Forefront Communications

Forefront Week in Review: December 9, 2018

Forefront

Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Chalk it up as another eventful week for Forefront Communications. We just returned from WBR’s Equities Leaders Summit in Miami, a three-day gathering of top minds from the biggest buy-side firms in the business, as well as the brokers, vendors and regulators who work with them. The event featured a full slate of highly informative panels and fireside chats, as well as valuable networking time — the sunny 70-degree days were just an added bonus. It was especially great to watch three of our clients — Dash, Luminex and Imperative Execution — take the stage to discuss the biggest issues facing the equities space today. Check out the ELS Twitter account for a recap of the event.

As big a week as it was for us though, it was an even bigger one for some of our clients. To start, Dash announced their acquisition of eRoom Securities, a Chicago-based provider of clearing, reporting and brokerage technologies. eRoom’s offerings will be rebranded as Dash Prime, with the purchase expected to close in Q1 2019.

Dash also won big at Waters Technology’s Buy-Side Technology Awards, bringing home hardware for both Best Broker-Supplied Tool and Best Buy-Side Algorithmic/DMA Product or Service. Client OpenFin was also honored, winning Best Use of the Agile Methodology by a Technology Vendor.

Imperative Execution announced it has raised $9 million to build out its AI-powered matching engine. Unlike other platforms, Imperative Execution’s self-learning model measures the market impact of every trade that is made and analyzes the information in order to ultimately lower the cost of slippage for large trades. Frank Chaparro covered the news for Business Insider.

And Imperative Execution wasn’t our only client that had a great week in the press. Avi Salzman of Barron’s published an outstanding cover story on alternative data featuring Thasos Group, while Tourmaline Partners featured prominently in Markets Media’s coverage of a new Greenwich Associates report on outsourced trading. The report also caught the attention of RBC Global Asset Management’s Head of US Equity Trading Ryan Larson, who noted on his ELS panel that outsourced trading “increasingly makes sense.” Markets Media was also all over the Equities Leaders Summit, and our clients on site made several contributions.

But don’t worry — we still had time to keep an eye on the biggest headlines of the week, such as Instinet promoting Ralston Roberts to CEO.

This week’s Week in Review features stories by Chaparro, Salzman, Josephine Gallagher of Waters Technology and Lynne Marek of Crain’s Chicago Business, 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

Nomura’s US Equities Arm Instinet Names Ralston Roberts as CEO
Finance Magnates | Celeste Skinner

Instinet Incorporated, a global equities broker owned by Nomura Holdings, announced Monday that it has appointed Ralston Roberts as its CEO, replacing Jonathan Kellner who recently left the firm to join cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. At Goldman Sachs, Roberts was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Execution Services for EMEA. Before working at the multinational investment bank, in June 2013, he was named as the chief operating officer for real-time market data and network services at SunGard, a software provider. Editor’s note: Samuel Agini of Financial News and Frank Chaparro of Business Insider broke parts of this story back in August.

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Exchange, ATS and Clearing News

A Self-Learning Trading Venue Has Raised $9 Million, and It Is Hoping That It’ll Solve a Big Headache Hanging Over the Stock Market
Business Insider | Frank Chaparro

A trading firm that is trying to solve one of the biggest headaches in US stock trading has raised $9 million to build out its AI-powered matching engine. Backed by investors including Steve Cohen Point72’s, Imperative Execution is aiming to lure large investors away from established stock exchanges such as New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq by lowering the cost of executing a large trade. While the cost of trading for retail investors is racing towards zero, institutions are seeing this cost increase for stock trades of a certain size.

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Vendor News

Your Personal Data Is Being Used by Investors. Here’s the Potential — and the Risks.
Barron’s | Avi Salzman

While alternative data have been available for years, such data sets are increasingly becoming a more mainstream tool. New York–based Thasos Group gathers anonymized location data from about 500 million phones that are running any one of more than 1,000 apps. The information comes into the company’s computers as dots on a map, as in the case of the shopping malls. The firm’s software links the signal counts associated with those mapped malls to the tickers of retailers or publicly traded mall owners, to see where traffic is growing or shrinking over time.

[minti_button link=”https://www.barrons.com/articles/how-big-investors-use-your-personal-data-to-play-the-stock-market-1543627499″ size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More ($)[/minti_button]

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Buy Side News

Institutional Asset Managers Warm to Outsourced Trading
Markets Media | Staff

Institutional asset managers are increasingly turning to outsourced trading desks to meet the challenges of heightened best execution requirements, market structure changes and shrinking commissions, a new report by Greenwich Associates reveals. Of those who had used an outsourcing partner for some or all of their trading, the in-depth survey found satisfaction was extremely high, with 71 per cent saying they were “extremely satisfied” and 29 per cent saying they were “very satisfied” with the service they were receiving. “Outsourced and supplemental trading are now starting to scale simply because there are a lot of other forces in the marketplace, both on the buy- and sell-side, that are leading brokers and managers to think about their cost structures and the ability to lean on experts in other facets of their business,” said Aaron Hantman, CEO of Tourmaline Partners.

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M&A/Investment News

Dash Signs Off on eRoom Securities Acquisition
Waters Technology | Josephine Gallagher

Dash Financial Technologies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire eRoom Securities, a Chicago-based provider of clearing, reporting and brokerage technologies, for an undisclosed amount.  The move marks Dash’s entrance into the brokerage space and follows on from last year’s merger in March with LiquidPoint, Convergex’s options trading and technology business. The eRoom platform will be rebranded as Dash Prime and will continue to be headed up by eRoom Securities’ current CEO, Collin Carrico, and president, Ben Schwartz. Peter Maragos, CEO and co-founder of Dash Financial Technologies, says both platforms will eventually be integrated and the move will mean that eRoom clients will have access to Dash’s suite of multi-asset routers, algorithms and trading tools, as well as transparency, reporting and analytics capabilities.

[minti_button link=”https://www.waterstechnology.com/trading-tools/4018126/dash-signs-off-on-eroom-securities-acquisition” size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More ($)[/minti_button]

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Regulatory & Legal News

DRW’s Wilson Scores Big Win in Market-Manipulation Case
Crain’s Chicago Business | Lynne Marek

A New York federal judge has ruled in favor of DRW Trading in a case brought against the big Chicago trading firm and its owner, Don Wilson, by the CFTC in 2013. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan dismissed all claims against the trading firm and Wilson in the civil lawsuit, delivering a blow to the federal agency that oversees futures trading. The ruling is “harsh in its view of the CFTC’s case,” said Jim Lundy, an attorney at Drinker Biddle in Chicago who was formerly at the SEC. “In terms of an opinion, it’s very well-done,” said Lundy, who called it detailed and thorough.

[minti_button link=”https://www.chicagobusiness.com/finance-banking/drws-wilson-scores-big-win-market-manipulation-case” size=”small” target=”_blank” lightbox=”false” color=”orange” icon=””]Read More[/minti_button]

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Blockchain & Crypto News

A Pathway to Compliance for Illegal ICOs?
TABB Forum | Vincent Molinari (CEO, Templum Markets)

Many digital coins were issued in violation of SEC regulations, and many ICO investors are now in legal limbo, stuck with billions of dollars in coin investments with no way to exit. A recent statement from the SEC, however, points to a possible pathway for issuers and market professionals to bring digital asset offerings into compliance. Vincent Molinari, CEO of Templum Markets, examines the implications in this piece for TABB Forum.

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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.