First Read

Boca Bits & Pieces
Sarah Rudolph – JLN

This is the 40th anniversary of the FIA Boca conference, and befitting such a nice round number, it was also the most highly attended ever, with somewhere around 1130 attendees. This year, pins were given out to those participants who had been attending the conference for 5, 10, and 20 years.

Other highlights for the FIA this year include a newly designed web site at, and a newly branded magazine: Futures Industry Magazine, which will now be called “Marketvoice.” The magazine and website now have expanded features, a global reach, and a digital platform, Walt Lukken, the FIA CEO and president, told the crowd.

Read the rest of the column on

***DA: A late entry just before hitting the send button – CBOE will be launching options on two MSCI indexes, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM) and MSCI EAFE Index, on April 21, 2015. We will have the full story in today’s JLN Options newsletter and on later this morning.


New Frontier: TT’s new platform debuts with European Energy Exchange

Independent Software Vendors are always looking for new markets and new opportunities. Trading Technologies says it has found both with a new deal with the European Energy Exchange to provide its new TT trading platform its market participants.

Rick Lane, CEO of TT, spoke with John Lothian News about what it means for TT and EEX, and where the ISVs are heading. The announcement marks the debut of TT’s latest technology, simply branded as TT. The new platform is a major shift for the firm, which has been moving toward a software as a service model for its new technology.
Watch the video »

Letter to John Lothian from Harlan Ten Pas
Dear John, Clients, Colleagues and Friends,

As some of you know, my life changed in an instant last fall when I suffered a stroke (while I was preparing for my usual September Saturday morning of picking up Dunkin Donuts and heading to the office.) Over the weeks and months, I have been steadily recovering while engaged in a rehabilitation program through RIC. I am in therapy 21 hours per week, plus homework. Actually, I am counting this email as 3 hours of speech therapy. Throughout the process, I have been blessed by the outpouring of support and prayers from my family, friends, colleagues and clients, and I am truly appreciative of it all. The Financial Services community has a great heart and has always been good to me. Words cannot truly express how much it has meant to me and family, so thank you to all of you.

Read the rest of the letter at


FIA Elects Directors and Officers
FIA Americas
FIA today announced the election of directors to its board at its annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. Eleven directors were elected in total at this meeting, including eight regular member directors for two-year terms and three associate member directors for two-year terms. Following the election, the new board elected the association’s officers and public directors.

***** Gerry Corcoran gets re-elected FIA Chairman.


R.J. O’Brien to Acquire The Kyte Group from GFI Group
Press Release
R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, and GFI Group (NYSE: GFIG), a leading intermediary and provider of trading technologies and support services to the global OTC and listed markets, today announced that RJO’s affiliate, R.J. O’Brien Europe Limited (RJO Europe), will acquire GFI’s subsidiary, The Kyte Group Limited (Kyte). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved the transaction, which is expected to close no later than March 17. After closing of the transaction, Kyte will operate under the name “R.J. O’Brien Limited”.

***** Then Gerry Corcoran goes and makes some news.


By Andrew Harris and and Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
HTG Capital Partners LLC filed a lawsuit seeking to identify the entity it says illegally engaged in spoofing, the practice of placing and canceling large orders before they’re executed to manipulate markets.

***** Then the Chairman of the NFA makes some news.


Interactive Data, GlobalRisk join forces to provide risk monitoring tools
Interactive Data and GlobalRisk marked the beginning of the 40th Annual FIA International Futures Conference on Tuesday by announcing they have entered into an alliance to provide multinational brokerages, future commissions merchants and clearings exchanges better insight into trading activities that will reduce costs and risk across functions, whether front- or back-office.

*****DA: A lot happening at GlobalRisk. I used their options valuation/risk management software as a market maker, but they are so much more than that.


Chinese Chutzpah: Using IP to Ice Cotton Competition
Streetwise Professor
China is notorious for flouting intellectual property rights. From stolen technology (including notably military gear) to designer knock-offs, China pirates everything and everyone. It is therefore a rather jaw-dropping act of chutzpah for to Chinese Zhengzhou Commodities Exchange to send a nasty cease-and-desist letter to the Singapore subsidiary of ICE demanding that ICE not copy ZCE’s cotton and sugar contracts:


Lead Stories

U.S. executives lay out regulatory vision for venture exchanges
Two top stock exchanges will lay out their vision on Tuesday for how they believe U.S. regulators should craft rules to foster the creation of “venture exchanges” that list small-cap companies.

