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Author Archives: Jim Kharouf

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Kharouf is a Chicago-based freelance reporter and editor who was previously CEO and editor-in-chief of John Lothian News.

What does your clearinghouse DEFCON scale look like today? Standard

Talk about timing. Ten years after the collapse of the global financial market and a decade of rebuilding it, Nasdaq reports that Nasdaq Clearing had to cover for a clearing member default of €114 million on Nasdaq Nordic,  a default so large it took up 68 percent of the default funds from other clearing member firms. According to reports from the Financial Times and Bloomberg, a trader by the name of Einar Aas (one letter off from a joke here), defaulted on Nasdaq’s power market on September 11, forcing Nasdaq Clearing to tap into clearing member default funds. Aas reportedly was…

X_TRADER Transformed The Industry: Now It’s Time To Do It Again Standard

The announcement that Trading Technologies will be shutting down its X_TRADER platform is not a big surprise. But what that platform has done over its 25-year lifespan certainly is. And what the new TT platform may do in the coming months and years may be equally astounding. Taking a look back, there’s not a single ISV trading platform that has had a greater impact on the industry than X_TRADER. Launched in 1994, the technology that included patented breakthroughs like the ubiquitous price ladder and autospreader transformed the trading industry with Harris Brumfield’s trader’s eye for functionality and speed. The patents…

Custody Battle Brewing Over Crypto Assets, and That’s a Good Thing Standard

cryptocurrency dollar

It was just a few months ago that the cryptocurrency markets were bemoaning the lack of institutional-grade custody services. Without them, no right-minded fund or asset manager was going to get anywhere near this market. And if they did, they had already written their firm’s obituary and put it in a drawer just in case. It reads something like this: “Thank you, dear customer, for investing your hard-earned fiat currency into our kick-ass digital asset fund. Unfortunately, someone in the Seychelles, Pyongyang, Kiev, Tehran or all of the above has stolen our crypto assets. With regret, we will be liquidating…

Cinnober’s new CEO will have to consider the next move Standard

The news that Veronica Augustsson was out as CEO of Cinnober Financial Technologies and newcomer Peter Lenardos was in was a shock. Augustsson, who had been CEO the past six years and with the firm since 2002, grew up with the company and reached a pinnacle few women ever reach. She did so with warmth and a friendly smile, but she also had a vision to diversify the company into a variety of sectors beyond its core business of real-time clearing, risk and surveillance systems for exchanges. After all, there is a limited number of exchanges with clearing houses –…

Tech firms looking to change the technology stack Standard

The question for the industry today is whether firms have hit the technology breaking point. In other words, can firms continue to maintain and sustain the technology they’ve built over the past 20-plus years? A new breed of tech firms is emerging to help address this challenge. There are increasing signs that the so-called “technology stack” at various firms is not economically sustainable, nor is it necessarily more efficient. For years, various technology vendors have been expanding their product mixes to handle front, middle and back office responsibilities for firms. The industry is seeing a mix of established tech vendors…

The Mothering Type: JPX’s index suite shows strong July numbers and new-contract growth Standard

JPX

It’s been a solid year for exchanges with some welcome volatility and enough economic moves to keep it interesting. Those are common themes most markets have been able to capitalize on, and the Japan Exchange Group is well in that mix. July futures volumes showed some solid strength across its index suite with its Topix futures up 22 percent in July with an average daily volume of 1.15 million contracts. Its Nikkei 225 futures volume rose almost 40 percent for the month to 72,820 contracts traded daily. The other notable is its fledgling TSE Mothers Index futures, up 263 percent…

David Silverman Commentary on February 5: We are a “master and slave to the system” Standard

I read the JLN essay about the events of February 5. I had heard many of the rumors that quickly emerged in the aftermath of the carnage and, as always the case in these types of situations, wasn’t sure what to believe. So, first, congratulations on the incisive and important reporting. It’s scary to consider how vulnerable the FCM community—and by extension, the entire industry—is to these periodic shocks; especially since the previously rare black swan sighting has become an increasingly regular occurrence. I suppose it’s possible to look at February 5 in a positive light. After all, every FCM…

Cinnober looking to tap into treasury Standard

For Cinnober’s CEO Veronica Augustsson, 2017 was all about prepping for MiFID II, sticking to the company’s core services and diversifying. Cinnober implemented its clearing system and real time risk management technology at the Japan Exchange and another exchange in Singapore. It pushed into the post-trade clearing space and launched a new company called Minium. This year, Minium signed its first deal with Marex Spectron, with a goal of going live in 2019. The firm also sold an equity stake in its Irisium market surveillance company to risk management firm KRM22. “We have a good diversification of clients and in…

Nasdaq looks to grow into sell-side tech provider Standard

Nasdaq is looking for a new client base – the sell side. Given its broad technology reach, the company believes it has the products and infrastructure that banks and brokers need in today’s regulatory and trading environment. Speaking to JLN at the FIA IDX event in London, Carl Slesser, head of product management, banks and brokers at Nasdaq, said such firms are more open to outsourcing or partnering with companies like Nasdaq. “We’ve seen a change in the appetite in the sell-side community to use vendors and partners,” Slesser said. “We’re going to launch an initiative to focus on that…