John Lothian Newsletter: LSE nears USD3bn Russell deal; Wall St. regulator may release rules on data collection plan this summer; US Announces Credit Suisse Guilty Plea

May 20, 2014

First Read

The elusive cross-asset world
Alun Green – SunGard
I’ve spent much of my career in the sleepy world of investment bank back offices. And although we have had a bit of a wake up call, I still don’t see too much change happening when it comes to leaving behind a systems infrastructure based on asset classes for one based on capabilities.

The traditional sell-side organization with its asset class silos just doesn’t resonate with the needs of the buy side. Consolidating information on a portal is one good step as is having a single stop shop for client services. But in order to make this an efficient reality firms need to take a more detailed view of their operating model that is granular enough to capture not only the similarities but also the differences between process activities in the front, middle, and back office. But having done that is there technology to support this new model?

In the consumer world we used to have technology silos. Listening to music required a variety of different products, calling people was on dedicated phones, and if you needed a health check that was usually a visit to the doctor. But over the last ten years we have seen this move to multi-function devices based on what a user needs. We carry a smartphone when we are out and about, pick up a tablet when relaxing at home and of course wear a wristband to constantly monitor our activity.

Couldn’t we benefit from the same in our world?


LSE’s rationale for buying Russell
Philip Stafford –
The resurging confidence at the London Stock Exchange Group was underlined on Tuesday by its confirmation that it was in exclusive talks to buy Russell Investments. As the US group has an enterprise value of around $2.4bn, it would make the deal the LSE’s largest purchase to date, surpassing the GBP1.7bn it paid in 2007 for Borsa Italia.

***AG: Looks like the Atlantic continues to shrink. Is there no end to exchange globalization?


SEC commissioner: Hold lawyers’ feet to the fire
Sarah N. Lynch – Reuters
Lawyers who provide advice to public companies about their financial disclosures should be required to attest to their accuracy and be held more accountable, a top U.S. securities regulator said on Monday.


ICE Endex Appointed Balancing Market Operator For The Netherlands
IntercontinentalExchange Group, the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, today announced that ICE Endex has been appointed as the market operator for the Dutch natural gas balancing market from June 3, 2014.

**AG: Another piece in the puzzle for ICE.


Finra Trade-Surveillance System Will Be Redesigned, Ketchum Says
Dave Michaels – Businessweek
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-regulator, is changing the design of a trading-surveillance system that has drawn opposition from brokers, Chief Executive Officer Rick Ketchum said in a speech.

***AG: I always find it an encouraging sign of strength when regulators change their minds in face of constructive criticism.


HFT: Innovation, or Rigging? The Jury’s Still Out
Edward Talisse – TabbFORUM
Are technological savvy and speedy traders bad for the long-term health of financial markets? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good for investors, either. Ultimately, HFTs themselves need to do a better job at explaining their role in the market’s microstructure.

***AG: It is always natural to look for scapegoats when misfortune hits and HFTs fit the bill nicely. As with most things though the truth is not that simple and the more people know about what is going on the more reassured we will all be. Thanks to TABB for helping educate us all.


Deja Dit: Clearing My Spindle on . . . Clearing
Streetwise Professor
Several clearing related stories, each of which gives me a sense of deja vu. Or deja dit, to be more accurate.


US Asset managers over reacting to risk panel review -Treasury’s Miller
A top U.S. Treasury official said Monday she is surprised how hard the asset management industry has lobbied against efforts by regulators to explore where the sector poses systemic risks.


Buffett: Teach kids financial literacy to spark entrepreneurship
Luciana Lopez | Reuters
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has a double life – as a cartoon character. In his “Secret Millionaires Club,” an animated series online and on television, Buffett teaches a group of kids about financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

***AG: I must make sure my kids watch this one. Education is such a great way to give back.



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Lead Stories

LSE nears $3bn Russell deal
Arash Massoudi in London and Ed Hammond in New York –
The London Stock Exchange Group has entered exclusive talks to buy Russell Investments, the index compiler and asset manager, that is expected to fetch about $3bn, said people familiar with the discussions.

Ex-MF Global executives can tap more legal defense money: judge
Nick Brown | Reuters
Jon Corzine and other former insiders of collapsed brokerage MF Global can tap another $10 million of insurance funds to defend lawsuits accusing them of hastening the firm’s downfall, a U.S. judge said on Monday.

Wall Street regulator may release rules on data collection plan this summer
Suzanne Barlyn | Reuters
A formal proposal for a controversial rule that would beef up oversight of securities brokerages could be ready as early as this summer, the head of Wall Street’s industry-funded watchdog said on Monday.

