John Lothian Newsletter: KCG to Sell FCM Business to Wedbush Securities; CME revamps fee rebates for energy trading; CFTC to Scrutinize Swaps Loophole

Sep 8, 2014

First Read

Mead Welles, co-founder, A Leg To Stand On – How a Hedge Fund Guy Saves Kids One Limb At A Time

“One of the best investments you’ll ever make is doing something for somebody else.”

One never really knows where their career path may take them. While working for Octagon Asset Management, Mead Welles found himself traveling to other countries and saw how there were some children who did not have the same lifestyle that most of us take for granted. Seeing children who were missing limbs and unable to easily perform daily functions inspired Welles to create A Leg To Stand On, an organization dedicated to providing artificial limbs and surgery for children in other countries. Welles may have had his start in the financial industry, but he was determined to invest in the future of others to help them live better lives.

Watch the video »


KCG Announces Agreement to Sell Futures Commission Merchant Business to Wedbush Securities
KCG Holdings, Inc. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell certain assets and liabilities related to the Futures Commission Merchant business to Wedbush Securities Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by year end.

***** KCG Futures never really fit with the new combination of GETCO and Knight Capital, now just called KCG. But they do fit very nicely into the expansion at Wedbush. Wedbush recently purchased strategic assets of Crossland LLC, A Chicago Board of Trade Building-based futures broker.

***** The KCG Futures purchase gives Wedbush an even deeper plunge into futures brokerage and gives them an experienced and knowledgeable management team to help navigate the new regulatory and business environment. KCG Futures, headed by Carl Gilmore, an experienced risk manager and lawyer, gives Wedbush a steady hand to help grow their listed derivatives business. KCG reported $639 million in customer seg funds in June, Crossland reported $86.8 million, but Wedbush reported $0 in customer seg.

****** Besides Crossland, Wedbush also owns Lime Brokerage, which is an electronic and automated agency-only brokerage that I have always liked.

****** Congratulations to Wedbush on a good purchase, to Carl Gilmore and his team on a strategic positioning of their operation and to KCG CEO Dan Coleman. That cold water Dan took over the head for the ALS Challenge must have made him see the light about KCG Futures.


Timothy Massad: CFTC Focused on Fine Tuning Financial Rules: Video
Timothy Massad, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, talks about the outlook for the agency and financial regulations. He speaks with Peter Cook on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

***** Remember, you can tune a piano, but you can’t tune a fishy regulatory structure. Fine tuning Residual Interest would be scrapping the whole stupid idea.


OneChicago to Launch New Proprietary Match Platform Sept. 22
OCXdelta1 will be OneChicago‘s new proprietary match platform. OCXdelta1 will replace the current OCX.BETS platform for blocks and EFPs and its CBOEdirect platform for traditional non-block non-EFP orders. OCXdelta1 will support both the reporting of bilateral blocks and EFP’s as well as the trading of regular, SSF, block, EFP, and spread markets. The merger of blocks and EFP markets with our SSF markets will mark the first time these products have been available on the same platform.

Products will begin to migrate to OCXdelta1 on September 22, 2014. The certification environment is currently available for firms to test and certify their trading software

***** The naming conventions at OC scream out “I am too complex to trade!”


Rocktoberfest from A Leg to Stand On is close at hand
A Leg To Stand On is a non-profit that provides free prosthetic limbs and corrective surgery to children in developing countries who have lost their limbs in traumatic accidents or suffer from congenital limb disabilities. ALTSO’s annual fundraising benefit, Rocktoberfest Chicago, is moving into its 3rd year after having originated 11 years ago in New York. Rocktoberfest unites leaders from the finance industry for a night of Rock & Roll music performed by industry professionals. Rocktoberfest Chicago will be held on October 8th at City Winery. Hedgefund Rocktoberfest in New York will be on October 22 at Capitale.

Watch the video »


CME Group Announces Foreign Exchange Options Record
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, announced a record volume trading day for yesterday, September 4, in its Foreign Exchange options complex.

***** Actually, it was not a record and not even a CD. But it did top the other days volume.


[Video] Investing in cloud computing
Financial Times
Banks’ trading profits are receding, yet senior executives often speak about the need to invest in technology. Rick Lane, Trading Technologies chief, tells FT’s Philip Stafford why more trading will be done by cloud computing despite security fears.

***** The always interesting and thought provoking Rick Lane.


Researcher Argues for Preserving Floor Trading
Bradley Hope – WSJ
Daniel Beunza has spent the last 13 years scrutinizing the arcane language, rites of passage and rituals of an insular tribe imperiled by advances of the modern world. His conclusion: Save the floor traders.

