Bits & Pieces
By John J. Lothian
Today we have a video from our London education series. It was the last presentation of the series, but not the last one we will show you. It features Simon Puleston Jones, CEO of FIA Europe on the subject of happiness. It is a must see video and one you should share with colleagues and your children if they are old enough.
Simon talks about DREAM, which I will let him explain. It was a terrific end to the series and our RJ Roxas did a terrific job of cutting up the video and integrating the presentation slides.
In other news, we are losing our Alta, Norway branch of the company. Jon Matte has given us notice that he has accepted a job with a Norwegian company that will get him out into the community and actually talking to people. In Norwegian.
We are very happy for Jon, a co-founder of MarketsWiki, for his career and life move. This is a significant accomplishment for him and his family.
Jon has been a very significant contributor to the success of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. He was one of the reasons I started this newsletter in August of 2000, using the networking aspect to then sell his managed futures services. It was also in 2007 when he asked to come work for me that it forced me to be creative and come up with the idea for MarketsWiki.
He is one of those people, like Tom Cashman, Jim McNulty, Bud Frazier, Ryan McNally, Tom Price, Jim Kharouf and others who have helped to make me who I am professionally today. I am forever in his debt, but don’t tell him that. Yes, Doug Ashburn, you are on the list too.
In place of Jon, I will begin to compile JLN again. Here is to getting up at 4:30 AM in the morning. We will also be developing internal resources (other JLN journalists) as backups for when I am traveling or otherwise not available. We may also be looking to hire a new person for this role.
In light of this new role I will be assuming on December 1, we had decided not to attend FIA Asia as we handle the transition of Jon leaving the firm. Both Jim Kharouf and I had intended to attend the event, but we will find another time soon to get to Singapore and other Asian stops.
Regarding the Trading Tech 300 program, if any Chicago-based firms out there are interested in participating in this endeavor, please email me and let me know. I still have a number of firms to approach, so beat me to the punch and let me know of your interest.
Lastly, it is never a good thing to lose a trusted friend and valuable contributor like Jon Matte. Thank goodness for Facebook. But this is the best thing for him and his family, and that always comes first. This is the chance for John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. to find the next key contributor to our success and I look forward to that process.
***JM: I was going to wait for John to finish editing the newsletter document today and then fill it with funny cat pictures… but he’s not leaving me alone here so never mind. Thanks a million, John. It’s been a great adventure, and you are a pretty tough guy to put up with me for so many years.
Simon Puleston Jones, CEO of FIA Europe – In pursuit of Happiness
“Try to find someone who does things right that you really aspire to be over the course of your career.”
Simon Puleston Jones, CEO of FIA Europe, gives advice for balancing personal life with career life. Jones begins his presentation with an acronym for “DREAM”, discussing how happiness and achieving your goals is related to Diligence and drive, Relationships and recruitment, Education and ethics, Adjustments and appreciation, and Mistakes and mentors. He stresses that your career should be something you truly enjoying waking up for and how some perks such as fancy cars and large boats can be outweighed by having a family and raising children. Jones shows that happiness is not about materialistic possessions, but rather the relationships you build with others and the experiences you have throughout your life.
FIA Global Requests Segregated Margin Be Excluded From Basel III Capital Requirements
FIA Global sent a letter to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision this week urging the committee to consider how segregated margin is treated in the leverage calculations that determine bank capital requirements. FIA Global was joined on the letter by two other global trade associations—the World Federation of Exchanges and CCP12—as well as four global central clearing parties in their own rights: ICE, CME Group, LCH Clearnet Group, and Eurex Group.
***DA: And you thought the residual interest rule was bad for business.
SEC director with big stock holdings stirs debate
Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
Keith Higgins, who runs the office that reviews public companies’ books at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reported stock holdings worth between about $2 million and $6 million last year and the sale of stocks throughout 2014, according to SEC disclosures viewed by Reuters.
***** Clearly he has not read Gary Gensler’s book about the folly of trading individual stocks and the advantage of holding index funds.
***DA: If the SEC wants to ensure its employees do not have investable assets, they should only hire journalists.
CME to launch repo futures after BNY deal
William Mitting – Futures & Options World
CME is to launch into repo futures following a deal with BNY Mellon to create the ultra-short term interest rate futures. The deal between CME and the custodian bank will lead to the development of daily USD tri-party repo indices reflecting overnight interest rates in the repo market.