U.S. Announces Credit Suisse Guilty Plea
WSJ Staff – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The U.S. Department of Justice sent out a press release late Monday trumpeting its $2.6 billion settlement with Credit Suisse. The bank admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide offshore accounts from the Internal Revenue Service.

DoJ Finally Scores A Criminal Charge In Credit Suisse Case, Problem Solved?
Halah Touryalai, Forbes
They said it wouldn’t happen, but the Department of Justice is getting what it’s been looking for: A criminal charge against a financial firm. Credit Suisse will plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing today in a case where the Swiss bank helped Americans dodge taxes.

Credit Suisse Chief Sees Little Impact From Tax Evasion Plea
A day after Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the United States, Brady W. Dougan, its chief executive, said on Tuesday that the bank took full responsibility for its actions but emphasized that it had seen little effect on its business.

JPMorgan to HSBC Accused by EU Over Rate-Rigging Cartel
Gaspard Sebag – Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole SA were accused today by the European Union’s antitrust arm of colluding to manipulate interbank lending rates. The trio received antitrust complaints alleging they participated in a cartel to rig Euribor. The so-called statement of objections is the next step in the EU enforcement process after the lenders dropped out of settlement talks last year.

SEC Announces Charges Against Four Former Officials At Clearing Firm Penson Financial Services For Regulation SHO Violations
An SEC investigation found that Penson’s securities lending practices intentionally and systematically violated Rule 204 under Reg. SHO. The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Penson’s chief compliance officer Thomas R. Delaney II had direct knowledge that the firm’s procedures for sales of customer margin securities were resulting in rule violations, yet he didn’t take steps to bring Penson into compliance and instead affirmatively assisted the violations. Penson’s president and CEO Charles W. Yancey ignored significant red flags about Delaney’s involvement in the violations and the fact that he was concealing them from FINRA and the SEC.

***DA: All the good parts were sold off and the bad ones went under; but the lawsuits are still pending, along with the enforcement actions…

Bitcoin Exchanges Probed Over Shuttered Drug Market
Christopher M. Matthews –
U.S. authorities have opened a new front in their investigation into bitcoin exchanges and other businesses that deal in the online currency, examining possible ties between the firms and the online drug bazaar Silk Road, according to people familiar with the matter. The new focus of the investigation is the latest indication of how the shuttered online drug market has become linked to bitcoin, tainting the currency with associations of shady activity as its advocates stress to regulators its legitimacy.


Wall St. watchdog probing 170 instances of possible algorithmic abuses
Suzanne Barlyn | Reuters
Wall Street’s self-regulator is cracking down on abusive trades made on the basis of mathematical algorithms and currently has some 170 ongoing investigations into the subject, its chief said on Monday.

EU elections could help Left to renew push on regulation
Anish Puaar and Tim Cave – Financial News
This week’s European elections may trigger a tougher environment for financial regulation in Europe. Although anti-EU parties such as Britain’s Ukip are expected to fare well, polls predict stronger gains for parties in the European United Left/Nordic Green Left grouping, which has taken a hard line on banking and markets.

U.S. Regulators Could Do Nothing On Asset Managers, Official Says
Ryan Tracy – MoneyBeat – WSJ
U.S. regulators are considering a range of options for acting on risks associated with the asset-management industry, including taking no action at all, a U.S. Treasury Department official said Monday in an attempt to diffuse tension over an ongoing federal review.

FCA welcomes Banking Standards Review report
The Financial Conduct Authority today welcomed the report of the Banking Standards Review into how standards can be raised in behaviour and competence across the banking and building society sector.

Remarks by Richard Ketchum From the 2014 FINRA Annual Conference

Three Key Pressure Points In The Current Enforcement Environment, SEC Chair Mary Jo White, NYC Bar Association’s Third Annual White Collar Crime Institute, New York, NY, May 19, 2014

Remarks To The First Annual Conference On The Regulation Of Financial Markets, SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, Washington, D.C., May 16, 2014

Keynote Address At Compliance Week 2014, SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein, Washington, D.C., May 19, 2014

Opening Remarks Of US Treasury Under Secretary Mary Miller At The Financial Stability Oversight Council Conference On Asset Management

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

Nasdaq OMX Launches MiQ for Better Data Intelligence
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
Nasdaq OMX has announced the launch of a major new business intelligence solution for capital market operators called MiQ. Developed in partnership with Datawatch, a provider of visual data software, MiQ allows organizations to visualize cross-system data to derive new insight in real-time.