***** I believe we have put several of them in a museum and some others are still in the process of being pickled.


Terry Duffy, president and executive chairman, CME Group – My Road and the Industry Challenge

“Take a deep look at where you could possibly go…and if you don’t do that and take the near-sighted approach, you’ll be sorry.”

When starting your career, it’s best to think about where each opportunity can take you, rather than being envious of your peers. Terry Duffy, president and executive chairman of the CME Group gives a brief glimpse of how he entered the financial industry and addresses how his audience should utilize each opportunity they receive. One never knows where each job can take them; an entry-level position could one day lead to a top executive role. According to Duffy, we should not look at our careers in a “near-sighted” way, but instead look at long-term possibilities each job can eventually lead to.

Watch the video »



MarketsWiki Page of the Day

MarketsWiki Recent Updates


C. Mead Welles; David Gershon

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Wedbush Securities Inc.; Women in Derivatives; A Leg to Stand On; SuperDerivatives; IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc.




52,699,600 pages viewed, 8,027 articles, 185,737 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

CME revamps fee rebates for energy trading
Gregory Meyer in New York – Financial Times
CME Group, owner of the world’s largest futures exchange, has launched a sweeping revamp of its opaque system of fee rebates for energy traders as it battles flagging volumes in oil and natural gas contracts.

CFTC to Scrutinize Swaps Loophole
Andrew Ackerman and Scott Patterson – WSJ
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission plans to scrutinize U.S. banks that are shifting some trading operations overseas to avoid tough CFTC rules. The agency also will work with other regulators to determine if the practice poses a risk to Wall Street.

U.S. SEC preparing new rules to boost oversight of funds – WSJ
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing new rules to boost oversight of mutual funds and hedge funds as part of an effort to gain insight into whether the asset management industry poses risks to the financial system, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.

CME, Thomson Reuters Seen as Favorites to Manage London Gold Fix
Ese Erheriene – Moneybeat – WSJ
CME Group Inc.and Thomson Reuters Corp. which recently snagged the rights to manage the daily silver fix, are widely tipped to take over responsibility for setting the daily price of gold price.

EU Concerned Banks Are Ignoring Rules on Bonus Limits
Viktoria Dendrinou – WSJ
The European Union’s financial-services czar is stepping up the pressure on banks to obey rules limiting bonuses for key employees, just as the bloc’s top court begins its examination of the caps’ legality.

Bank of America says David Darnell no longer co-COO
Bank of America Corp said David Darnell will no longer serve as the company’s co-chief operating officer, but will continue to oversee the bank’s global wealth and investment management business.

Vanguard to fight ‘tax dodge’ lawsuit vigorously
Joe Morris – Financial Times
For years the world’s biggest asset managers have tried everything to slow Vanguard’s meteoric rise. Now a startling lawsuit, dismissed by some legal experts but credited by others, is accusing the low-cost investment company of building its empire on nothing less than systematic tax evasion.


Bridging the Week: Banks Are the Big News; MF Global; Investment Advisor Conflicts; ISDAfix
Gary DeWaal – Katten Muchin Rosenman
No one theme permeated the major news developments last week in worldwide financial services. Banks received much attention in the US with new proposed margin rules for uncleared swaps and final rules regarding liquidity and their leverage ratio. One court granted senior executives of MF Global unfettered access to the company’s D&O insurance pool to help them in their defense of customer actions, while another court began considering a purported class action complaint involving allegations of an ISDAfix manipulation. And finally, there was a request for relief by certain investment funds to the CFTC and a conflict of interest case by the SEC involving an investment advisor.

Clearinghouses Get CFTC Scrutiny So Solution Isn’t Problem
Silla Brush and Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission plans to intensify oversight of swaps clearinghouses to ensure they don’t threaten the financial system they are meant to help secure.

SEC Names Brent J. Fields to Lead Office of the Secretary
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Brent J. Fields has been appointed as the agency’s Secretary, who is responsible for overseeing the administrative aspects of Commission meetings, rulemakings, and procedures.

Tracey L. McNeil Named as SEC’s First Ombudsman
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Tracey L. McNeil has been selected as the first ombudsman for the agency.

Tony West resigns from US Justice Department
Michael Hegarty –
Tony West, best known for overseeing the $16.6 billion mortgage settlement with Bank of America, has resigned as associate attorney general

Loophole? Ring Fence? Regulators, Banks Face Off as Swaps Shift Overseas
Scott Patterson – MoneyBeat – WSJ
U.S. banks’ recent move to shift some of their swaps trading operations overseas is a classic Wall Street versus regulator tale full of loopholes, unintended consequences and murky rulemaking.

