Catching up with Baton Systems at FIA EXPO 2022; President Jerome Kemp Talks Customer Growth

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

JLN interviewed Jerome Kemp, president of Baton Systems, at FIA EXPO 2022. JLN asked Kemp what Baton has been up to since we interviewed him last March at the FIA Boca conference. 

Baton has added a number of central counterparties (CCPs) to the list of clearinghouses that assist its futures commission merchant (FCM) clients with their capital needs. It has expanded the number of custodial and central securities depository locations as well. This expansion  has allowed Baton to make improvements on the client front, Kemp said.

On the foreign exchange (FX) front, Kemp  said Baton will soon be making some news. He said Baton’s solutions allow clients to settle on a riskless basis outside of the continuous linked settlement (CLS) environment. 

JLN asked Kemp what kind of  impact inflation was having on Baton’s  numbers. He said it was creating a lot more volume, especially in the cleared derivatives space. 

Kemp spoke about innovation and getting people to change their mindsets, noting that it is hard to get them to change. There is, too often, an “if it is not broken, don’t fix it mindset,” he said. 

Kemp also commented on blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) on crypto assets and how  regulatory proposals for a 2.5 percent tax on blockchain on crypto assets are a tax on innovation. 

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William Knottenbelt said he likes to call himself a third generation commodity trader. Both his father and grandfather were commodities traders and had their own firms in Indonesia. Despite that background, Knottenbelt said he thought he wanted to be an accountant.

That thought did not last long after he secured a job at a commodity firm and realized he wanted to be on the trading side. Czarnikow offered him a job in London, but Knottenbelt wanted to work in France, so he was sent to its French subsidiary.

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