The John Lothian Daily Update is a podcast turning the daily JLN hits and takes comments, our original content and the stories and quips in the top box of First Read into a daily podcast.
Hits & Takes
ICE veteran Chief Financial Officer Scott A. Hill is retiring after 14 years at the firm. He will be replaced by Warren Gardiner, ICE’s vice president of investor relations. Congratulations to Scott on a great run at ICE.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Iron Man, AKA Robert Downey Jr., are investing together on an electric motor start-up.
Are you looking forward to FIA’s Boca-V like I am? The JLN team is all set to cover the conference and provide recaps of the different panels and speakers. You can register for Boca-V at www.fia.org. Tell them John Lothian sent you.
Tradeweb today reported total trading volume of $20.4 trillion (tn) for February 2021 across their electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets. Average daily volume (ADV) for the month was a record $1.06tn, an increase of 19.9 percent (%) year over year (YoY).
Wendy Chan, the head of marketing for Vela, is the latest to give to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign. Wendy and JLN first crossed paths when she was with Sungard. She has a challenging job at the fast growing Vela, which is an independent provider of data and execution technology for global multi-asset electronic trading. Thank you to Wendy and all who have given and all who have yet to give. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by donating to our GoFundMe campaign.
My 90-year-old mother received her first COVID-19 shot yesterday in Florida. My older brother, a pharmacist, has received both his shots. My cousin’s wife also received her first shot. Progress is being made.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
Women In Listed Derivatives (WILD) is holding a “Conjunction Function” on March 8, 2021 (International Women’s Day, btw) via Zoom from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM. The announcement says “Conjunction Function is about bringing the WILD community back together. Regroup with us online to discuss with your peers what’s changed – social distancing amid a global pandemic – and what hasn’t – the importance of staying connected, advocating for yourself, being a good coworker & leader.” The discussion will use break-out rooms to facilitate small group discussions led by a moderator. It is free, and you can register here. ~SR
Intercontinental Exchange Announces the Retirement of Chief Financial Officer Scott A. Hill Following 14 Years of Distinguished Service; Warren Gardiner, Currently ICE’s Head of Investor Relations, to Succeed Hill as CFO
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of mortgage technology, data and listings services, announced that Chief Financial Officer Scott Hill plans to retire on May 14, 2021, capping a 14-year career at ICE that saw the firm expand consistently through organic growth and acquisitions, delivering a compound annual growth rate in adjusted earnings per share of 16% during Hill’s tenure. Warren Gardiner, ICE’s Vice President of Investor Relations, will assume the CFO role following ICE’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 14. Mr. Hill will continue to serve as an advisor to the company through February 2023.
*****Another part of the core team is leaving ICE after the departure of Kelly Loeffler, who joined Bakkt and then became a U.S. Senator for a spell.~JJL
Coinbase Is a $100 Billion Crypto Cult; The largest U.S. digital-asset exchange is an odd business with many unusual risks.
Jared Dillian – Bloomberg
Coinbase Global Inc. plans to go public under a direct listing that values the largest U.S. digital-asset exchange at almost $100 billion. The service the company offers is the same basic principle as a stock brokerage, giving retail investors access to the cryptocurrency markets, but that’s where the similarities end. Coinbase has frequent service outages, nonexistent customer service and sky-high transaction costs. All of these are disadvantages are well known, and yet it remains the most viable option for individual investors.
*****Bitcoin is going up, pass the Kool-Aid.~JJL
Marc Lasry, Chris Giancarlo Invest in Crypto Firm BlockTower
Olivia Raimonde – Bloomberg
Avenue Capital’s Lasry is also co-owner of NBA’s Bucks; Giancarlo was referred to as ‘crypto dad’ while at CFTC
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Marc Lasry and former U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo have invested in crypto-asset and blockchain investment firm BlockTower Capital.
*****Giancarlo had a great vetting operation at the CFTC in LabCFTC, so this investment should be good.~JJL
Return-to-Office Plans Are Set in Motion, but Virus Uncertainty Remains; Many employers are not making a decision until many workers are vaccinated. And some are making plans for “hybrid” work arrangements.
Julie Creswell, Gillian Friedman and Peter Eavis – NY Times
A year and a pandemic ago, over 100,000 people filled the central business district in Charlotte, N.C., pouring out of offices, including several recently built skyscrapers, and into restaurants, bars and sports venues. Then as the coronavirus sent employees to their homes, much of the city center quickly went quiet and dark.
*****This is one of the biggest questions I struggle with other than how to bring peace to the world.~JJL
Tuesday’s Top Three
Our top story Tuesday was the Financial Times’ opinion piece from Jemima Kelly, Hey Citi, your bitcoin report is embarrassingly bad. It is subtitled “Truly one of the most shocking bits of ‘research’ we have ever seen from an investment bank.” Second was The World Federation of Exchanges Publishes Women Leaders List for 2021, from the World Federation of Exchanges. Third was Bloomberg’s Cboe Seeks Approval to List Trailblazer Bitcoin ETF in U.S.