, from the point of view of a risk-averse broker. The problem consists in minimizing mean-variance of the slippage, with quadratic transaction costs. We devise multiple ways to solve it, in particular we study how to incorporate the information coming from the market during the schedule. Most related works in the literature eschew the issue of imperfect knowledge of the total market volume. We instead incorporate it in our model. We validate our method with extensive simulation of order execution on real NYSE market data. Our proposed solution, using a simple model for market volumes, reduces by 10% the VWAP deviation RMSE of the standard “static” solution (and can simultaneously reduce transaction costs).