Latest Blog Posts

Blockchain Is Dead, Long Live The Blockchain

Chris Skinner

Dec 06, 2016
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I’ve noticed a great deal of schadenfreude related to the R3 bump. Lots of people saying that blockchain is past its sell-by date, R3 are bust and distributed ledgers are dead. I think it’s related to the journalists who, having delighted in bigging up blockchain big time for the past two years are now relishing the idea of trashing it but come on guys, blockchain is far from dead. It’s just entered the trough of disillusionment. For those unfamiliar with that term, it’s from the Crossing the Chasm book that defined the hype cycle of technologies. read more

R2-D2 - The Ultimate Digital Assistant

Steve Grob, Fidessa

Dec 02, 2016
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It’s always great to attend Franklin Templeton’s unique innovation summit which took place for the third time this week. It brings together all sorts of new FinTech players, established firms, thought leaders and, crucially, outsiders to provide valuable insight into the direction of our industry (the fact it’s in Fort Lauderdale at this time of year doesn’t hurt either!). This is especially true when you realise that our industry is based upon the ultimate in digitisable assets – information – and the rate of growth in its size and diversity will only increase. read more

The Regulation Holiday Effect

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Nov 30, 2016
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Global harmonisation of financial regulation is high on the wish list of many trading firms and, in one sense at least, the regulators in Europe and the US are pretty well harmonised. Both have a tendency to publish long-awaited documents right before major holidays. Last week we saw another example of the regulation ‘holiday effect’ with the CFTC publishing its consultation on RegAT (aka SNPRM) in the Federal Register just ahead of Thanksgiving, thereby kicking off the 60-day consultation period. read more

It's Time For A Holistic Reg NMS Review

Ray Tierney & Greg Babyak & Gary Stone

Nov 29, 2016
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Last week we filed a comment letter with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission expressing support for a holistic review of Regulation NMS under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The RFA requires an agency to review its rules that have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities within ten years of the publication of such rules as final. The purpose of the review is “to determine whether such rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded…to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities. read more

R3 In Bumpy Waters

Chris Skinner

Nov 24, 2016
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An interesting week as R3 goes through restructuring. Santander and Goldman Sachs leave and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, a regulator, join. Interesting. Since R3 arrived on the scene in 2014, it has been a train of technology. The consortium started on September 15, 2015 with 9 financial companies: Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street and UBS. Later that month another 13 banks joined, making it 22 in total (Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Société Générale, and Toronto-Dominion Bank). read more

Equity Trading Update: Relationships, Liquidity And IOIs

Ivy Schmerken, FlexTrade

Nov 22, 2016
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Equity Trading Challenges With stricter regulations, capital constraints and technology costs impacting the sell side, large brokers are rationing their services and this trend is being felt on equity trading desks. Brokers are catering to the biggest institutions, while medium and small asset managers feel neglected, according to a recent TabbFORUM webinar based on the firm’s 12th annual Institutional Equity Trading Study on liquidity and other trends in U.S. equity trading. “The industry is being squeezed by regulations, competition and certainly technology,” said Tabb Group founder and CEO Larry Tabb. read more

A Calmer Approach To Position Limits

Mike Wilkins, Fidessa

Nov 22, 2016
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As we edge ever-closer to MiFID II implementation, the position limits debate is once again underway in Europe. Under the new rules the UK regulator is required to impose position limits on all commodity derivatives listed on UK trading venues. In its Consultation Paper the FCA states: “The aim of the new regime governing commodity derivatives trading in MiFID II is to prevent market abuse and support orderly pricing and settlement to the benefit of those using the market.” Some years ago, when the CFTC was looking at the same issue, memories of the financial crisis and the associated food and energy price spikes were still fresh in everyone’s minds. read more

Why #Brexit Is Good For The City of London

Chris Skinner

Nov 17, 2016
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Just heard a really interesting point of view from Professor Tim Congdon, CEO of International Monetary Research. He was putting a clearly positive spin from a City viewpoint on the outlook for Brexit. He began by talking about Medieval times of doing business and stated that most financial activity took part outside the cities they related to, as the cities were highly regulated and structured. Outside the cities, you could do whatever you wanted. The reason he started this way is that most European financial market activity developed in London in the 1950s from a Eurobond clearing and settlement perspective. read more