Citigroup’s Roaring Revival on Wall Street
Citigroup’s Wall Street operations took the bank to the brink seven years ago. But now, in a little-noticed revival, Citigroup’s traders and investment bankers have come roaring back.

China turns up the heat on ICE
Jeremy Grant, FT
CSRC resistance challenges futures industry
China has often been a haven for copycatters despite governments efforts to crack down on the phenomenon.

Wealth Adviser: Older Clients Have Money Now, But How About Later?
by Kevin Noblet, WSJ
The natural inclination of wealth managers is to go after prospects with the most money, which often means older people whose assets may not really be growing. That’s a mistake. To see their practices grow, advisers need to go where the money is going to be, not just where it is at the moment, says Patrick Kennedy of Pricemetrix. And that means pursuing younger clients. As he tells Wealth Adviser at, “When you have a healthy mix of age, all indications are that you will be more successful, your revenue will grow faster and you’re building a business that will stand the test of time.”

Credit Suisse new boss could ax 2,900 investment bank jobs: analyst
Credit Suisse’s (CSGN.VX) new boss Tidjane Thiam could cut almost 3,000 jobs from its investment bank, or 15 percent of staff, as part of a shift of capital away from trading desks to private banking in Asia, analysts said.

TD Ameritrade CEO nixes talk about buying E*Trade Financial
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp has no interest at the moment in buying smaller discount brokerage rival E*Trade Financial Corp, TD Ameritrade Chief Executive Fred Tomczyk said on Tuesday.


CFTC Solicits Public Comment in Response to the U.S. District Court Order Regarding Cross-Border Litigation
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) today published in the Federal Register a request for public comment in response to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia’s remand order in Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Cross-Border Litigation).

Commissioner Bart Chilton: Price Discovery In The Commodities Markets (Podcast)
Seeking Alpha

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

SGX expands FX footprint with new Asian currency futures
FTSE Global Markets
Singapore Exchange (SGX) will add new Asian currency futures contracts on the Taiwanese dollar (TWD/USD) and Renminbi crosses (SGD/CNH, CNY/SGD, EUR/CNH) to expand its current suite of foreign exchange (FX) futures in the third quarter of 2015, subject to regulatory approval.

ICAP and CME Group tap The Beast Apps Group to Deliver RapidRVTM Market Data and Analytics Tool
Press Release
ICAP Information Services (IIS), the information division of ICAP Plc, and CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, have partnered with The Beast Apps Group to create and deliver RapidRV, a real-time market data and analytics tool designed to provide market participants with the capability to analyze relative value opportunities between the Over-The-Counter (OTC) and exchange-based futures markets.
(via email)

Deutsche Börse and BSE extend cooperation; Market participants of BSE to be able to use N7 network connectivity between India and Deutsche Börse Access Points in Hong Kong and Singapore
Deutsche Börse, Eurex and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) have further extended their strategic cooperation offering connectivity services of Deutsche Börse to certain overseas market participants. As of Q2 2015, participants of BSE will be able to use Deutsche Börse’s resilient and low latency N7 network services to connect to BSE back-ends in India via the respective Deutsche Börse Access Points (data centers) in the two major financial centers Hong Kong and Singapore. This direct service offering by Deutsche Börse to market participants will allow them to connect their trade-execution systems to BSE’s fully regulated offering covering equities, derivatives and currency markets. Currently, the two Access Points are mainly used by Eurex members.

CME Group and TAIFEX Sign Letter of Intent for Greater Collaboration
VPO Press Release
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, and the Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) today signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) regarding the potential listing on TAIFEX of U.S. equity index-based contracts, and the exploration of cross-border collaboration opportunities and models, and forge greater collaboration between both exchanges.

BATS Global Markets Names Kapil Rathi Vice President, Options Business Strategy
BATS Global Markets (BATS), a leading operator of exchanges and services for financial markets globally, today announced the hiring of Kapil Rathi as Vice
President, Options Business Strategy.

Clearing House CBS Internship – Chicago
CME Group
Summer Intern to assist with system cleanup/enhancement and QA testing
As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group ( is where the world comes to manage risk. Based in Chicago, with offices in New York, London, Singapore, Calgary, Houston, São Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington D.C., our team of more than 2,500 employees has an impact on the global economy every day.

