Day: 3 August 2017

Baldi Swaps BAML for UNTL

Joseph Baldi has resigned from his role as vice president, FX prime brokerage, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Baml) in New York and is set to join UNTL Capital.

Profit & Loss understands that Baldi will start in his new role on September 5, and will join as a director of discretionary FX trading. Based in New York, he will report into Grant Taylor, global head of discretionary FX trading at UNTL.

Baldi had been with Baml since 2010. Prior to that, he spent three years at Morgan Stanley.

Senate Confirms Giancarlo as CFTC Chair

The US Senate has confirmed Christopher Giancarlo as the permanent chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), while Rostin Behnam and Brian Quintenz have been confirmed as commissioners.

Dawn Stump has also been nominated as a CFTC commissioner, but is still awaiting Senate confirmation.

“Honored to be confirmed by @ussenate as Chairman of the @CFTC, along w/2 new Comn’rs Benham & Quintenz. Expect Dawn Stump confirmation soon,” said Giancarlo on Twitter immediately after the Senate decision.

Giancarlo was named as the acting chairman of the CFTC in January and was nominated to head the Commission on a permanent basis in March.

StanChart Names Americas Financial Markets Co-Heads

Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) has appointed Jens Andersen and Molly Duffy as co-heads, financial markets, Americas.

Based in New York, Andersen and Duffy report to Chris Allington, regional head, financial markets, Europe and Americas; and Torry Berntsen, CEO, Americas, and regional head, corporate and institutional banking, Americas.

Andersen also has the additional responsibility as head of trading, FX rates and credit (FXRC), Americas, while Duffy is also head, financial markets sales, Americas.

In a release issued today, the bank says, “These appointments demonstrate the bank’s focus on growing its franchise and capabilities to service OECD-based clients, and strengthening its financial markets platform to deliver more comprehensive product solutions to clients globally.”

Cobalt Closes Investment from Former Deutsche COO

Cobalt, the FX post-trade processing network based on shared ledger technology, has closed an investment from Henry Ritchotte, the former COO of Deutsche Bank, who will become a member of Cobalt’s strategic advisory board.

Ritchotte spent over two decades at Deutsche, where he was a member of the management board and Group Executive Committee acting as chief operating officer and chief digital officer.

Since leaving the bank at the end of 2016, Ritchotte established RitMir Ventures, a principal investment firm focused on investing in products and services transforming finance through disruptive regulatory and technology driven business models.

ING Launches EM FX Indices

ING is launching proprietary global emerging markets indices, aiming to provide clients with a new route for gaining exposure to emerging markets currencies.

Bloomberg is responsible for providing the independent calculation and administration of these indices. In addition to leveraging Bloomberg’s expertise in strategy index development, calculation and administration, ING is using Bloomberg’s BFIX data source to use in the index, stating in a release issued today that it is an independent benchmark for currency rates that is regularly updated and widely used by the FX market.

EM Currencies Offer Opportunity for FX Market Makers

Market making in emerging market currencies is a key way for liquidity providers to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive G3 landscape, says Kevin Kimmel, global head of e-FX at Citadel Securities.

“Where there’s a lot of demand and where there’s also an opportunity to differentiate yourself as a liquidity providers is in the less liquidity currencies, in the Scandies, in Ems, where you don’t necessarily have as many people with really tight top of book liquidity,” he comments

In contrast, G3 spot FX market making has become so commoditised and the pricing is so tight already that Kimmel says that he is unsure whether a new market maker pricing just these currencies would really add significant value to the overall FX ecosystem.

And Another Thing…

Traders do like to moan – I know I did – maybe because it’s therapeutic, maybe because it is (occasionally) true that they are unlucky. More often than not though, it’s because they’re wrong. That said, looking at those indices that track global macro, and listening to traders around the world, it does genuinely appear to be a struggle to make money in FX and rates at the moment. But why is that? We have events – we even have a trend!

Brexit and a Different Perspective on Sterling

A new research report from Deutsche Bank highlights a change in the perception of sterling across the three major FX market time zones following last year’s vote to leave the European Union. The article, How Brexit changed how sterling is traded across the world is written by Deutsche Bank analysts Oliver Harvey and Rohini Grover, and it uses intra-day seasonality as the basis for its study. Previous work by the authors had found “strong evidence” of investment biases in the different time zones.