****** The next contracts are a car repo and then a house repo contract.
OptionsCity Software Acquires Optionshop
OptionsCity Software, a global provider of electronic trading solutions for professional futures and options traders, today announced the acquisition of futures trading technology provider Optionshop. The acquisition adds new technology capabilities to OptionsCity’s increasingly diverse product-set while extending its reach into new customer markets. Terms of the deal were unannounced.
***** OptionsCity brings the Optionshop assets back into the house, but that is not Options House, which is now a monster.
Where Is the Outrage Over Foreign Exchange Manipulation?
Mayra Rodríguez Valladares – Dealbook – NY Times
The attention directed at the purportedly astounding foreign exchange manipulation fines is misdirected. Everyone should be running to ordinary American, British and Swiss citizens and ask how they feel about these banking scandals just a few years after the banks were bailed out. The misconduct continues to demonstrate the disregard among large banks for the most basic of risk management principles, not to mention ethics.
***** I lost my outrage at a Tea Party rally.
How Are You Adapting to the New OTC Regulatory Landscape?
On December 4, PRMIA Chicago will host a lunch and discussion at CME Group’s Executive Conference Center, which will look at the challenges in trade reporting, reconciliation and margin as a result of global regulatory changes. Hear presentations from the experts at CME Group and TriOptima in a panel moderated by John Lothian News’ Doug Ashburn. The event is free but space is limited.
***** Very nicely, thank you. Oh. It is very important that this panel discussion be a success. You see, Doug’s last panel he was to moderate was cancelled and if this one is cancelled he will really start to get a complex.
Steve Grob, Director, Group Strategy, Fidessa – The Finance Industry: The Case for the Defense
“The truth is that you can’t actually uncouple finance from the real economy…[finance] is the heart of the real economy.”
Steve Grob, director of group strategy of Fidessa, does a bit of role-playing as a “defense attorney” for the financial industry. Grob discusses the importance of the financial industry and its relationship with the global economy, as well as how regulatory matters will affect the future of finance. He brings up the concept of “belief systems” that society has learned to accept as true without thinking about the entire process. For example, when we flick a light switch on, we immediately expect a light to turn on, and we’re not always thinking about the process of how the light is created. The same thought process applies in the financial industry, in the sense that if regulators condone a topic such as HFT, then the general public agrees and sees it in a negative light.
Derivatives World London: The Debates
Join FOW on the 9th December for our flagship European event: Derivatives World London: The Debates.
Network with over 200 high-level delegates from across the industry, find out why next year will see the return to volatility, how automated trading will take over the FX market, what the buyside really thinks about market reform and much more.
The event is free to attend for banks, brokers and FCMs, the buyside, market makers and prop traders.
Register now and view the full agenda HERE
Deutsche Boerse Will Return to Currencies After 16 Years
Will Hadfield – Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse AG will re-enter currency trading 16 years after the birth of the euro prompted it to withdraw from the market. Europe’s largest publicly traded exchange operator bought a minority stake in R5FX Ltd. for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement today.
***DA: Technically Deutsche Boerse already re-entered the FX world earlier this year when its Eurex subsidiary began listing futures and options on six currency pairs. Just saying.
CFTC warns EU rules may force tighter US derivatives regulation
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
The US may be forced into tougher regulation on benchmarks as planned stringent European rules may shut out the region’s banks and asset managers from US markets, the head of the US derivatives regulator has warned.
GMEX Sees U.S. and Buy Side Interest
Hirander Misra, chief executive of GMEX Group, said there is demand from the US and asset managers ahead of the launch of the London-based exchange which aims to introduce innovative derivative contracts.
Singapore maintains status as best place in the world to do business
Jeremy Grant in Singapore – Financial Times
Singapore is the best place in the world to do business and Libya the worst, according to a survey of 82 countries by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which has the tiny Asian city-state leading the rankings for a seventh year in a row.
SGX To Launch Petrochemical Derivatives
In response to the increasing demand for more effective risk management solutions for petrochemical industry participants, Singapore Exchange (SGX) will introduce a set of five SGX Petrochemical Derivatives tools that will be launched in two phases.
