Latest Blog Posts

No time for sentimentality

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Jan 06, 2015
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Whether it’s Windows 8, OS X 10.10 or Android 5, modern life beats to the drum of big software releases. Since any new EU regulation includes an automatic review clause, financial markets legislation is already following a similar pattern. With the ink barely dry on ESMA’s latest technical advice and consultation for MiFID II, it’s not a question of if we’ll see EMIR II or MiFID III, but when. As regulation becomes more complex and increasingly overlapping, a proper programme management plan that deals with the interdependences between MiFID, MAD, EMIR, Short Selling, Benchmark and any other European regulation becomes more important. read more

Did 2014 Bring Everything We Expected?

David Lewis, SunGard

Dec 30, 2014
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Returning to work in January will bring the inevitable questions enquiring as to whether you had a good Christmas or not and whether, of course, you got the presents you were hoping for. Each year I have to admit that for some inexplicable reason Santa has once again failed to get my new motorbike down the chimney, and once more I have had to make do with socks and a scarf. Does this make me cynical or lacking in hope for better things to come? Of course not – for I work in securities finance, and that requires resilience and an unswerving belief that things will indeed get better next year. read more

French Regulator Issues Algo Trading Notification Requirement

Juan Pablo Urrutia

Dec 24, 2014
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A little over a week ago, the French Autorite des Marches Financiers (“AMF”) published guidance on certain notification requirements relating to the use of algorithmic strategies for trading in certain French securities. The notification requirement comes into force on 1st January, 2015. Based on conversations we held with the AMF late last week, we understand that they consider this new rule to be a precursor to the algorithmic trading strategy notification requirements included in the overhaul of the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID II”). read more

BOUTIQUE ASSET MANAGERS BENEFIT FROM AGILITY IN ASEAN MARKETS

Paul Compton, SunGard

Dec 22, 2014
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Boutique asset managers are seen by investors as a smart way to tap into investment strategies that might otherwise prove difficult to access. In the Association of South East Asian Nations1 (ASEAN) equity markets, which tend to be smaller and more locally focused than other markets in Asia Pacific, a combination of having local knowledge and a relatively concentrated asset pool to invest in gives boutique firms a dexterity that larger asset managers struggle to replicate. This will be important when identifying investment targets benefiting from the ASEAN plan to establish enhanced trade and economic integration in 2015. read more

Buy-Side Risk Trends in 2015: Building a Better Risk Culture

Laurence Wormald, SunGard

Dec 22, 2014
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Having weathered the worst of the post-crisis period, buy-side firms nonetheless continue to face a challenging environment, marked by reduced margins and increased operating costs, as well as a tsunami of regulatory requirements. With lower interest rates fueling investors’ insatiable appetite for alpha, managers have continued to seek broader asset class diversification, which in turn requires more sophisticated data reconciliation and risk management. Indeed, mandates such as Form PF, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and UCITS have compelled firms to sharpen their compliance skills as never before. read more

Slave to a label?

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Dec 18, 2014
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ESMA has just published a report on high-frequency trading (HFT) activity in EU equity markets. It’s good to see the regulator producing an empirical study on such a hotly-debated and emotive topic. Taking a sample of European stocks, and applying two possible definitions of HFT, ESMA estimates that between 24% and 43% of value traded is done by HFT. This sounds like a nice catchy headline, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Under its requirement to provide technical advice to the European Commission to specify the definition of HFT, ESMA proposed two different options in the MiFID II consultation paper; neither of those is applied in this particular study. read more

FragPro all wrapped up for Christmas

Steve Grob, Fidessa

Dec 15, 2014
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Following on from my last blog on the subject, the guys at Fidessa Labs have now made the latest version of the Fragulator available. Despite its name FragPro is still free, and yet it contains a bunch of cool new features. These include the ability to view stocks or indices by order book or venue owner (e.g. LSE Group including Turquoise, or all Euronext venues), track dark pool volumes and a download capability too. My personal favourite, however, is what the guys called the ‘Pacman’ feature whereby you can turn different venues on and off simply by clicking on them in the pie chart key. read more

How Much Does My FX Trading Cost?

Minor Huffman, SunGard

Dec 12, 2014
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Recent changes in the regulation of foreign exchange (FX), bonds and over-the-counter (OTC) products bring challenges to traders, corporate treasurers and portfolio managers when evaluating the performance of their trading decisions. For many firms, the question, “How much does my FX trading cost?” is a challenging one to answer. Unlike equities, pricing for most FX transactions, along with bonds and OTC derivatives, contains no explicit transaction costs. Market makers bundle transaction costs into the bid/offer spread charged to customers, often making it difficult to unbundle the charges to see the exact price paid to execute the trade. read more