Month: March 2017

Client Experience Award

P&L Report Card: These awards cover most aspects of the client experience when it comes to the various e-services and products on offer, indeed a read back through 15 years shows how the categories have changed to reflect the changing demands of the client base and, sometimes in the short term, new areas of competition. It is now two years since we started polling users on the overall experience and what they liked and disliked about a platform and we continue to be grateful that the reaction to the award was positive. The Client Experience Award really represents the core ethos of these awards – how good is the overall experience for someone using these platforms?

P&L’s One to Watch in 2017

P&L Report Card: A good indication of how much longer the development cycle is can be found in our assertion last year that in terms of institutions to watch in 2016-17, it could be a vintage year. It wasn’t. The impact of regulatory compliance dominated the scene to such an extent that few, if any, banks made a serious move forward over the past 12 months. Being the eternal optimists that we are, however, we feel that this time next year could be very different, not least because we have been given a few insights into plans for 2017-18 and some of them are quite exciting.

Best Execution

P&L Report Card: This remains the most interesting area of the FX market with not only customers continuing to study their best execution policies and more often than not, making changes, but also because the subject of market impact has really come to the fore over the past few months. This makes it an interesting time for the bank algo execution teams, because they are firmly front and centre when it comes to execution quality, and the quality of their strategies and market access is also open to more scrutiny than ever before.

2017 Editor’s Choice Award

P&L Report Card: In past years, this award has been given to the bank that I believed was most likely to make a serious challenge in the next 12-24 months, however, it is probably time to change that ethos just a little. The reason is yet more evidence of the impact of regulation on the FX industry – with just about everybody racing to be compliant in dozens of different jurisdictions, each with their own nuance on the rules, nobody has the budget or time to make a serious move.

2017 Profit & Loss Innovation Award

P&L Report Card: It is becoming a familiar refrain of this section of the Digital FX Awards – true innovation is harder to find in this compliance dominated world. Put simply, half of the industry is not encouraged to think innovatively – and the other half doesn’t want to! That is, of course, overstating the issue, for there are different thinkers in the industry, but inevitably when you are faced with such a broad and mature product offering, innovation is likely to take place at the edges.

Looking ahead, we are genuinely excited by some of the ideas coming out of places like Citi, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas (others do exist before you all write to your MP/congressman!) but as always, the proof will be in the end product.

Best FX Platform

P&L Report Card: It seems hard to credit that just 18 months ago some very senior people in the banking industry were promoting the agency-only concept so strongly to Profit & Loss that we even started to think there might be something in it. As it turns out, there wasn’t, because the sheer number of liquidity events – let alone their severity – in FX markets has highlighted the value of a principal-based business.

It is quite amazing the impact that the odd price gap and (occasionally mini) flash move can have on thinking and we believe that the resurgence in interest in the single dealer platform in FX has, at its genesis, client concerns over liquidity.

Best Platform

P&L Report Card: A recurring theme of this year’s awards is going to be familiarity – in that with so much work going on behind the scenes there were few major changes to the front-end product set at many institutions.

Regulatory compliance has been a big issue amongst the banks for several years now and it shows little sign of slowing down, with 2017’s hot topic being MiFID II, which was, as we have noted, this year’s number one theme. Having already been delayed once, some institutions are comfortable they have the right structure in place to remain compliant and to help their clients be so as well – others are less confident.

EBS BrokerTec Restructures: Cartledge to Head FX

Tim Cartledge has been appointed global head of FX and head of product at EBS BrokerTec, amid a broader shift in the companies’ internal structure for its FX business.

In his new role Cartledge, who was chief strategy officer at the firm prior to this announcement, will be responsible for EBS BrokerTec’s FX business strategy and overseeing the EBS Product group.

As part of the new structure Jim Iorio has been made global head of sales and head of FX Americas, and will be responsible for the EBS Sales group and overseeing regional business activity for EBS in the Americas.

Darryl Hooker has been appointed as global head of metals and spot and head of FX EMEA. In this role he will be tasked with running the trading execution and prime and credit management groups. Hooker will also oversee regional business activity for EBS in EMEA.

And Another Thing…

Naturally, when I thought about a column highlighting an area in which I am concerned the foreign exchange industry is being less than totally transparent – in an operational sense – my first thought was a Kate Spade handbag. That my thought process then led to the film Under Siege 2 is, I will confess, a little concerning, but don’t worry about it too much, because both are relevant.
After all, if we are selling anonymity, surely we should actually be providing it?