Libor legal proceedings to stretch for years
Paige Long –
Lengthy regulatory and criminal proceedings mean that the Libor scandal is not likely to disappear from the headlines any time soon

FCA in new conduct risk push for wealth management firms
OpRisk staff –
UK financial regulator to host conference on conduct risk in drive for greater transparency and higher standards in wealth management industry

ESMA Announces Open Hearing On Market Abuse
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) will hold an open hearing on the issues raised in the two recently published Consultation papers on draft Technical Standards and on possible implementing measures on the Market Abuse Regulation.

AQX Securities Speaks Out Against ESMA’s Proposed Ban On Research Commission In MiFID II
AQX Securities, the service-oriented, multi-asset, execution services provider, today spoke out against ESMA’s proposal for a ban on research commission in MiFID II. In a letter sent to ESMA on 30 July 2014, AQX set out its counter-arguments, stating its disagreement to the independent EU Authority’s proposal for investment managers to be limited to accepting minor, non-monetary benefits and clearly citing the benefits to the investor of greater choice of research from a growing pool of providers.

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

August upturn for the derivatives market
Jon Watkins – The Trade
Derivatives trading activity has risen across a number of global exchanges during August, marking a rare uptick in volumes during this year, and providing Eurex with its first year-on-year volumes increase of 2014.

Intercontinental Exchange Announces Launch Of 30 New Energy Contracts At ICE Futures Europe And ICE Futures U.S.
Press Release
Intercontinental Exchange, the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced the introduction of 30 new energy futures and option contracts on September 22, 2014, subject to the completion of necessary regulatory and governance processes.

BATS Successfully Operates U.S. Businesses From Disaster Recovery Site As Part of Business Continuity Planning Process
Company Headquarters Taken Completely Offline For Test of Business Continuity Plan on September 4th

MarketAxess Announces Monthly Volume Statistics For August 2014
MarketAxess Holdings Inc., the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities, and the provider of market data and post-trade services for the global fixed-income markets, yesterday announced total monthly trading volume for August 2014 of $52.2 billion, consisting of $31.2 billion in U.S. high-grade volume, $15.9 billion in other credit volume, and $5.1 billion in liquid products volume.

NYSE Arca Options// Postponed: Release of Complex Order Book Enhancements
NYSE Arca Options will postpone the release of the Complex Order Book enhancements – earlier scheduled to commence on September 8, 2014 (see prior trader update here). A new release date will be announced in an additional trader notice.
(via email)

Borse Dubai Announces The Sale Of 8,500,000 Shares In London Stock Exchange Group

Oslo Børs: Continuing High Level Of Activity In The Stock Market

Irish Stock Exchange Statistics August 2014

TMX Group Equity Financing Statistics – August 2014: Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange

TSX Markets Top 20 Largest Consolidated Short Position Report – August 31, 2014

TOM MTF Statistics Week 36, 2014

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

BlueBay, Hedge Funds Take On Asset Managers for UCITS
Sarah Jones – Bloomberg
Hedge-fund firms such as BlueBay Asset Management LLP and Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP are jumping on demand for liquid alternative investments, offering funds usually reserved for traditional money managers.

Pension boost provides reprieve for Polish capital markets
Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker – Euromoney Magazine
Fifteen per cent of workers opt in to private system; turnover on WSE seen increasing.

John Paulson Bids Good Riddance to Summer
The hedge fund magnate John A. Paulson seemed to be enjoying himself at the United States Open on Wednesday night, watching Novak Djokovic defeat Andy Murray.

Gresham looks to sell after failing to raise interest in new fund
Dan Dunkley – Financial News
UK mid-market private equity firm Gresham is lining up a series of exits across its portfolio, months after it confirmed it would cease making new investments.

Slow fixed-income markets drive research demand
Rob Daly – The Trade
The buy-side’s demand for fixed-income research, and its willingness to pay for it, has increased dramatically over the past two years, notes a recently published research report from industry analysis firm Greenwich Associates.

Pension funds prefer devils they know
Mark Cobley – Financial News
Pension funds that are contemplating bringing in a fiduciary manager – a single firm to take on most, if not all, active investment responsibilities – are overwhelmingly more likely to employ a firm they already know rather than a newcomer, a survey for consultancy Aon Hewitt suggests.

Dean exits Schroders after one year
Anna Fedorova – Investment Week
Julie Dean, lead manager on the Schroders UK Opportunities fund, is leaving the company and handing over her fund to Matt Hudson.