SEC official: Stop spending time writing rules to protect millionaires
Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
A top U.S. regulator on Thursday decried a push by some investor advocates to change the rules that define who can qualify to invest in riskier private security deals, saying it is straining resources and that “millionaires can fend for themselves.”
Tiger Global used shell company to short sell Quindell
Miles Johnson, Hedge Fund Correspondent – Financial Times
A $15bn New York investment company has used anonymous offshore companies to profit from some of the largest short-selling attacks in Europe over the past three years, including the unravelling of the UK company Quindell. A Financial Times investigation can reveal that Tiger Global, which runs one of the world’s largest hedge funds, has used Cayman Islands based shell companies to make large bets against at least 12 European companies since 2012.
No Screwups, Please, We’re Banks
Andrew Waxman – Wall Street & Technology
Changing a bank’s culture is not going to happen overnight, but having the right tools and levers in house will surely make a big difference over time.
Goldman in Testy Exchange at Senate Panel Over Its Role in Commodities Market
Nathaniel Popper – Dealbook – NY Times
Goldman Sachs executives spent Thursday locked in a testy public face-off with members of Congress, fighting suggestions that the bank had taken too large a role in the commodities market.
‘Immoral, but not illegal’: metal warehousing games in the spotlight
Josephine Mason – Reuters
Complex deals employed by Goldman Sachs’ metals storage unit to build vast stockpiles and then maintain queues test the spirit of the London Metal Exchange operating code, shocking many traders and confirming others’ suspicions.
Icap chief Michael Spencer vows to stay out of bid battle as profits plunge
Nick Goodway – www.standard.co.uk
Michael Spencer, founder and chief executive of broking giant Icap, has no plans to muscle into the current bid battle between his rival BGC and GFI.
Steven Cohen’s Firm to Stop Paying Bonuses for Best Trading Ideas
Matthew Goldstein – Dealbook – NY Times
Steven A. Cohen continues to take steps to send a message to federal authorities that his $10 billion family office will not run afoul of the law in the way his former hedge fund did.
More Light Needed on Wall Street’s Revolving Door
Daniel Indiviglio – Dealbook – NY Times
The dizzying revolving door between Wall Street and the United States government risks an overdone response. Going from a job as an overseer to the private sector, or moving in the other direction, can raise conflicts. Such shifts warrant clear rules, but cross-fertilization has value.
After Criticism, Fed Will Study Wall St. Oversight
Peter Eavis – Dealbook – NY Times
Under pressure to show that it is up to the task of regulating giant Wall Street firms, the Federal Reserve issued a surprise announcement on Thursday that it would review crucial aspects of its bank supervision.
CFTC to test role of anonymity in Sef order book flop
Buy-side firms say they are being discouraged from using some swap order books because their identity is disclosed post-trade – an old practice that regulators are poised to kill off. But opinions are split on whether that will kick-start order book trading.
Consumer group backs single fee to tackle fund fraud
A proposed single charge for UK asset management funds could help remove the potential for fraud in the industry. Convoluted and incomplete disclosure procedures mean there is currently little transparency
FCA’s Percival: More guidance is not the answer
Carmen Reichman – Investment Week
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is reluctant to provide further guidance on key advisory issues on which it has already offered direction, suggesting it would not be helpful.
SEC greenlights RegSCI technology rules
John Bakie – The Trade
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has voted to adopt new rules on technology infrastructure for key market participants and operators.
Opening Remarks To The Government-Business Forum On Small Business Capital Formation, SEC Chair Mary Jo White
Statement To The SEC Government-Business Forum On Small Business Capital Formation, SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein
Opening Remarks To The 2014 Government-Business Forum On Small Business Capital Formation, SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher
Remarks Of CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo Before The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce – Re-Balancing Reform: Principles For U.S. Financial Market Regulation In Service To The American Economy
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
ASX boss Elmer Funke Kupper is Mr Markets
Andrew White – The Australian
AS Prime Minister Tony Abbott exited the stage at the corporate world’s night of nights, the Business Council of Australia’s annual dinner, last month it wasn’t one of the usual mining and banking industry heavyweights of the BCA board waiting in the wings to give the vote of thanks. Instead, it was the its newest director, Elmer Funke Kupper, who capped his third year as chief executive of the national markets operator, the Australian Securities Exchange, with a board seat on the nation’s premier business lobby.
