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Author Archives: Jim Kharouf

About Author

Kharouf is CEO of John J. Lothian & Co. and editor-in-chief of John Lothian News (JLN). He edits the John Lothian Newsletter, MarketsWiki and MarketsReformWiki.

Cold as ICE: Sprecher asks UK, How much do you love me? Standard

In the battle for financial markets in Europe, exchanges would like some more communication about why they should stay in the UK. To hear one exchange leader tell it, UK markets could use a little more love. At the 10th annual FIA IDX conference on Tuesday, ICE Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher said UK regulators have not communicated with ICE much about how they could work together and keep ICE Europe’s operations more firmly in London.  In the wake of Brexit and the upcoming MiFID II rules in January, not to mention the ongoing questions about equivalent financial regulations after…

Meet My Connection: BSO Finding Ways To Connect Traders To Emerging Markets Standard

Archimedes is credited with saying “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line,” but that’s not always the fastest. Michael Ourabah says the fastest route to and from emerging markets is through his network BSO. The firm, effectively started by Ourabah out of his college dorm room in France in 2004, has found its niche in helping connect trading firms, banks, brokers, and technology firms from major financial hubs to developing markets. And with that, revenues have grown from $1 million in year one to more than $25 million. Ourabah looked at the speed race between telecom providers…

How Do You Save the Capital Markets? Standard

Kennedy Looks to Lead Market Revamp Kevin Kennedy is my new hero. The senior vice president and head of equity options, on stage at the Options Industry Conference last week, spoke about taking the lead on a new initiative to change the existing financial and regulatory structure for financial markets. And he urged the other exchange executives from the other four major options markets to join him. In today’s political environment, it takes courage for someone to stand up and say they want to fix the financial markets so they stay the envy of world capital markets.  And there is…

All Together Now: Exchange Leaders Call For Cooperative Approach To Changing Market Structure Standard

U.S. equity options leaders said today’s market structure needs fixing and vowed to work together to address it at the Options Industry Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Among some of the structural problems are a perceived lack of liquidity, a rigid regulatory structure that has supported the fragmentation of markets, and a concentration of volume on a relatively small number of listings. Kevin Kennedy, who serves as senior vice president, head of U.S. options at Nasdaq, called for the exchanges and participants to work together to upgrade the market structure so it works better and more efficiently in the coming years….

Options Industry Conference Update: Congress Continues To Push For Avoiding Unintended Consequences in Tax and Dodd-Frank reforms Standard

The 35th Annual Options Industry Conference kicked off on Wednesday with a major focus on Washington, especially on a host of new proposals on tax and Dodd-Frank reforms. The conference, hosted by Intercontinental Exchange’s NYSE in Scottsdale, Arizona, led with an interview with Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd District) who outlined initiatives to address tax reform in 2017. Reed told OCC’s Executive Chairman and CEO Craig Donohue that the tax reform may have enough support in Congress to get it passed this year. As it pertains to the financial industry, Reed said one of the goals of a new tax…

Options Industry Conference Preview Part 2: OCC’s Craig Donohue on Gina McFadden and Changes at the Top of OCC Standard

As the 35th Options Industry Conference gets underway, OCC Chairman and CEO Craig Donohue spoke with John Lothian News about everything from the industry’s first woman to be awarded the Joseph Sullivan Award to executive changes at the clearinghouse. Gina McFadden served in the options industry for almost 40 years. She served as president of The Options Industry Council (OIC) from 2006 to 2013 and executive vice president at The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). She retired from both of those positions in September 2013. At OIC, McFadden was responsible for business and product development, corporate communications, and investor and internet…

Options Industry Conference Preview Part 1: Is Regulation Damaging the Options Space? Standard

The cost of regulation is heavy on certain participants in the options industry, and OCC is trying to help clearing firms and market makers deal with it. “One of the things we’re most focused on is the increased capital burdens of doing business in the industry, and that’s starting to have an effect on liquidity provisions and trading,” Donohue said. By that, Donohue is referring to the risk weighted assets for bank clearing members which fall under various regulatory regimes at the US Treasury and the Basel Committee.  These issues and others will be discussed at the upcoming Options Industry…

FinTech Exchange: Haraburda Says Alternative Data the Next Step Standard

How big is your data set? Mark Haraburda, CEO of Barchart, which hosts the FinTech Exchange 2017 conference last month, said the data space is quickly expanding and innovating in new ways. “This year the event has been focused on data, the way data is delivered, the way data is stored, the way data is analyzed and visualized as well as the new types of data in the alternative data space,” he said. Haraburda and Barchart see a lot of potential in the alternative data space, especially in the types of data derived from satellite imagery. Everything from agriculture production…

D is for Data: FinTech Exchange Standard

The sold-out FinTech Exchange conference, hosted by Barchart, was largely about data – what to do with data, how exchanges are capturing new data and how to trade it. That, on its surface, isn’t particularly new. But the infrastructure to capture all kinds of data is now developed. The CME Group’s Julie Armstrong Menacho colorfully outlined how the exchange has migrated all of its historical data onto the cloud, giving customers greater access to it, along with a growing list of partners who provide alternative data sets like satellite images of oil storage facilities or social media sentiment. CBOE’s Catherine…