Corporate Brand Marketing Summer Internship
CME Group
The student intern in Corporate Brand Marketing would support various groups within the Corporate Marketing and Communications division, working on various integrated marketing programs, corporate events and education initiatives designed to sopport key strategic business initiatives globally.

Hedge Funds Junior Analyst – Contractor
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace is seeking an enthusiastic proactive candidate to join one of their internships on the Hedge Fund client development and sales team (CD&S). CD&S maintain client relationships and help bring new business to the exchange as well as help current customers grow.

Mexican Stock Exchange Releases Monthly Financial Report For February 2015
Click here to download Mexican Stock Exchange’s monthly report for February 2015, in which you will find information of the IPC Index (Índice de Precios y Cotizaciones), Equity Market, Market Capitalization, Fixed Income Value and Issuers with greater variation during the month.

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Why Hedge Funds Still Make Sense for Pension Funds
Life for pension funds is getting tough. The race to the bottom in global interest rates has reduced the rate at which funds discount their future liabilities. Life expectancy continues to surge. Deficits have ballooned.

Verisk Analytics Agrees to Buy Scottish Energy Research Firm
Verisk Analytics said on Tuesday that it had agreed to acquire the Scottish energy research firm Wood Mackenzie from its private equity owners for 1.85 billion pounds, or about $2.8 billion.

Hedge Funds Recorded Strong Recovery in 2014
The number of hedge funds hit new heights last year, and the amount of money flowing into the funds was the highest since before the financial crisis. Even so, hedge funds’ performance lagged the broader stock market.

Platinum market deficit seen shrinking to 235,000 oz in 2015 -WPIC
By Clara Denina, Reuters
The platinum market is expectedto be in deficit of 235,000 ounces this year, a report by the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) estimated on Wednesday,down 66 percent from 2014 levels, on stronger mining and
recycling supply growth.

Banks & Brokers

U.S. Judge Recommends No Goldman Gender-Bias Class Action
A federal judge on Tuesday recommended against certifying a class-action lawsuit in which current and former female employees at Goldman Sachs Group Inc accused the Wall Street bank of gender-based bias in pay and promotions

Exclusive: UBS poaches Bank of Montreal oil banking team – sources
UBS AG (UBSN.S) has poached a U.S. team of 15 oil and gas investment bankers from Canada’s fourth largest bank, Bank of Montreal (BMO) (BMO.TO), marking a shift in power in the energy banking market, according to people familiar with the matter.

Clearing & Settlement

Regulations Increased Confidence in Derivatives
Plan Sponsor
Eighty percent of institutional investors believe that mandatory central clearing of derivatives—including futures contracts, forward contracts, options and swaps—has reduced systemic risk in global financial markets, according to a Greenwich Associates report.

OCC and eSecLending Create Liquidity Facility with CalPERS
The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and eSecLending announced today that they collaborated with CalPERS to develop a product to help OCC diversify and increase their committed liquidity resources while offering a compelling risk-adjusted return for CalPERS. The fully collateralized facility offers the OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, a source of timely access to liquidity while maintaining CalPERS’ conservative risk profile.

Aluminum stock clearing picks up in Japan ahead of fiscal year-end
Aluminum stock clearing sales have picked up in Japan ahead of the financial year closing at the end of the month, market sources said Wednesday, March 11. Sellers said they hoped London Metal Exchange settlement price falling to $1,749.50/mt Tuesday would fuel buying interest.

Task Force Launches EU Instant Payment Plan
As Europe works toward a single market to facilitate cross-border payments, industries have their own goals to accomplish to make the European Commission’s agenda happen.

Indexes & Products

What If Apple Had Entered Dow in 2008?
In February 2008, Apple Inc. had Steve Jobs, a market value of $100 billion and a year’s worth of iPhone sales. What would’ve happened if it had gone into the Dow Jones Industrial Average then? It didn’t, of course: Bank of America Corp. was added to the 118-year-old gauge that month, only to be kicked out five years later. The CHART OF THE DAY shows a theoretical estimate of how choosing Apple instead would have affected the Dow’s trajectory.

Will Apple break Dow Jones jinx?
Economic Times
It has been observed that technology & telecom stocks tend to underperform after their inclusion in the US broader market benchmark, the Dow Jones Index. Intel, Microsoft, and Verizon are some of the stocks that failed to live up to the expectation after entering the index.

