Forefront Communications

Forefront Week in Review: November 4, 2018

Luminex

Sam Belden

Sam Belden

We at Forefront are proud to represent a wide variety of outstanding firms, but last week saw two of our clients in particular experience huge success. Watching truly innovative companies thrive is a big part of what makes our business so rewarding, so we’d like to tell you about these wins.

We spent Thursday at the TABB Group Fintech Festival, where client OpenFin was on hand to let attendees know about their work to revolutionize the modern trader desktop. In addition, two of the top names at OpenFin took the stage as part of the jam-packed program: board member Paul Walker and CEO Mazy Dar. Walker delivered the keynote address, commenting on the limits of innovation and fintech’s place in the context of human history, while Dar interviewed PIMCO CTO Dirk Manelski. We relished the chance to see these influencers in action as they represented their firm alongside the best in the business.

On Friday, we scored one of our biggest media placements to date: Ryan Dezember of the Wall Street Journal published “Your Smartphone’s Location Data Is Worth Big Money to Wall Street,” an in-depth profile of client Thasos Group. Thasos, a firm on the cutting edge of the alternative data boom, leases smartphone location data to hedge funds and other firms looking to gain an advantage on the market. Dezember quotes CEO Greg Skibiski and chief sociometrician Sandy Pentland to paint a picture of Thasos’ founding, how it gets its insights and much more. The story made the front page of the Business section, making for one of the biggest wins yet in what has been an outstanding run with Thasos.

Other top stories from the week included CME Group’s long-awaited acquisition of NEX Group, Sentieo’s $19 million fundraise and the sudden resignation of Coinbase’s head of trading.

This week’s Week in Review features stories by Ian Allison of CoinDesk, Juliet Chung of the Wall Street Journal and Alex Morrell of Business Insider, among others. Keep scrolling for more, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Forefront Trading Digest if you’re not on our list already.

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Broker News

Northern Trust Gains as Buy Side Outsources Trading
Markets Media | Shanny Basar

Northern Trust has signed 23 fund managers for its outsourced trading capability and expects strong growth for the offering next year as asset managers face pressure on margins. The US asset manager and custodian bank has relaunched Integrated Trading Solutions to provide trade execution, middle office, matching, settlement and regulatory reporting for the buy side. Integrated Trading Solutions can also access all liquidity across 33 venues and 88 global markets, without clients having to set up their own connections.

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Exchange, ATS and Clearing News

EU Shows No Sign of Heeding U.S. Threat Over Derivatives Clearing
Reuters News | Huw Jones

The European Union is proposing to give the European Central Bank sweeping powers over foreign clearing houses in times of market stress, an EU document showed, as the bloc shows little sign of heeding U.S. calls to water down the plans. The bloc has proposed changing the ECB’s statute to give it a broad role in the oversight of EU and foreign clearing houses that handle large amounts of euro-denominated securities. That would include those in London, which will lie outside the EU in five months’ time.

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Vendor News

Your Smartphone’s Location Data Is Worth Big Money to Wall Street
Wall Street Journal | Ryan Dezember

Thasos is at the vanguard of companies trying to help traders get ahead of stock moves like that using so-called alternative data. Such suppliers might examine mine slag heaps from outer space, analyze credit-card spending data or sort through construction permits. Thasos’s specialty is spewing out of your smartphone. “It’s creating this data all the time, even if it’s not ringing,” said Greg Skibiski, Thasos’s 45-year-old founder and chief executive. “It’s a beacon. Every single person is carrying this beacon.” Thasos gets data from about 1,000 apps, many of which need to know a phone’s location to be effective.

[minti_button link=”https://www.wsj.com/articles/your-smartphones-location-data-is-worth-big-money-to-wall-street-1541131260″ size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More ($)[/minti_button]

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Buy Side News

Stalwart Hedge Funds Test Their Clout With Clients
Wall Street Journal | Juliet Chung

Some of the rare hedge funds earning their keep are about to make it harder on investors. Israel Englander’s $35.9 billion Millennium Management and Kenneth Griffin’s $31 billion Citadel LLC are rolling out changes that could result in investors facing a longer path to get their money out of a fund or having to pay higher fees. Millennium has told investors that early next year they will get back their profits. To reinvest that cash with Millennium, the clients will need to sign up for a new share class whose terms mean it would take five years to get all their money back — compared with a year now.

[minti_button link=”https://www.wsj.com/articles/stalwart-hedge-funds-test-their-clout-with-clients-1540897200″ size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More ($)[/minti_button]

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M&A/Investment News

An Ex-Hedge Fund Analyst Just Landed $19 Million in Funding for a Bloomberg-Killer as It Tries to Shake Up a $28 Billion Market
Business Insider | Alex Morrell

Another challenger is gearing up to make a run at Bloomberg, the dominant player in the $28 billion financial data market. Sentieo — a web and mobile-app based platform that’s a sort of mash-up of an AI-powered search engine, Evernote, financial document repository, and traditional equity research data — has uncorked a fresh $19 million round of funding, the company announced Tuesday. That’s more than triple the amount it raised in March, and it brings their total funding to $30 million. The funding, a Series A round, was led by Centana Growth Partners.

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Regulatory & Legal News

UK Competition Authority Gives Green Light for CME and NEX Merger
The TRADE News | Hayley McDowell

US futures exchange CME Group has received the green light from the competition regulator in the UK for its £3.9 billion takeover of NEX Group. The CMA handed both firms clearance for the proposed merger, which was first announced in March.   Both firms said that the acquisition now depends on conditions including sanction at a court hearing taking place tomorrow, and then delivery of the court order to the Registrar of Companies. NEX Group said that following clearance from the UK’s competition authority, all of the conditions relating to regulatory and antitrust approvals have now been satisfied.

[minti_button link=”https://www.thetradenews.com/uk-competition-authority-gives-green-light-cme-nex-merger/” size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More[/minti_button]

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Blockchain & Crypto News

Coinbase’s Head of Trading Resigns After Six Months on Job
CoinDesk | Ian Allison

The head of trading at Coinbase, Hunter Merghart, has resigned from the U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider after just six months on the job, CoinDesk has learned. Merghart made the decision to leave the company last week and is now exploring other opportunities, according to people familiar with the situation. Coinbase declined to comment on the move when reached. His departure follows that of the executive who hired him, Adam White, who left Coinbase earlier this month to become the chief operating officer of Bakkt, the new institutional crypto trading platform being launched by ICE.

[minti_button link=”https://www.coindesk.com/coinbases-head-of-trading-resigns-after-six-months-on-job/” size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More[/minti_button]

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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.