Icebreakers: The private equity investors that lead the others
Alec Macfarlane – Financial News
There are many institutions that invest in private equity, but some are more important than others.

Fifth Street Asset Management files for IPO
Alternative asset manager Fifth Street Asset Management Inc filed with the U.S. regulators for an initial public offering of Class A common stock.

CFTC Commitments Of Traders Reports Update

Banks & Brokers

ConvergEx algo upgrade targets auctions
John Bakie – The Trade
US-based broker ConvergEx has upgrades its algorithms to be able to deploy strategies during opening and closing auctions.

Twist as junior bankers asked to rate their bosses
Matt Turner and Nick Kostov – Financial News
The effort to make the working lives of young bankers more rewarding has taken a new twist, with juniors now asked to rate their senior colleagues on their interactions with them.

Clearing & Settlement

GH Financials secures Eurex clearing membership
The Trade
Exchange-traded derivatives clearing firm, GH Financials (GHF), has become a member of Eurex Clearing.

LCH.Clearnet upgrade poised to boost NLX
Tim Cave and Anish Puaar – Financial News
LCH.Clearnet, the international clearing house majority-owned by the London Stock Exchange, is set to commit to a “cross-margining” service that could significantly reduce the cost of holding derivatives.

ICE Bolsters Clearing with SuperDerivatives Buy
Timothy Bourgaize Murray – WatersTechnology
Intercontinental Exchange says it will buy the derivatives pricing and risk management software provider for $350 million.

LCH payments system raises concentration concerns
Cecile Sourbes –
A large proportion of cash payments between clearing members and LCH.Clearnet are processed by just two banks, raising concentration risk concerns from banks and regulators

Indexes & Products

Leveraged ETFs, lovers of market waves, lose favor amid the calm
Ryan Vlastelica – Reuters
Leveraged exchange-traded funds, designed to magnify short-term returns, have fallen out of favor this year as investors who had embraced them are finding costs excessive in a calm market that is not rewarding bets on wild daily swings.

Gold Bulls Retreat as $1.6 Billion Erased From ETPs: Commodities
Megan Durisin and Lydia Mulvany – Bloomberg
Money managers trimmed bullish gold wagers for a third week, mirroring the retreat in prices that helped erase $1.6 billion from the value of bullion funds.

RMC Presentation on Tail Hedge Management
Matt Moran –
Mr. Angel Serrat, Partner and Chief Investment Strategist of Capula Investment Management, delivered a presentation on Tail Hedging at the CBOE Risk Management Conference Europe on Sept. 5th in Ireland.

Presentation on VXTYN Futures & Interest Rate Volatility Delivered by Yoshiki Obayashi
Matt Moran –
Earlier today in Dublin, Ireland. Yoshiki Obayashi, Founder and Managing Director, Applied Academics, delivered a presentation at the CBOE Risk Management Conference Europe in Ireland on the subject of the CBOE/CBOT 10-year U.S. Treasury Note Volatility Index (VXTYN) and interest rate volatility.

MSCI removes Russia from the equation
Charlotte Moore – Financial Times
At the end of July, MSCI launched new composite indices that exclude Russia, including new versions of its all-country index and its emerging market index.

SIX Swiss Exchange Successful 3rd Edition Of ETF/ETP Roundtables

Solactive Launches New Hedge Fund Replication Index – Licensed To Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking

ETFGI’s Research Shows Assets Invested In ETFs And ETPs Listed In Europe Reached A New Record High Of 477.4 Billion US Dollars At The End Of August 2014


GuavaTech, Inc. Announces New Hosting and Connectivity Service Offerings in Hong Kong
GuavaTech, Inc., a leading managed service provider specializing in customized IT solutions for proprietary trading firms, investment banks, hedge funds, broker/dealers, and FCMs, announced that they are offering proximity hosting and ultra-low latency connectivity solutions for electronic trading at the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s (HKEx) Data Center.

Perseus Continues To Set The Bar
Market Data Growth And Hires Financial Market Experts – Spotlight On Company Evolution With New Key Hires And Enhancement Of Liquidpath, A Powerful Trading Solution Including Colocation, Managed Services, Connectivity, High Precision Time, Internet Access For Management And Now, Raw Market Data

Broadridge Investment Management Solutions Launches Performance And Attribution Solution For Hedge Funds And Investment Managers
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of technology-driven solutions for financial firms and corporate issuers globally, and BI-SAM, a leading provider of performance measurement and attribution solutions for the global asset management industry, today announced the launch of Broadridge Investment Management Solutions Performance Reporting, exclusively designed for institutional asset managers.