Deutsche Börse Rolls Out Eurex Real-time Analytics
Giulia Lasagni – WatersTechnology
Deutsche Börse Market Data and Services, the IT arm of Deutsche Börse, has launched a new real-time analytics tool for the most liquid futures traded on its Eurex derivatives market, in an effort to give investors greater insight into market activity and trends.

MGEX: Open Interest Number 16 On Daily Open Interest Records
MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and DerivativesClearing Organization (DCO), reports open interest at number 16 on the daily Exchange open interest records. A total of five days in May are now in the top 25.

EnterNext and Midcap Partners host Forum for Paris Region software publishers
EnterNext, the Euronext subsidiary designed to promote and grow the market for SMEs[1], today hosted a forum for software publishers from the Paris region. The event — the first of its kind — led to 54 investor meetings for seven software companies listed on Euronext.

TABB Examines Alternative Trading System Matching Logic, Sees First Net Decline In 2014 Since SEC’s Reg ATS Approval In 1999 – New Research Advocates For Further ATS Transparency
In new research examining the rise in active Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs) in NMS securities since 2005, TABB Group says ATS registrations have reached a near-term peak and estimates a net decrease of three ATSs in 2014, the industry’s first net decline since the SEC’s approval of Reg ATS.

SIX: Changes To The Board Of Directors – New Head Of Financial Information Division
The General Meeting of SIX Shareholders elected Dr Patrik Gisel, Lorenz von Habsburg Lothringen and Søren Mose to the Board of Directors.

NASDAQ OMX Announces Proposed Senior Notes Offering

London Stock Exchange Group: Statement Regarding Frank Russell Company

BATS Global Markets Provides EDGA and EDGX Full Market Depth Data to Bloomberg

SIX Exchange Regulation: Delisting PG&E Corporation, San Francisco

MIAX Options Holiday Schedule – Memorial Day

Direct Edge Trading Notice #14-18: Market Holiday Reminder – Memorial Day

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Asset managers seek to deflect new rules
Stephen Foley and Gina Chon in Washington –
The asset management industry is playing US regulators against their international counterparts and stirring national sentiment on Capitol Hill in an attempt to head off new regulation of its biggest firms.

Transamerica Asset Mgmt terminates Pimco as investment sub-advisor -SEC
Jennifer Ablan | Reuters
Transamerica Asset Management, Inc. has terminated Pacific Investment Management Company as an investment subadvisor to an inflation-protected bond fund, effective in the fourth quarter, according to an SEC filing on Monday.

Quadrant Private Equity Hires RMB’s Batchelor
Gillian Tan – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Australia’s Quadrant Private Equity has hired RMB Capital Partners’s managing director Nick Batchelor, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Batchelor will join the firm as a partner in July, one of the people said.

Why Sovereign Wealth Funds Are a Bank’s Best Friend
Ben Wright – MoneyBeat – WSJ
If you have a capital problem, if no one else can help, and if you can persuade them, maybe you can cozy up to one of the world’s sovereign wealth funds.

Asset managers look to broaden their horizons
Jennifer Hill – Financial News
It is “the most romantic and treacherous of business challenges”, according to Hendrik du Toit, chief executive of Investec Asset Management. Yet asset managers are still looking to broaden the global sweep of their business as they seek growth.

Chasing Yield, Investors Plow Into Junk Bonds
Tom Lauricella and Katy Burne –
Large investors are rushing into the riskiest corporate bonds, frustrated by low interest rates on safer investments and convinced that even companies with shaky finances are in little danger of default.

Forex traders target timezone arbitrage
Jamie Chisholm –
Attention US forex traders, if you want to make money in the euro/dollar (EURUSD) then start the day taking the opposite position on your European cousins. That’s what can be inferred from an interesting note by Richard Cochinos, forex strategist at Citi.

S&P Capital IQ Launches New Business Line Dedicated To Standard & Poor’s Ratings Research And Integrated Solutions
Neil R. Smith Tapped To Lead S&P Credit Solutions

Banks & Brokers

BoE says banks nervous over releasing details of health checks
Huw Jones | Reuters
Banks in Britain broadly support Bank of England plans for yearly checks on their capital levels, although they disagree on how detailed the published results should be.

Lloyd Blankfein ranked best financial boss
Joe McGrath – Financial News
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs, has topped a list of the most popular financial bosses ranked by staff approval ratings.