Data trio eye replacement for Thomson Reuters exchange tool
Tim Cave – Reuters
Up to three firms are in the running to replicate a now-defunct Thomson Reuters product that tracked the market share of European equity trading venues before being shut down this month because of accuracy issues.
ICE Endex And GasTerrra – Gas Storage Auction
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced the results of the ICE Endex gas storage auction held on November 19, 2014, on behalf of GasTerra.
Eris Exchange: November News
New Trading Records; New Live Trade Recap Page; Eris Replicates Forward Starting Swaps; Virtu Joins Eris as a Liquidity Provider; TradingScreen Launches Eris
Eris Puts Futures Trade Data Online
Eris Exchange recently began making real-time trade data available via a “Trade Recap” page on its website.
Deutsche Börse acquires minority stake in R5FX
Moscow Exchange Announces 3Q 2014 Results
SIFMA Market Close Recommendations For The Thanksgiving Day Holiday In The US, UK And Japan
TSX Markets: Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – November 15, 2014
TOM Insight October 2014
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Bill Gross of Janus to manage $500 mln for Soros fund
Jennifer Ablan – Reuters
Bill Gross just got a huge vote of confidence from legendary investor George Soros. Soros Fund Management LLC, which Soros chairs, has invested $500 million in an account run by Gross at Janus Capital Group Inc, the Denver-based firm said on its website on Thursday.
Vanguard Takes a Victory Lap: 86% of its Stock Funds Beat the Peer Group
Joshua M Brown – thereformedbroker.com
Ordinarily, when a money manager breaks the trillion-dollar mark, its only a matter of time before people start saying they’ll never be able to keep up the performance that got them there. Vanguard has broken $3 trillion and the wins keep coming. It helps that, aside from reducing tracking error, the funds aren’t really trying too hard or spending too much.
UPDATE 1-BlueBay’s $1.4 bln hedge fund closure exposes key man risk
Nishant Kumar – Reuters
BlueBay, one of Europe’s biggest asset managers, will shut a $1.4 billion hedge fund in an unexpected move as fund manager Neil Phillips is leaving.
Pension Funds Lambast Private- Equity Firms for Large Fees
Simon Clark – WSJ
Pension fund managers from the Netherlands to Canada, searching for new ways to invest, lambasted private-equity executives at a conference in Paris this week for charging excessive fees.
Bolton, Shah, and Wright: 20 years in the markets
Julia Rampen – Investment Week
Veteran manager Anthony Bolton said he had “no idea what was coming” when he handed over management of the Fidelity Special Values investment trust in 2007.
FOUR Capital to launch US fund for new hire
Laura Dew – Investment Week
FOUR Capital is to launch a US Dividend Income fund for new hire Adour Sarkissian this December.
Neuberger Berman launches long/short multi-manager fund
Alice Rigby – Investment Week
Neuberger Berman has launched a long/short multi-manager fund for its Hedge Fund Solutions group.
SLI expands multi-asset team with double hire
Anna Fedorova – Investment Week
Standard Life Investments has made two new appointments to its multi-asset global strategy team.
With-profits models lack sophistication, survey shows
More than half of insurers do not project risk appetite and resulting future management actions, which could impact their balance sheets UK insurers need to improve their internal models to accurately capture the impact of management actions on their with-profits funds, says consultancy
European FoHFs celebrate outstanding performance again
Despite a challenging environment for European funds of hedge funds, many have bucked the trend.
Multi-strategy hedge fund assets surpass $400 billion
The strategy has experienced a turnaround and attracted greater net inflows than any other in the past two years, according to eVestment research
eVestment Hedge Fund Asset Flows Monthly Summary – October 2014
Banks & Brokers
Citigroup Said to Be Ousted From ECB FX Group for Rigging
Gavin Finch – Bloomberg
The European Central Bank ejected Citigroup Inc. (C) from its foreign-exchange market liaison group after the U.S. bank was fined for rigging the institution’s own currency benchmark, two people with knowledge of the move said.
Emerging market FX traders depart Nomura and Credit Suisse
Philip Georgiadis – Financial News
Two senior emerging market foreign exchange traders have left their roles in recent weeks, continuing reshuffles by both Nomura and Credit Suisse in the sector.
