BNY Mellon has made changes to its Markets Group following the departure of Michelle Neal, CEO of that group, who has joined RBC.Based in New York, Neal will start her new position as head of RBC’s US FICC business in June and will report into Jonathan Hunter, global head of FICC at the bank.“In this role, Michelle will be responsible for providing strategic leadership to our US FICC business in partnership with our global product, sales and regional heads. She will have oversight for all strategic and execution-related aspects of the business, including ensuring that we continue to expand RBC’s footprint and client franchise, that we manage our performance and risks effectively and that we continue to build and retain a team of top talent to strengthen our U.S. franchise.
The communications channels have been buzzing following Thursday’s column about banks taking more risk in their FICC businesses – especially FX – and some really good points were made by correspondents. But while there was general agreement that more risk-takers would benefit the broader industry, my correspondents and I diverged on a key point. To me this is not about spreads or the advantage of man over machine (or vice versa), it is about the risk taking role adding something different.
The early signs from US bank reporting season is that FICC divisions haven’t done well at all and the admission from one bank that the decline in earnings was due to clients being reluctant to enter markets signals to me that the FICC business model has to change. Just as news outlets can’t have hundreds of reporters sitting around waiting for the Titanic to sink again, so banks need a better balanced FICC business – and that means more traders proactively taking risk.
The FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) has published the final version of its Statement of Good Practice (SGP) on Suspicious Transaction and Order Reporting.The FMSB is an independent body set up by market practitioners to try and improve standards of conduct in wholesale FICC markets. It aims to bring transparency to grey areas in the wholesale FICC markets by identifying emerging vulnerabilities, clarifying and documenting practice and agreeing standards to improve conduct and market behaviour. Setting up the FMSB was one of the main recommendations to emerge from the Fair and Effective Markets Review (FEMR), which was conducted by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Paul Humphrey, global head of FICC at Euronext, is leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities a spokesperson for the exchange confirms. He has been at Euronext for three years and was responsible for building and managing the FICC business and led the group’s purchase of a majority stake in FX platform Fastmatch.
Chris Topple, CEO of Euronext London, has been named to head the FICC business going forward.
Humphrey has more than 25 years experience in the FICC industry.
In the Profit & Loss 2018 Digital FX Awards, Barclays was the winner of the “One to Watch in 2018” category and, looking back now at the end of the year, it seems that the bank might be on its way to justifying this decision.
After a couple of years during which there was a clear slowdown in terms of product development within Barclays’ e-FX franchise, the bank appears to be shifting onto the front foot again.
It has made a raft of senior appointments within its FX business this year, with Alex Shterenberg hired as global head of G10 and EM e-FX trading, Jeremy Monnier as a managing director, Fabio Madar as the global head of G10 FX trading and distribution, James Hassett as global head of EM macro trading, and Mauricio Sada-Paz as global head of e-FICC product and distribution.
FICC data analytics company Mosaic Smart Data has launched a new feature for its MSX platform enabling users to instantly generate text reports on their trading activity data using machine learning.
The feature will be available to all MSX users and will allow a trading activity report, which would take a member of staff hours to create, to be generated instantly.
The firm says the new service uses a machine learning technique called natural language generation (NLG), meaning MSX can generate trading activity reports on any set of analytics on the platform including both voice and electronic trade data.
The traditional Markets business model in banking is under pressure, Colin Lambert talks to Imed Souki, global head of FRC trading at UBS, and Christopher Purves, recently appointed head of UBS’ Strategic Development Lab for FRC, about how the bank is responding to a such a challenging environment.
Colin Lambert: UBS recently announced a change in structure for its FX, Rates and Credit (FRC) business, can you outline the new business model?
Imed Souki: There has not been a significant change in the structure of the business, it is really a continuation with me taking sole responsibility for the business today, whereas Chris is tasked with taking it where it needs to be in the future. The client relationship dynamic is changing and we want to ensure we are, and remain, relevant to our clients.
In a speech delivered today to the FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) in London, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), expressed optimism that new measures aimed at preventing misconduct in the FICC markets are having a significant impact.
These measures, set out two-and-a-half years ago in the Fair and Effective Markets Review (FEMR), are designed to improve confidence in FICC markets after a series of scandals.
“Multiple factors contributed to a tide of ethical drift in FICC markets. Market standards were poorly understood, often ignored and always lacked teeth. Too many participants neither felt responsible for the system nor recognised the full impact of their actions. Bad behaviour went unchecked, proliferated and eventually became the norm,” noted Carney in his speech.
Hugh Killen, global head of fixed income, currencies and commodities at Westpac, stepped down from the role yesterday, Profit & Loss understands and is taking a career break.
Killen is leaving Westpac after a 16-year career with the bank having joined in June 2001 from State Street in Sydney where he was on the spot FX desk. Prior to State Street, Killen worked in spot FX at Dresdner Sydney and Elders Finance in Sydney.
In his time at Westpac Killen worked as country head of the Americas, based in New York, before returning to Sydney to head up first institutional FX and then the global FICC business.