J.P. Morgan’s Dimon Aims to Stay Put
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer James Dimon has told investors he wants to stay with the largest U.S. bank for as many as five more years, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Bank of America Poaches Rothschild’s Tom Butcher
Gillian Tan – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Bank of America Corp. has bolstered its Australian investment banking arm, hiring Rothschild managing director Tom Butcher as its head of transportation coverage for the region, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Deutsche Bank chairman leads battle for the bulge bracket
Thomas Atkins | Reuters
Paul Achleitner, the chairman of Deutsche Bank, believes Europe needs a global investment bank to support the region’s companies that can measure up to rivals in the United States.

Deutsche Bank Vows to Focus on Clients With a New Culture of Ethics
As the banking sector tries to distance itself from the industry practices that helped plunge the globe into financial crisis, Deutsche Bank is doing its best to show it has learned the lessons of the past.

HSBC and UBS ramp up investment in financial technology
Anna Irrera – Financial News
HSBC has allocated up to $200 million for investment in tech start-ups with the aim of improving the bank’s financial technology, underscoring the growing interest from the financial sector in the fast-growing fintech area.

Clearing & Settlement

TrueEX Processes $750 Billion in Bunched Order Allocations
Ivy Schmerken – Wall Street & Technology
SEF startup TrueEX LLC has processed over $750 billion bunched order allocations in the past 90 days, overcoming a major hurdle for the buy side in complying with the recent trading mandate for swaps.

Protection Racket
ISDA media.comment
How many times have you read a story in a newspaper or magazine and thought, “The headline is pretty negative, but the story is OK”? We thought (and hoped) that might be the case when we came across this New York Times Dealbook piece – authored by an outside contributor – that has this alarming headline: Derivatives Markets Growing Again, with Few New Protections.

CME Group Clearing: HOLIDAY SCHEDULE – Memorial Day May 26th, 2014

Indexes & Products

BlackRock advances in pursuit of ETFs with non-daily disclosure
BlackRock Inc, the largest U.S. provider of exchange-traded funds, has moved a step further toward launching a new breed of ETFs that would be allowed to keep holdings under wraps for months, instead of the daily disclosure now required.

Launch Of The Solactive US Energy Infrastructure MLP Index – First ETF In Europe On Infrastructure MLPs Listed By ETF Securities

Semi-Annual Changes To The NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index


Scivantage and Stevens Institute Launch FinTech Incubator Program
Becca Lipman – Wall Street & Technology
In just a few short years New York City has become a hub for financial technology startups. The corresponding rise in “FinTech” focused events have been well attended, often drawing in top players in the capital markets and banking world seeking to stay ahead of the technology curve and rev up their innovation cycles.

SIX Financial Information Names SunGard’s Jeanbart CEO
Giulia Lasagni – Waters Technology
Swiss exchange and clearing organization operator and data provider SIX Group has appointed Robert Jeanbart as the new chief executive of its SIX Financial Information market data vendor business.

Perseus Wins Red Herring Top 100 North America – Joins The Ranks Of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype,, YouTube, Palo Alto Networks And eBay, All Previously Honoured In The Past
Perseus Telecom, a leading provider of high-speed global connectivity, High Precision Time and Market-to-Market networks announced today the honour of being selected as a Red Herring Top 100 North America winner for 2014. The award recognizes the leading private companies from North America and celebrates their innovations and technologies across their respective industries.

Thomson Reuters Adds FlexTrade EMS to Eikon
Jake Thomases – WatersTechnology
Thomson Reuters has integrated FlexTrade’s execution management system (EMS) and Autex indications of interest (IOI) data into its flagship desktop, Eikon.

Redline Trading Solutions Certifies Azul’s Zing For Jitter-Free Java-Based Custom Trading Strategies For Electronic Markets


SEC Charges Two Clinical Drug Trial Doctors With Insider Trading
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two California-based doctors with illegally trading on inside knowledge that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had halted the clinical trials of a new prostate cancer drug developed by biopharmaceutical company GTx Inc.

SEC Announces Charges Against Four Former Officials at Clearing Firm Penson Financial Services for Regulation SHO Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against four former officials at clearing firm Penson Financial Services for their roles in Regulation SHO violations.

Global Futures & Forex, Ltd. Ordered to Pay $200,000 Penalty to Settle CFTC Charges of Violating Minimum Financial Requirement Rules
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an Order filing and simultaneously settling charges that, between December 2010 and November 2012 (the Relevant Period), Global Futures & Forex, Ltd. (GFF), a CFTC-registered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) and former Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, failed to comply with minimum financial requirements for FCMs and RFEDs.

