Forefront Communications

Forefront Week in Review: February 3, 2019


Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Welcome back to the Forefront Week in Review, and a very happy Super Bowl Sunday to you. Several members of our team (including both of our managing partners) have New England ties, so the Patriots will get their support, but with Jets and Dolphins fans also among our ranks, there’s been no shortage of friendly trash talk over the past few days. Whether you’re pulling for the Pats or the Rams, here’s hoping your night is full of good food and better football.

Even in the midst of all the Super Bowl storylines, the financial news cycle has moved quickly over the past few days. Perhaps the biggest development was the revelation that Thesys Technologies will no longer work on the Consolidated Audit Trail, a decision that appears to have been brought about by delays in launch and disappointing functionality. Multiple reports cited Finra as the likely candidate to take over development of the repository. Whatever happens from here, it seems clear that the SEC is eager to get this done and is examining all avenues that could accelerate the process.

Other top headlines included a former Goldman trader’s new gig at Millennium Management and the launch of BCS Americas’ new global equity algo trading platform.

This week’s Week in Review features stories by Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal, Hayley McDowell of The TRADE News and Sarah Butcher of eFinancialCareers, 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

BCS Americas Launches Global Equity Algo Trading Platform
The TRADE News | Hayley McDowell

The US subsidiary of Russian-based broker BCS Global Markets has launched a new trading platform for global equity trading and settlement for institutional investors. BCS Americas, which became a registered member of NYSE last year, said that the new platform combines its trading analytics with a global market reach, as well as algorithmic trading and smart order routing capabilities. “US investors have and continue to invest in the Russian market and so we provide that access in a superior manner,” Gary Esayian, CEO of BCS Americas, commented.

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Exchange, ATS and Clearing News

Luminex Trading & Analytics Announces Platform Upgrade
LeapRate | Valentina Kirilova

Brokerage services provider Luminex Trading & Analytics LLC has announced the launch of “Luminex 2.0”. The enhancements represent a significant upgrade to the platform. The new user interface for its buy side-only trading venue enables traders to customize their workspace with more than 50 performance, cost and execution data points. “Luminex is as much a community as it is a trading venue,” said Jonathan Clark, Luminex Chief Executive Officer. “The new stats view allows traders to see where they fit within the overall community.”

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Vendor News

LiquidityBook Adds Alexander Ponyrko as Principal Software Engineer
Finance Magnates | Aziz Abdel-Qader

LiquidityBook, a provider of FIX and OMS trading solutions for both the buy and sell side, has announced its latest senior hire to an already rapidly growing team. Alexander Ponyrko joins the group as its newest Principal Software Engineer, landing at the company after a career spanning over nearly two decades. Mr. Ponyrko has worked for over a 17 years in the financial software and analytics space.

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Buy Side News

Ex-Goldman MD Is Now Ready to Build His Team at Millennium Management
eFinancialCareers | Sarah Butcher

If you’re an emerging markets trader in search of something new and exciting, you might want to hit-up Uberto Palomba, an EM trader with a long pedigree. Palomba’s new gig is at Millennium Management, the hedge fund portfolio managers like to work for because they get to operate independently and to keep the profits their team makes without having to subsidize loss-making colleagues in other areas. Palomba is understood to be hiring at least four people for his new emerging markets-focused fund. They will include a trader or junior portfolio manager, a senior portfolio manager and an economist.

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M&A/Investment News

London Stock Exchange Buys Stake in Settlement House Euroclear
Financial Times | Sarah Provan

The London Stock Exchange Group has snapped up a 4.9 per cent stake in Belgian-based settlement house Euroclear, looking to increase its influence in one of the key utilities of global market plumbing. The deal, which comes weeks before the scheduled date for the UK to leave the EU, will see the LSE pay €278.5m for the stake and take a seat on the board. The move is a further rejig of Euroclear’s shareholder base, which has historically been dominated by investment banks. Eighteen months ago several banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland, sold a 10 per cent stake in Euroclear to Intercontinental Exchange, the LSE’s rival.

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Regulatory & Legal News

Stock Exchanges to Fire Company Building Stock-Market Supercomputer
Wall Street Journal | Dave Michaels

People familiar with the matter said the exchanges have lost confidence in Thesys Technologies LLC, a startup hired in 2017 to build the repository, known as the Consolidated Audit Trail. The SEC told the exchanges to create the database so it would have a complete picture of orders in the stock and options markets, a tool they have never had. In November, Thesys launched a first stage of the project one year late and without the functionality that was expected. Finra is expected to take over the project, though no agreement has been signed.

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Blockchain & Crypto News

The Rise Of Smart Securities And Private Blockchains
Forbes | Nisa Amoils

The offerings of digitized securities are expanding rapidly. In January, Templum announced a partnership with IPwe, the world’s first global patent transaction platform, to unlock the value of patents to qualified investors for an underutilized segment of the balance sheet. IPwe laid the groundwork for this new asset class by developing the artificial intelligence and Hyperledger-based tools needed to identify, research, maintain and transact in patents. This offers companies a new opportunity to obtain financing based on the investments they’ve made into their patent portfolio.

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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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