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Why you’ll never be ready for MiFID II

I attended Institutional Investor’s excellent Trader Forum in Barcelona last week. Basically it brings together the senior executives from the buy-side, the sell-side, venues and technology firms to debate and make sense of our industry. Naturally much of the conversation revolved around the new conditional dark pool venues, periodic auctions and Systematic Internalisers that... Read More

The shape of block liquidity

Now we are all back from summer hols it seems like everyone is getting ready for the final push that will propel our industry into its post-MiFID II future. Much still needs to be done, not least of which by ESMA in telling us what all the rules actually mean and what game we are supposed to play as a result of them. This is particularly true in the case of block liquidity which... Read More

Be careful what you wish for

Those of us who remember the good old days will recall the industry debate as to how much dark liquidity was really in existence. In one corner were the exchanges who, through FESE, claimed that the amount of malevolent dark trading going on was unacceptably high. In response the brokers claimed through their trade body, AFME, that actually it was pretty low. And, as we all know,... Read More

Thomas in Blockland

Thomas the crossing network wasn’t happy. For years he had enjoyed helping his friends buy and sell things amongst themselves. Sometimes he would even step in directly and agree to buy or sell something himself, especially if there was an awful lot of it. But now he had a tricky choice to make. The ruler of the land, The Regulator, had been convinced by the Exchanges that... Read More

Mince pies and MiFID

I spent the holidays diligently researching the best brand of mince pies in order to settle a pre-Christmas debate here at Fidessa Towers. Naturally my criteria included a number of factors including (but not just) price and, perhaps surprisingly, the winner was Tesco’s in-house bakery. Back at work, my attention turned to my other favourite M word – MiFID II – as... Read More

Central Risk Books – the new black for capital markets

I first came across the term “central risk book” at the excellent International Trader Forum event in Rome a couple of weeks back. It seems like it’s the banks’ answer to the dark pool caps that will be upon us in a little over a year. As of January 2018 banks won’t be able to operate their own dark pools in their current form and it seems that the preferred... Read More

One million Fragulators can’t be wrong

I don’t often write about fragmentation these days, but I noticed this morning that our frag counter surpassed the 1 million mark. To be honest I was planning to write something later in the week, but thanks to a certain university in Italy that slurped its way through 15,000 fragulations at the weekend, I am a bit off the pace. I have to admit that when we first launched the... Read More

BATS auctions off the block problem

There has a been a lot of talk about how to trade blocks that are smaller than the LIS waiver but that are still too big to go to regular lit markets. The debate has been ratcheted up by the 4 and 8% dark pool caps that are part of the MiFID II spectre looming above us all. One approach, of course, is to chop your block into smaller pieces with an algo but this is becoming increasingly... Read More

FragPro all wrapped up for Christmas

Following on from my last blog on the subject, the guys at Fidessa Labs have now made the latest version of the Fragulator available. Despite its name FragPro is still free, and yet it contains a bunch of cool new features. These include the ability to view stocks or indices by order book or venue owner (e.g. LSE Group including Turquoise, or all Euronext venues), track dark pool... Read More

Last minute shopping in Europe

Imagine you are doing the last of your Christmas shopping – all that’s left to get is a large chunk of your favourite stock. Because you generally buy in bulk, you know to avoid the brightly lit but expensive retail stores, and instead shop at one of the big wholesalers. But, there’s a problem. Somebody has passed a law capping the amount that any one of those stores can... Read More

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