BNP Paribas Cuts Eight from U.S. Junk-Bond Trading Team
Katy Burne – WSJ
BNP Paribas SA has cut a group of junk-bond salesmen in the U.S., including team head Kevin Cook, according to people familiar with the matter. The cuts were made Thursday, the people said, the same day the French bank shook up its investment-banking division and a created a new global-markets team.
Clearing & Settlement
NSD Launches New Electronic Matching Services
National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, has launched new electronic matching services for OTC transactions. Now the company’s clients can receive information about potential counter instructions for OTC transactions with securities.
Indexes & Products
U.S. Tri-Party Repo Indices and Related Futures Products from BNY Mellon and CME Group to Provide Investors with Powerful New Interest Rate Risk Management Tools
BNY Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, and CME Group, one of the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplaces, today announced a collaboration that will provide investors with important new interest rate hedging tools that leverage BNY Mellon’s strengths as a U.S. Tri-Party Repo agent and custodian and CME Group’s leadership as a derivatives marketplace.
Genpact and Lombard Risk Launch New Collateral Management Solution for Capital Markets
Genpact Limited a global leader in designing, transforming, and running intelligent business operations, and Lombard Risk Management plc (LRM), a leading provider of integrated collateral management, liquidity, and regulatory compliance solutions for the financial services industry, announce their collaboration to provide a new solution to help financial services firms optimize their collateral management operations.
Sec data discrepancies affect reference data
Executive of data time synchronization provider FSMLabs sees a need for time stamp technology improvement and stricter data dissemination controls on the horizon
Misys Gains “Best Use Of Technology In Risk Management” Award
CIR Risk Management 2014 Awards Recognises Benefits Of Misys FusionRisk
Wedbush Securities and Two Officials Agree to Settle SEC Case
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Los Angeles-based broker-dealer Wedbush Securities agreed to settle a pending SEC case for market access violations by admitting wrongdoing, paying a $2.44 million penalty, and retaining an independent consultant.
SEC Suspends Trading in Four Penny Stocks On Ebola Claims
Erik Holm – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday suspended trading in four penny stocks that had claimed to be developing products in response to the Ebola outbreak.
AMF signs agreement with Skyline Group
Environmental & Energy
Senate Rejection of Keystone XL Measure Sets Up 2015 Showdown
Keystone XL pipeline backers came up one vote short in the Senate and vowed to try again in January, when they expect to have enough support to send a bill to President Barack Obama.
Senate effort to approve Keystone XL falls one vote short
The US Senate voted by 59 votes to 41 to approve the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline yesterday, falling just short of the 60 vote majority needed to pass the bill.
Could Obama cut deal on Keystone pipeline? Don’t rule it out
Steve Holland and Roberter Rampton – Reuters
President Barack Obama might be open to using the Keystone pipeline as leverage with Republicans if they cooperate on other aspects of his long-stalled domestic agenda, such as investing in infrastructure, closing tax loopholes or reducing carbon emissions.
Vietnam needs benchmark to kick-start onshore rates market
Government needs to establish local rates standard otherwise moves to establish a domestic derivative sector could be stymied, say global banks
PBOC Said to Inject Funds as IPO Demand Triggers a Cash Squeeze
Robin Ganguly and Kyoungwha Kim – Bloomberg
The People’s Bank of China was said to have added money to the banking system today as a cash shortage stemming from new share sales drove the benchmark money-market rate up by the most since July.
Market Highlights Of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect
Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) Monthly Newsletter – November 2014
China Exchanges Services Company Launches New Index Series On Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect
Financial Tech Founder Jignesh Shah Steps Down as CEO
Jignesh Shah has stepped down as chief executive of Financial Technologies, the Indian trading software provider he helped found more than two decades ago that now faces a police investigation over the troubled winddown of a commodity exchange affiliate.
Former Citi CEO Vikram Pandit Bets on India Real Estate
Shefali Anand – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Vikram Pandit, the former chief executive of Citigroup Inc., is making a bet on Indian real estate. A fund led by Mr. Pandit has invested 5.4 billion rupees ($90 million) in a firm that specializes in lending to real estate developers, according to a statement late Thursday.
Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report For Week Ending 21 November, 2014
MCX Weekly Market Report – November 14, 2014 – November 20, 2014