Column: Wells Fargo next to join Dow?
The Charlotte Observer
Following last week’s announcement that Apple will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a column in financial magazine Barron’s speculates that Wells Fargo could be the next company added to the more-than-100-year-old blue-chip index.

BSE revamps indices system
Business Standard News
BSE is all set to launch a new set of indices with the introduction of 16 equity indices representing a higher number of shares as compared to the previous indices family. The new family of indices will be introduced in the second quarter of 2015, said a release from the exchange.

Markit Buys Lloyds’ Halifax Housing Index
Vendor will use the index to create financial products based on the UK housing market, officials say. UK-based data vendor Markit has acquired the Halifax House Price Index from Lloyds Banking Group for an undisclosed sum.


Financial Market Engineering taps Object Trading DMA Service Platform
Object Trading, an independent provider of global Direct Market Access (DMA), has announced today that Financial Market Engineering Ltd. (FME) has begun live trading on the Object Trading DMA Service Platform.

Masters joins cryptocurrency start-up
Tom Braithwaite and Ben McLannahan in New York, FT
Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan executive who helped pioneer credit derivatives in the 1990s, has re-emerged as chief executive of a cryptocurrency start-up.

Big Names Put Cash In Bitcoin Startup 21 Inc.; Investors put $116 million behind plan to broaden uses of bitcoin technology
A Silicon Valley startup has persuaded some of the biggest names in venture capital to put $116 million behind its plan to turn the technology behind bitcoin into a mass-marketed phenomenon.

Why the garage startup is quickly becoming a thing of the past
The Globe and Mail
Traditional tales of teenagers inventing gadgets in basements or undergraduates launching companies in dorm rooms are fading into history. The era of the garage startup is waning, for good reason.

Lombard Risk REPORTER – enabling firms to meet European (EBA) and local (PRA) regulators’ Liquidity Coverage reporting requirements
Lombard Risk
European Banking Authority (EBA) Common Reporting: COREP – FINREP – ‘LIQREP’
More firms use Lombard Risk REPORTER for end-to-end regulatory reporting in UK than any other solution
Lombard Risk Management plc (LSE: LRM) (“Lombard Risk”), a leading provider of integrated regulatory reporting, collateral management and compliance solutions for the financial services industry, is pleased to announce that REPORTER is actively in use by firms for the creation and submission of regulatory liquidity reporting in line with both the European Banking Authority’s pan-European and local UK regulatory Prudential Regulatory Authority requirements.


New York Regulator Cracks Down on MoneyMutual
As the host of the daytime talk show bearing his name, Montel Williams brought spicy subjects — long-lost loves and cheating spouses — into millions of American living rooms. But it is a different role entirely that has landed him in hot water: his position as the celebrity face of MoneyMutual for New Yorkers.

Spartan Commodity Fund Management LLC and Alan J. Harry
NFA Regulatory Actions
On March 9, 2015, NFA issued a Complaint charging Spartan Management with failing to provide periodic account statements to pool participants and failing to deposit pool funds in a bank account in the name of the pool rather than the CPO. The Complaint also charged Spartan Management and Harry with failure to supervise.

Washington Asset Advisors LLC and Lei Li
NFA Regulatory Actions
On March 9, 2015, NFA issued a Complaint charging Washington Asset Advisors and Li with failure to comply with the order of the Business Conduct Committee approving the settlement in the 2008 disciplinary case and failure to supervise.

Environmental & Energy

China’s Chongqing cuts carbon permit supply
Companies obliged to reduce their carbon emissions in China’s pilot carbon exchange in Chongqing will be allocated a smaller number of permits for 2014, with the government tightening its grip on the market to tackle climate change.

Will Natural Gas Dim Solar’s Shine?
By Frank Jossi – ensia
On the outskirts of downtown St. Paul, Minn., Xcel Energy’s High Bridge Generating Station offers an iconic view of the current state of electrical generation in the United States.

Wind, gas, solar dominate new power plant installations
By Timothy Cama -The Hill
Power companies’ new generating capacity this year will be dominated by wind, natural gas and solar power, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.


Cargill launches first mini mill in Chipata
Located in Chipata, this accessible mill will provide local rural and urban farmers with a reliable, consistent market for their maize as well as produce competitively priced mealie-meal for the consumer. The mill will produce high quality white and roller maize meal for the domestic market, including Cargill’s in-house brand that will be available in 5kg, 10kg and 25kg bags.

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