Forefront Communications

Forefront Week in Review: January 27, 2019

LiquidityBook

Sam Belden

Sam Belden

If you’re reading this, you probably already noticed we’ve made a few changes over the past week. Over the years, the scope of our daily news round-up has grown to include not just the business of trading, but the innovative new companies and products that are driving the capital markets forward as well. Thus, the Forefront Trading Digest is now the Forefront Fintech Digest. We also unveiled a new logo and a redesigned website, giving both a fresher look.

Why all the changes? Since Forefront Communications launched in 2016, we’ve learned a lot about what sets us apart from our competitors and made significant additions to our team, client base and list of offerings. In short, the firm now looks radically different than it did three years ago, and we wanted our brand to reflect this growth.

For evidence of how far we’ve come, look no further than the headlines. Our rebrand was accompanied by a great week for a number of our clients, especially Templum Markets, which just announced a partnership with IPwe, a patent transaction platform, to create digital securities for patents and patent portfolios. Companies will be able to finance their lucrative intellectual property, while investors will be able to own pieces of assets once thought too illiquid to be traded. The news landed in a number of major outlets, including Business Insider, where Dan DeFrancesco gave an in-depth look at what it could mean for the markets. Elsewhere, clients Dash and HPR were the focus of major stories in Best Execution and Traders Magazine, respectively.

Don’t worry — even with all the excitement surrounding our new look and client placements, we stayed on top of the biggest news from across the industry. Top stories from the past week included one of Steve Cohen’s top quant managers leaving to start his own fund and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association urging clearing houses to be vigilant in the wake of Nasdaq’s Nordic mishap late last year.

This week’s Week in Review features stories by DeFrancesco, Samuel Agini of Financial News and Declan Harty of S&P Global Market Intelligence, among others. Keep scrolling for more, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Forefront Fintech Digest if you’re not on our list already.

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Broker News

Profile: David Karat & Glenn Lesko, Dash Financial
Best Execution | Staff

In this interview, Dash Financial’s David Karat, co-founder and chief creative officer, and Glenn Lesko, chief growth officer, discuss how they are meeting client demands and managing their own expanding business. Karat’s primary areas of responsibility include Dash’s brand and marketing portfolio, business development and the Dash360 suite of real-time analytics and data visualisation products. Lesko is responsible for driving the firm’s revenue growth objectives globally, both organically and inorganically.

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Exchange, ATS and Clearing News

Derivatives Lobby Urges Clearing Controls After Nasdaq Default
Financial News | Samuel Agini

The trade body for the world’s $595tn over-the-counter derivatives market has called for better controls at clearing houses in the wake of high-profile defaults. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association published a series of best practice guidelines on January 24 to help clearing houses improve and maintain robust risk management. Isda’s comments come after a high-profile default at the Nordic clearing house run by Nasdaq. The US exchange was forced to go to its members — including global banks — to refill a reserve fund after power trader Einar Aas’s €114m default.

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Vendor News

HPR Harnesses Simplicity to Build the Future of Capital Markets Infrastructure
Traders Magazine | John D’Antona

If you trade US equities, there’s a good chance your trades have been vetted by HPR’s advanced risk management technology as, on average, 10% of daily volume passes through their ultra-low latency pre-trade risk and access gateway systems. For the past seven years, the Boston-based company formerly known as Hyannis Port Research has been quietly refining both its technology and operations. Having doubled its revenue over the preceding 12 months and expanding its offerings, HPR believes it is set to move to the forefront of the Capital Markets Infrastructure (CMI) landscape.

[minti_button link=”http://www.tradersmagazine.com/news/technology/hpr-harnesses-simplicity-build-the-future-capital-markets-infrastructure-118876-1.html” size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More[/minti_button]

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Buy Side News

One of Steve Cohen’s Top Quant Portfolio Managers Is Starting His Own Hedge Fund and He’s Bringing Along His Team
Business Insider | Bradley Saacks

A former top quant manager at Steve Cohen’s firm is launching his own fund. Michael Graves, who was a portfolio manger at Point72 Asset Management’s Cubist unit for nearly a decade, resigned from the firm in 2018. Now, he’s starting his own quant-focused hedge fund and asset management firm, a source familiar with the new venture told Business Insider. At least four analysts and developers from Graves’ team will join him, a source said.

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M&A/Investment News

Symbiont Closes $20-Million Series-B Round
Markets Media | Staff

Symbiont.io Inc., today announced the closing of a $20m Series B funding round to continue its growth as the market-leading blockchain platform for the global financial markets. The round was led by Nasdaq Ventures with participation from additional new investors including Galaxy Digital, Citi, Raptor Group, and others. “Closing this round of funding enables us to accelerate investments in our platform and team,” said Symbiont CEO and Co-founder Mark Smith.

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Regulatory & Legal News

ETF Issuers Warn Stock Market Experiment Could End with ‘Winners and Losers’
S&P Global Market Intelligence | Declan Harty

On Dec. 19, the SEC finalized the Transaction Fee Pilot, which will silo nearly 1,500 stocks and ETPs into two buckets with different trading structures than the rest of the stock market. Rebate limitations may force securities included in the test groups to face wider spreads, which could exacerbate the competitive disadvantage ETFs included in the pilot would face, according to Jim Toes, president and CEO of the Security Traders Association. “Anything that has a potential impact on the spread, even if it appears to be a small change, could have a meaningful impact,” Toes said in an interview.

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Blockchain & Crypto News

A Fintech Has Teamed Up with a Patent Millionaire to Help Wall Street Own a Slice of a Company’s Most Valuable Inventions
Business Insider | Dan DeFrancesco

Add patents to the list of assets once believed to be too illiquid to trade now getting the digital treatment. Templum Markets, an issuance and trading platform for digital securities, and IPwe, a patent transaction platform, announced a partnership on Wednesday to create digital securities for patents and patent portfolios. The idea is to help companies looking to finance their patented intellectual property while giving investors exposure to assets that have historically been off-limits to them.

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That’s all for this week. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Forefront Trading Digest for more headlines like these.

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