Forefront Communications

Forefront Week in Review: May 12, 2019


Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Welcome back to the Forefront Week in Review, where we take another look at top recent stories from the action-packed world of trading and market structure.

With so many high-profile people moves occurring over the past week, you’re forgiven if you lost track of all of them. Fortunately, we’re here to put them back on your radar with our weekly news round-up.

On Monday, Goldman Sachs sent a memo announcing Brian Levine, the bank’s co-head of global equities trades and execution services, will retire this summer, to be replaced by a triumvirate consisting of Philip Berlinski, Jeff Nedelman and Michael Daffey. Later in the week, it was revealed that former SEC member Kara Stein has joined the board at IEX, and Tower Research alum Nick Carmi joined BitGo as head of financial services. There was also an early-week report by the Wall Street Journal that Bridgewater co-CEO Eileen Murray is considering leaving the world’s largest hedge fund to serve as Wells Fargo’s new CEO. Finally, one of our clients made a major addition: PanXchange, an OTC physical commodities exchange, has added S&P Platts veteran Andy Bose to its board of advisors.

In other news, PIMCO and Algomi announced a new partnership, and cybersecurity consulting firm Drawbridge Partners acquired inCyber Security, giving them a major influx of new clients.

This week’s Week in Review features stories by Elizabeth Dilts of Reuters, Ben Bain of Bloomberg and Bradley Saacks of Business Insider, 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.

Broker News

Goldman Sachs Global Equities Trades Co-Head Levine to Retire
Reuters News | Elizabeth Dilts

Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Monday its co-head of global equities trades and execution services, Brian Levine, will retire this summer, according to a memo viewed by Reuters. The bank also said that Philip Berlinski and Jeff Nedelman were being named co-chief operating officers of global equities with Michael Daffey. The three will jointly lead global equities. Berlinski had been Levine’s co-head overseeing global equities trades and execution services, and Nedelman had been the global head of prime services.

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Exchange, ATS and Clearing News

‘Flash Boys’ Exchange Adds Ex-SEC Member Kara Stein to Its Board
Bloomberg News | Benjamin Bain

IEX Group, the trading platform operator featured in Michael Lewis’s book “Flash Boys,” said it has added a former SEC member to its board as it struggles to gain market share from more established rivals. Kara Stein, a Democrat who left the agency in January after a five-year term, is the latest in a series of high-profile hires the IEX has made since it won SEC approval to start operating in June 2016. Stein comes aboard as IEX and its competitors face the prospect of an SEC overhaul of rules that underpin U.S. stock trading.

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Vendor News

PIMCO Selects Algomi ALFA to Source Liquidity in Fragmented Bond Market
Yahoo Finance | Staff

Algomi, which provides data aggregation technology for the optimization of fixed income liquidity, today announced that PIMCO, one of the world’s premiere fixed income investment managers, is using Algomi ALFA inside the firm’s trading and data infrastructure. With Algomi ALFA, PIMCO now has access to bond price information from all major electronic venues, messaging platforms and dealer inventory feeds combined into a single consolidated landscape. Algomi ALFA simplifies fixed income trading and allows for investors to tap into today’s fractured bond markets.

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Buy Side News

Bridgewater Co-CEO Eileen Murray Weighs Leaving World’s Largest Hedge Fund
Wall Street Journal | Rob Copeland

Bridgewater Associates co-Chief Executive Officer Eileen Murray has held repeated conversations inside and outside of the firm about leaving the world’s largest hedge fund, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Murray was recently contacted by representatives of Wells Fargo about the bank’s open CEO role, people familiar with the matter said. Wells Fargo representatives also called people close to Ms. Murray as part of that process. Ms. Murray subsequently tipped off the job possibility to others at Bridgewater, these people said.

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M&A/Investment News

Drawbridge Partners Acquires inCyber Security
HedgeWeek | Staff

Drawbridge Partners, a cybersecurity consulting firm specialising in the needs of hedge fund and private equity managers, has acquired inCyber Security, inCyber Compliance’s consultancy division. The acquisition gives Drawbridge Partners a portfolio of high-profile and long-term clients as the firm continues its impressive growth and focus on expanding its advisory, product and application portfolio.

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Regulatory & Legal News

Jefferies Helped a Rogue Hedge Fund Partner Trade with Tons of Leverage that Bankrupted His Fund, a New Ruling Finds
Business Insider | Bradley Saacks

An arbitrator found that Jefferies helped a hedge fund trader create side accounts invisible to the hedge fund’s other partners and take massive positions that violated the bank’s internal risk limits. Lee Bressler, the former CIO and partner of Oklahoma-based Carbon Investment Partners, created side accounts with the fund’s prime broker, Jefferies, and used $10 million of the fund’s capital as collateral to get money from Jefferies to invest via a personal account, a new filing from an arbitrator in Oklahoma states. Bressler was sued by his two other partners in the fund, Rick Nagel and Brandon Bradford.

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Blockchain & Crypto News

Hackers Steal Over $40 Million Worth of Bitcoin from One of the World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
CNBC | Arjun Kharpal

Hackers have stolen over $40 million worth of bitcoin from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the company said on Tuesday. Binance said the hackers ran off with over 7,000 bitcoin and used a variety of attack methods to carry out the “large scale security breach” which occurred on Tuesday. They also managed to get some user information such as two-factor authentication codes, which are required to log in to a Binance account.

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Forefront Client News

Pico Launches New Co-Lo Facility and Direct Connectivity to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
HedgeWeek | Staff

Pico, an infrastructure, connectivity, data and cloud technology provider to the global financial services community, has launched a new colocation facility and direct connectivity to the Hosting Services Data Centre of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX). HKEX is one of the world’s major exchange groups, and operates a range of equities, commodities, fixed income and currency markets. HKEX is the world’s leading IPO market and, as Hong Kong’s only securities and derivatives exchange, is uniquely positioned to offer regional and international investors access to Asia’s most vibrant markets.

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PanXchange Adds S&P Global Platts Veteran Andy Bose to Board of Advisors
Globe Newswire | Staff

PanXchange, an OTC physical commodity exchange and price discovery platform for products including industrial hemp and frac sand, today announced that senior industry executive Andy Bose has joined its board of advisors. Mr. Bose will play a key role in driving important new strategic initiatives as the firm continues its rapid growth. Mr. Bose brings extensive experience using technology innovation to develop market transparency.  Most recently, he was a senior leader at S&P Global Platts, with executive responsibilities for P&L, innovation and new products serving physical commodity price markets.

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Fusion Foundation CEO DJ Qian to Deliver Keynote Address at Inaugural Digital Asset Summit (DAS) in New York, May 15, 2019
Globe Newswire | Staff

Fusion Foundation, the non-profit organization building the next generation infrastructure for decentralized global finance, announced that its CEO and founder DJ Qian has been selected to give the keynote address at the inaugural Digital Asset Summit (DAS) May 15th in New York. The only event during Blockchain Week designed for financial market professionals and investors, DAS will bring together hundreds of influential fund managers, banks, family offices, regulators, CIOs and blockchain innovators.

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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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