Latest Blog Posts

Tour de force

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Jul 09, 2014

The current MiFID II consultation is infamously complex, covering 800 pages and 800 questions to be answered in 8 weeks. If that in itself is not enough of a challenge, ESMA invited all market participants to Paris this week for a two-day Tour de Force, aka public hearing. Be it equity, non-equity, pre- or post-trade transparency, SIs, OTFs, trade reporting, third country regimes, liquidity measures, best execution, investor protection, commodity derivatives, position reporting or position limits, there was hardly a topic left out of the discussion. read more

Big Data takes the stage

Karl Rieder, GFT

Jul 02, 2014

Financial services firms are all grappling with similar operational, risk, and regulatory challenges, and trying to meet these challenges with tight budgets and resources. What can they do to gain a competitive edge, to innovate, and to grow? At the same time, bank management, clients, and the world have their attention firmly fixed on whether the banks will ‘get their houses in order’. So how can organisations respond with decisive strategic direction and invest in new programs of work with confidence? This week, I’ll have the pleasure of addressing a room of data, compliance, risk, and IT executives at the at the ‘Big Data & Analytics for Financial Services’ conference in London. read more

Re-thinking post-trade

Steve Grob, Fidessa

Jul 02, 2014

If you watched our last video you will have seen how firms are re-engineering processes rather than just trying and do the same things more cheaply. Post-trade represents an ideal area for this type of thinking as it is dominated by old proprietary technologies and unnecessary duplication. On top of this, the move to T+2 for European equities in October will reduce by a third the time available to prepare the trade for settlement. Whilst this will do much to reduce systemic risk in the system, it seems like many firms still haven’t fully realised just how much impact this will have on their daily operations. read more

The long arm of the IRS

Matt Grinnell, Fidessa

Jul 01, 2014

The effective date for the long-anticipated US FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) is here and the impact on investors’ pockets could be substantial. After today wallets may be a little lighter for those hit with the 30% withholding tax on their US sourced payments on things such as dividends, interest and insurance premiums. Even as the markets continue to stabilize and the darkest times seem to be behind us, it is foolish to think that this date will pass by without some feeling queasy about a potential 30% drop in their income. read more


Gary Stone, Bloomberg Trading Solutions

Jun 30, 2014
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The topic of market data and its relationship to the national market system is defined under the 1975 Amendments to the Securities Acts. Market data is the oxygen of the financial markets—the lynchpin for forming a national market. In the 1975 Amendments, Congress established a process that resulted in the formation of the Securities Information Processor(s) and the consolidated tape. It required brokers to provide immediately and without compensation quotation and transaction information to the exchanges, which were then mandated to consolidate the data and disseminate it to the public. read more

The one thing you must know about dark pools and HFT

The Banker's Umbrella

Jun 27, 2014
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You will have noticed the lack of blogging activity recently. It’s not that I’ve been lazy, it’s that I’ve been pretending to be a real financial writer. Some of you will be aware that I am writing a book on high frequency trading and dark pools. It’s all very grown up, I have a publisher and everything (Wileys) and I am doing my best impersonation of a real writer by being woefully and consistently behind on deadlines. I won’t reveal too much about the book just yet, some of you already know the exact title of the book, those of you who don’t. read more

Higher hurdles for smaller firms?

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Jun 24, 2014

Direct market access (DMA) forms a significant part of the market given the regulatory hoops and high fixed costs that a full exchange membership implies. While today large trading firms may let their existing memberships to smaller trading firms, similar to a company sub-letting spare office space, the current MiFID II discussion paper suggests that the well-established DMA model may face some threats. For example, ESMA wants DMA providers to apply to their DMA clients the same level of systems and controls which they themselves are subjected to by the exchange (discussion paper p. read more

Oh, for some goal-line technology!

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Jun 19, 2014

With the new technology in place for the World Cup in Brazil, long and unsettled disputes about whether the ball was in or out are a thing of the past. Discussing the scope of MiFID II with some market participants, I really wish we had an equivalent technology in financial markets. MiFID II states that certain firms dealing on their own account are exempt from MiFID II, while explicitly excluding DMA users from this exemption (MiFID II Article 2(1)(d)). Does this ‘exemption from the exemption’ imply that all DMA users across the globe fall within the scope of MiFID II? Thinking extraterritoriality, this would force a large number of non-EU trading firms active in EU markets to get registered under MiFID II – or perhaps go back to good old voice trading. read more