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Brexit blues

Interesting to read over the weekend that London’s mayor Boris Johnson has decided to throw his charismatic and not inconsiderable weight behind the “NO” campaign. Most agree that this shifts the possibility of a Brexit from remote to now distinctly possible. I wonder, therefore, what this means for all the rules we are in the midst of implementing as part of MiFID,... 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

The Dragon chasing its own tail

Few can have missed the carnage roiling Chinese stock markets recently. What’s interesting though is the emerging hubris from Western media that this is due to the intersection of communism and capitalism. The problem, they say, is that the purpose of markets is to allow free and open price discovery. However, they argue, a command economy like China can afford to tamper with... Read More

Unbundling versus Best Ex

So, the September date looms for ESMA’s final clarification on unbundling. What seems evident is that payment for research with trading commissions is definitely going to be out. What seems less clear, though, is what can still be bundled into the definition of ‘execution’ and therefore still be paid for in commission dollars. Presumably, post-trade TCA services are... Read More

Too big to fail or too big to succeed?

Interesting to see that Martin Wheatley, head of the FCA, is siding with the largest asset managers in their push back against the Financial Stability Board. The basic idea is that because of their size, global regulators want to deem them “systemically important” and so encumber them with greater liquidity requirements and other controls. This seems like fairly contrarian logic... Read More

Having your regulatory cake and eating it

This morning I read with interest a colleague’s blog post on the delay to the publication of the ESMA technical standards from July back to September. Whilst I appreciate that these things are complicated, it seems hard to understand how this won’t delay the implementation date without potentially increasing the very risks the regulations are trying to prevent. Building software... Read More

Backdoor Unbundling

I was relaxing on my way home on the 7.02 from Waterloo last night when I came across Nick Goodway’s excellent article in the London Evening Standard on the impact of unbundling and research procurement. As everyone knows, ESMA wants to make sure that transparency rules the day when it comes to how investment managers use client money, especially when it comes to paying for... 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

Is Turkey voting for Christmas?

The recent announcement from BATS Chi-X Europe that it intends to list Turkish stocks got the phones ringing here at Fidessa Towers. Both local Turkish brokers and pan-European houses wanted to know if, how, and when Turkish stocks might fragment like their European counterparts. A colleague mentioned to me that surely the local Istanbul exchange and its immediate members would... Read More

How was it for you?

I bumped into an old industry friend last week. We got talking about the state of the industry generally and agreed that everyone is having to take the whole concept of best execution a bit more seriously these days. Certainly in the UK the FCA has kicked off its “thematic review” and a number of fines are being doled out too. Best execution was the central plank in the original... Read More

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