Birgir Haraldsson and Mario Manna, co-founders of Nightberg, an independent macro strategy firm, talk to Profit & Loss about getting noticed in a crowded market and how data analytics is changing the traditional research model.
Profit & Loss: given your experience in the market, how have you seen financial research change over the years?
Mario Manna: Spending a lot of time on the buy side we’ve always been big users of research and it has changed quite a bit, in particular it’s become more siloed. So now you often have specialists carved out to cover a specific niche, firms have a US rates strategist, an EU rates strategist, etc, and so the research becomes narrowly focused and at risk of constantly reporting about a topic or asset when perhaps nothing much is happening.
Just about 10 months ago the deal was announced to sell Icap’s voice business to Tullett Prebon and at that time, in this column, I suggested that a consequence of that deal would be an easier path for anyone looking to buy Icap’s electronic business, subsequently revealed to be named Nex.
Obviously I cited an exchange as the most likely buyer and it seems, if the headlines of last week are anything to go by, that the pieces are being moved into place. Moving pieces is, however, very different to an actual deal – what are the chances of that?
Nothing says “tick box society” to me more than the world’s obsession with data and being able to quantify, and therefore justify, everything. We have finally reached the point where we have stopped doing the right thing by people because it may leave a couple of boxes un-ticked. There is a lot of attention paid to righting the industry's wrongs but too little attention is paid, in my view, to the psychological impact of reform. The FX industry has psychological scars that need healing.
EBS BrokerTec has officially launched EBS Live Ultra, which it says is its fastest FX data product to date. The product, which was first unveiled in February 2016, has two data interval rates; 100 milliseconds, the same as the current EBS Live service but with lower latency, and a 20 milliseconds service, five times faster than the EBS Live data product.
The move represents an attempt by EBS raise transparency levels for all market participants as well as to bolster liquidity provision on the EBS Market platform and support the maintenance of a continuous order book.
Currenex has launched a new trading platform, X2, designed in response to the changing liquidity profile of the FX market and the evolving requirements of institutional FX traders.
One important feature of the new platform is that it is based on HTML5 technology, in contrast to the Java-based multibank front ends that populate the market today.
Speaking exclusively to Profit & Loss Rick Schonberg, global head of product for trading and clearing and the North American head of trading solutions at Currenex, says that although Java “serves its purpose today and will for many years”, there are advantages to having an HTML5-based front end.