Duco Selected By R. J. O’Brien
Duco announced today that R. J. O’Brien & Associates LLC, the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, has signed for Duco Cube, the leading, hosted self-service control solution, for its global reconciliation business.


Bitcoin Exchangers Plead Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court In Connection With The Sale Of Approximately $1 Million In Bitcoins For Use On The Silk Road Website
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT M. FAIELLA, a/k/a “BTCKing,” an underground Bitcoin exchanger, and CHARLIE SHREM, formerly the Chief Executive Officer and Compliance Officer of a Bitcoin exchange company, both pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, through which they knowingly transmitted money intended to facilitate criminal activity – specifically, drug trafficking on “Silk Road,” a black-market website designed to enable its users to buy and sell illegal drugs anonymously and beyond the reach of law enforcement.

Insider Martoma’s Sentencing Highlights White-Collar Crime Debate
Christopher M. Matthews – WSJ
When Mathew Martoma faces a federal judge on Monday to be sentenced for insider trading, a punishment that could reach 20 years in prison, he will become a flash point in the debate over the severity of white-collar sentences.

Environmental & Energy

Foreign firms queue up to join Shenzhen carbon market
The China Emissions Exchange in Shenzhen has granted a trading license to Singapore-based broker Ginga Petroleum, with another eight foreign utilities and trading firms waiting in line.

Shell looks to solar power to lift oil output
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
In an unusual alliance of old and new energies, Royal Dutch Shell, the European oil group, and a sovereign wealth fund from Oman are leading an investment of $53m into a small solar power company that uses its renewable energy to increase crude oil production.

India should go solar to bring down carbon emissions; British envoy on climate change
British special representative on climate change Sir David King has said India should adopt the solar energy route to bring down carbon emissions, without compromising on its developmental goals. Sir King said, on a mass scale, solar energy would be economical to coal-fired thermal energy.


‘Through train’ may derail some HK ETF sales
Kylie Wong – Financial Times
A number of Hong Kong-listed exchange traded funds linked to China’s equity market have seen significant inflows in the past months, after the announcement of a planned pilot programme that will allow investors in the two markets to trade on each other’s stock exchange.But once it is up and running, the scheme could turn the tables and take a toll on the sales of Hong Kong-listed A-share ETFs.

Results of the TRADE Asia algorithmic trading survey 2014
Simon Osborne – The Trade
This year has a breakthrough year for the Algorithmic Trading Survey in Asia. Not only were more responses received than in any previous year and from more individual respondents, but the scores reached record levels in terms of customer satisfaction.

Ruffer duo: Knives are out for Japan (again)
Julia Rampen – Investment Week
The bears are “sharpening their knives” for Japan despite encouraging signs in the longer term, the managers of the Ruffer investment trust have warned.

Aussie firms use derivatives to build hidden M&A positions
Justin Lee –
M&A is back on the menu for Australia corporates and a spike in takeover deals has been characterised by the use of derivatives to build up significant positions without having to disclose these to competition authorities – a move that has proved controversial

Japan’s Financial Services Agency Publishes A Report On Over-The-Counter (OTC) Derivatives As Of End-June 2014

Frontier Markets

Goldman Sukuk Lures Mideast’s Top Fund Manager: Islamic Finance
Daria Solovieva and Samuel Potter – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) will probably succeed in its latest attempt to sell sukuk as investors clamor for Islamic bonds, according to the manager of the Middle East and Africa’s best performing sukuk fund.

Fernández likely to see out term with battle cry for ‘fatherland’
Benedict Mander in Buenos Aires – Financial Times
A photograph of Palestinian militants brandishing posters of Cristina Fernández alongside images of Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that circulated in local media last week provoked a curious reaction from the Argentine president.

DME Announces Joint Seminars with China’s INE
The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, has announced plans to hold two joint seminars with the Shanghai International Energy Exchange Corporation (INE).

Non Jordanian Investment At The Amman Stock Exchange During August 2014


Bloomberg News Stands Out With Editorial Policy to Not Report on Itself
RAVI SOMAIYASEPT. 7, 2014 – NY Times
On the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, Michael R. Bloomberg appears at No. 15, with a net worth of $33.6 billion. But on his own company’s ranking, the Bloomberg Billionaires index, he appears nowhere.

John Lothian Newsletter

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CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

When Americans Took to the Streets Over Inflation

When Americans Took to the Streets Over Inflation

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Gensler says SEC to review payment for order flow

Gensler says SEC to review payment for order flow

First Read $42,376/$300,000 (14.1%) ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff The new CME Group micro Treasury futures contracts are not the basis point futures I have suggested, but they are very close and maybe better. Certainly the micro name will enhance...

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