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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.

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…

AI is changing this industry. Now what? Standard

I spent last week listening to experts in artificial intelligence talk about what AI can and will bring to the markets and the broader world.   What is patently clear is that AI is here now and is only going to expand. As Jay Biondo, product manager, surveillance at Trading Technologies told me, it’s everywhere already – from Amazon’s Echo (usually called Alexa) to Netflix’s suggested picks. It’s part of Charles Schwab’s brokerage service which will allow its brokers to service thousands instead of hundreds of customers, according to Jack Boyle, vice president derivatives & trading support at Charles Schwab,…

Finding Opportunity: Peter Lenardos, CFO, Cinnober Says Growth and Profitability Are Coming Standard

Cinnober has built its reputation in the industry as a pioneer and an opportunistic company that looks for new ways to address market needs. So in many ways it was not surprising the firm hired Peter Lenardos as its new CFO two weeks ago. With his background in investment research at Royal Bank of Canada and elsewhere, he has watched the industry from a specific lens that focuses on the financial condition of a company, as well as its strategic positioning.  When he got the call from Cinnober’s CEO Veronica Augustsson, he was ready to bring a different approach to…

What The Crypto World Needs Is Trading, Data and Infrastructure… From Milwaukee Standard

Derek Urben didn’t look the least bit nervous. As head of business development at Coinigy, he was in Chicago looking to break into the lucrative space of institutions interested in crypto trading, data and infrastructure. He wants to connect every broker, hedge fund and institutional player he can find to its pipeline of crypto markets around the world. Oh, and he had final exams at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee the next day too. If you met the tall, polite and whip-smart 21-year-old, you’d think, “this guy’s got a great future in the crypto or traditional markets” – until he starts…

Chicago is Crypto-fuel For the Coinbase Rocket Standard

My meeting with Paul Bauerschmidt has been reset three times and he’s running a few minutes late for our coffee in Chicago. It’s understandable. Since taking the role as co-head of Coinbase’s Chicago office last October, it’s been non-stop for Bauerschmidt and his office of nine and soon to be more. He is on board with one of the fastest growing crypto exchanges in the world and thrilled with the ride after helping build Eris Exchange and CME’s swap business before that. In many ways, he’s one of the new asset class pioneers in a city largely built by financial…