At a recent OnTheBlock event in New York, Daniel Gorfine, chief innovation officer and director of LabCFTC, talked to Galen Stops, editor of Profit & Loss, about the challenges facing regulators overseeing crypto markets, why the rules in this space are often more clearly delineated than many will admit, and the key technology trends he sees shaping financial markets in the future.
Galen Stops: As a regulator, how does the CFTC approach the crypto space? Because it seems to me like there’s a fairly fine line to walk between allowing and encouraging innovation and new markets on the one hand, but ensuring that there are protections against potential bad actors on the other…
Mary Leung has joined State Street as the global head of client algos in FX.
Based in London, she will report into Jim Foster, global head of e-FX trading, and her responsibilities will include growing the client algorithms business within e-FX, developing the business strategy, design of the trading algorithms, liquidity analysis and selection, and pre- and post-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA).
With more than 13 years' experience in banking, Leung joins State Street from Deutsche Bank, where she was a lead quant of the FX and listed derivatives algorithmic execution business. Prior to this, she held major roles in building FX algos at both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi.
Equities analysts at UBS have issued a research report on the merger between CME Group and NEX Group, stating that while they are confident in the potential upsides to this deal, the benefits might not start to materialise for at least a year.
Having previously downgraded CME shares from “Buy” to “Neutral”, the UBS analysts Alex Kramm and John Goode decided to maintain the current rating, with an unchanged 12-month price target of $204 per share. At the time the report was issued, CME shares were trading at $189.51.
Following a difficult October, CTAs continued to face challenges in November as the SG CTA Index was down 1.09% and the SG Trend Index was down 1.75%. Year-to-date, the SG CTA Index is down 7.18%.
However, the SG Trend Indicator outperformed the Trend Index as it was up 2.51%. This was driven by gains in commodity markets especially from short positions in the energy sector.
Apart from the uplift in commodities, trend following strategies struggled in other sectors with losses in currencies and equities. There were strong reversals against established trends in particular in Australian and New Zealand dollar. Furthermore, trends in bond markets continued to be mixed, as the new upward momentum brought the recent downward trend to an end.
A new study by State Street indicates that 68% of institutional investors are concerned about their ability to hit their growth objectives within the current market environment.
The survey also found that 72% of asset owners expect to adopt a more defensive investment strategy going forward and the same percentage of asset managers will slow their plans for expansion over the next five years.
State Street’s second Annual Growth Survey talks to more than 500 global asset managers, asset owners and insurance companies.
Heath Tarbert is to be nominated by the US government to be the next chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. His appointment is subject to Congressional approval, however he was appointed to his current role at the US Treasury by the US Senate with a huge majority and is expected to attract similar support.
Tarbert will take the reins of the US regulator from Christopher Giancarlo, who was appointed to the role in 2017 and is due to step down at the end of April 2019
Brokerage firm Makor/Oscar Gruss Group, which was formed by two former Cantor Fitzgerald Europe executives in 2011, has announced the hire of Tom Friedel and Matthew Lutz.
Both men will be based in New York and will, the firm says, shortly be followed by more to mark the opening of its US FX Desk, which will be based in both New York and Chicago. They will report to Michael Benitah, head of FX and FI at Makor/Oscar Gruss Group, and locally to Michael Halimi, CEO of Makor/Oscar Gruss Group
Retail FX brokerage firm FXTM has appointed Nicholas Scott as head of product development. The firm says he will be responsible for leading the company in the research, management and delivery of its digital user experiences.
Scott has previously held roles in the marketing, strategy and product teams of several companies, including LMAX Exchange and Gain Capital. He joins FXTM following his time as senior director of digital investing at Gain.
FXTM says the establishment of a dedicated product development team with Scott at the helm “strategically positions the company for further expansion into 2019”.
Barry Calder is set to leave his role at Cboe FX in New York at the end of the year.
Calder, whose current title is director, liquidity management, co-founded the Hotspot FX platform in 2000 and worked in various roles as it was subsequently acquired by Knight Capital Group (KGC), BATS Global Markets and then most recently, Cboe in 2017.
“Barry has played an important role in the growth and evolution of Cboe FX. He has decided the time is right for him to pursue new opportunities. We have valued Barry’s dedication, keen insight and contributions over the years and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” says a spokesperson for Cboe.
A number of long-serving staff members have left Refinitiv – previously branded as Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk unit – since it was acquired by a consortium led by Blackstone in October.
Although a spokesperson for Refinitiv declines to comment, Profit & Loss understands that Mechelle Magante, Susan Gammage, Lorraine Ferrari, Jim Ball, Paul Callahan and Bob Bricken have all left the firm. All of them were based in New York.
Magante joined then-Reuters in 2004 as an FX product specialist and stayed on after the firm merged with the Thomson Corporation in 2008. At the time of her departure, Magante was a senior FX relationship manager.