NY fund manager made insider trading ‘jackpot,’ SEC tells jurors
Nate Raymond | Reuters
A lawyer for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission told jurors Monday a New York fund manager had made a “jackpot” $1.3 million trading on inside information days before a 2001 merger.

U.S. court faults SEC trial strategy against broker, tosses verdict
Jonathan Stempel | Reuters
Faulting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s trial strategy, a federal appeals court on Monday overturned a jury’s finding that a former Prudential Securities broker committed civil fraud by rapidly trading mutual funds.

Environmental & Energy

Russia-China gas deal preparations in “final phase” says Putin – Xinhua
Preparations for an agreement on long-awaited Russian natural gas exports to China have entered “the final phase”, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency on Monday quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying ahead of a two-day visit to Shanghai.

***LB: Also in this story “For Russia, the deal to supply China with 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year would help cut its dependence on Europe as the major market for its gas and create a strategic shift to Asia, as political pressure piles up over Ukraine.”

EU sees two more rounds of talks on Russia-Ukraine gas dispute
The European Union will aim to resolve a row between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices by June 1 with two more rounds of talks planned for next week, Europe’s Energy Commissioner said on Monday.

Putin’s Shanghai Expedition Stokes Deal Talk That Lifts Gazprom
Halia Pavliva and Ksenia Galouchko, Bloomberg Businessweek
President Vladimir Putin’s planned China visit this week is helping spark the longest rally in OAO Gazprom since 2006 as speculation mounts that he will return with a long-sought gas supply agreement.


ASX And SGX Cooperate To Further Enhance Market Connectivity
ASX today announced that customers in the Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC) and on ASX Net in Australia can now connect to the SGX Co-Location Data Centre in Singapore via ASX Net Global, ASX’s international low latency network.

China Relaxes Rules on Overseas M&A
MoneyBeat – WSJ
Beijing has made it easier for Chinese companies to complete smaller overseas acquisitions, a move that bankers say will enable those companies to be more competitive during the bidding process.

China’s banks line up extra capital cushion
Josh Noble in Hong Kong –
China’s banks are poised to raise tens of billions of dollars via preferred share issues in the coming months, as they look to boost capital ratios ahead of strict new regulations and a potential rise in bad loans.

China to launch first onshore dry bulk commodity freight derivative
Xiao Wang –
Shanghai Shipping Freight Exchange (SSEFC), China’s first freight derivatives exchange, is looking to expand the range of country-specific commodity products by launching a dry bulk commodity forward freight contract this June, according to Wu Di, the deputy president at the firm.

Biggest Philippine Money Manager Sells Stocks on Valuations
Ian Sayson – Bloomberg
The biggest Philippine money manager is reducing equity holdings on concern a rally that drove valuations to the most expensive level in Asia is poised to end.

All Activities At Thai Bourse Going On As Usual

Notification On Launch Of Mock Trading Of Shanghai Futures Exchange Non-ferrous Metals Index Futures

Japan OTC Exchange Receives Regulatory Permission To Open Market

Frontier Markets

Modi’s victory to open India’s equity capital markets
James Crabtree in Mumbai –
India’s equity capital markets are back in business following the landslide election of prime minister-in-waiting Narendra Modi last week, in a sign of growing investor confidence in Asia’s third-largest economy.

NSEL scam: Jignesh Shah, Javalgekar get judicial remand
A sessions court today remanded MCX promoter Jignesh Shah and former managing director and chief executive of the commodity exchange Shreekant Javalgekar in judicial custody till May 31 in connection with the alleged Rs 5600-crore NSEL payment scam.

Extend trading hours for commodities market: Government panel
The Economic Times
A government panel has recommended extending trading hours at commodity bourses mainly to overlap with Asian and Australian markets and enhance global competitiveness.

Qatar Comes to European Banks’ Rescue–With a Twist
Asa Fitch and Nicolas Parasie – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Qatar is again swooping in to help one of Europe’s biggest banks – this time with a twist.

DIFC Partners With Dar Al Sharia To Offer Free Short Course On Islamic Finance – Course Will Help People Working In DIFC Grasp Basics On The Subject

Malaysia Securities Industry Development Corporation Achieves Milestone Training 400 Graduates For Islamic Capital Market

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) Achieves 97.6% Compliance In Q1 Results Disclosure Of UAE Companies

Amman Stock Exchange: Sunday May 25 A Public Holiday To Celebrate Independence Day

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