Latest Blog Posts

More rules, more problems?

Christian Voigt, Fidessa

Oct 31, 2014

Fixed income, commodity and currency (FICC) markets are dominated by the big boys, the professional traders and investors. In this proverbial ‘champions league’ of markets, retailers are restricted to cheering from the side-lines. Perhaps because it has been assumed that these highly sophisticated professional traders can fend for themselves, the regulators have not so far subjected them to the same levels of scrutiny as other sectors. However, the recent string of reported or alleged misconducts in FICC markets (e. read more

Is Turkey voting for Christmas?

Steve Grob, Fidessa

Oct 23, 2014

The recent announcement from BATS Chi-X Europe that it intends to list Turkish stocks got the phones ringing here at Fidessa Towers. Both local Turkish brokers and pan-European houses wanted to know if, how, and when Turkish stocks might fragment like their European counterparts. A colleague mentioned to me that surely the local Istanbul exchange and its immediate members would prefer just to keep the cosy status quo in place and would not welcome direct competition from across Europe. An understandable view, but the truth is somewhat different. read more

An Early History of High Frequency Trading

Gary Stone, Bloomberg Tradebook

Oct 23, 2014
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As students of history, we would like to refer you to Bob Pisani’s great read on the early history of high frequency trading in “Plundered by Harpies: An Early History of High-Speed Trading,” Financial History, Fall 2014. Mr. Pisani dates U.S. high speed trading back to the 1790s when speculators, using their information advantage that the Federal Government was considering assuming the old debt of the states, rented fast boats to go down south and purchase the state’s bonds which were trading around 10% of par value. read more

Breaking The Habit

Ofir Gefen, ITG

Oct 17, 2014
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As everyone trading Asia Pacific markets will tell you, managing performance and finding liquidity are significant challenges, particularly in small and mid cap stocks and in emerging markets. While some of this is inevitable due to macro investment factors and market microstructure, drilling into the detail suggests that this could still be improved by changing one aspect of habitual trading behavior – the use of VWAP or participatory strategies to spread orders based on volume profiles, rather than taking blocks of liquidity when they become available. read more

Algorithmes de type franḉais

Anne Plested, Fidessa

Oct 16, 2014

Just as we’re all getting used to the idea of having to flag algos on an EU-wide basis under MiFID II by 2017, the French regulator recently published further guidance under the French banking bill that came into force in July last year. Amongst other things the French bill targets algorithmic trading/HFT and this recent notice calls for French entities to notify the regulator if they are using automated processes to send orders to exchanges. The provision of more meaningful data for the regulator is one of the promises of MiFID II, but questions are already being asked about algo identification and jurisdiction. read more

Four Factors Driving Enlightenment & Big Data Adoption in Regulatory Compliance

Ahson Pai, SunGard

Oct 14, 2014

Just as Buddhist monks endure frigid Himalayan conditions in the pursuit of enlightenment, the financial services industry has weathered multiple financial and regulatory storms yet still awaits enlightenment. The emergence of recent disruptive technologies may help; however, navigating the various complexities internal to banks’ global operations and regulatory nuances are of critical importance on the path to enlightenment. Certain disruptive technologies – such as complex event processing (CEP) engines, machine learning and predictive analytics using emerging big data technologies such as Hadoop, in-memory or NoSQL – illustrate a trend in how firms are approaching technology selection to meet regulatory compliance requirements. read more

Hedging swaps with futures: a thing of the past?

Mark Brennan, Fidessa

Oct 09, 2014

As the industry continues to speculate on the trajectory of the swaps market, what’s in store for the final package trade exemption expiring on November 15, 2014, when packages consisting of swaps against futures (so-called ‘invoice spreads’) must be traded on a SEF? The problem with invoice spreads is that the futures component (typically treasury note futures) is ‘owned’ by, and must be executed on, the CME while the swap component (e.g. a 5-year fixed/floating interest rate swap) must be executed on a SEF. read more


Kiran Pingali, Bloomberg Tradebook

Oct 08, 2014
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ETFs exhibit considerably different characteristics to common stocks in terms of exchange displayed liquidity, volume, volatility and market impact. What do all these differences add up to? Execution Brokers should use a combination of ETF-specific algorithms to tap secondary-market liquidity, and an electronic solution RFQ based solution to tap primary-market liquidity from market-makers and authorized participants as illustrated by Figure 1.   Figure 1: Tapping secondary-market liquidity and primary-market liquidity ( from market-makers and Authorized participants). read more