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.
Citi, Numerix, Currenex...
Rick Schonberg, global head of product for trading and clearing and the North American head of trading solutions at Currenex, talks to Galen Stops, deputy editor at Profit & Loss, about the launch of X2 trading platform.
“In some ways it’s easier and in some ways it’s harder,” explains Schonberg, who describes the number of execution choices available to these traders as “mind numbing”.
He says that many institutional clients, such as corporate treasurers, used to trade FX by doing what was effectively a telephone request for quotes (RFQ) to a handful of banks and then automating that into a GUI on a multi-bank platform
As FX execution becomes increasingly fragmented with more and more trading taking place in dark environments, price discovery is rapidly becoming one of the industry’s key challenges. But can the recent proliferation of new market data offerings from the leading ECNs really help tackle this problem as claimed? Nicola Tavendale writes.
The past year’s run of unprecedented market events has only served to highlight the growing demand for timely and reliable FX market data, yet innovation in this area has notably lagged behind the levels seen in other areas of the financial markets.
David Newns, senior managing director at State Street and global head of Currenex, speaks with Nicola Tavendale about the confluence of factors that are creating a unique set of challenges for the buy side.
I ncreasing regulatory requirements, coupled with the changing characteristics of liquidity in the FX market place in recent years, has resulted in a heightened focus from the buy side on how it can effectively manage its FX exposures. The phase two release of the Global Code will also address specifics relating to the principle of execution.
Profit & Loss readers cast large numbers of votes this year for their preferred market makers and service providers.
Last year was the first that we changed the category description from banks to market makers to account for the larger proportion of non-banks that now comprise an important part of market making, and this is again reflected in the results. The industry’s changing dynamics are starting to show.
Voting, which spanned across time zones, was close in many categories, so we have listed the top three for each category to acknowledge the runners up.
State Street says it has received approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate its FX Connect and Currenex platforms as multi-lateral trading facilities (MTFs) for foreign exchange within the jurisdiction of MiFID II.
Both platforms will now operate as MTFs and be upgraded to be compliant with MIFID II upon implementation in January 2018, State Street says.
For institutions that fall under the MiFID II regime in Europe, “financial instruments” can only be traded on the new MTFs.
State Street is reshuffling senior FX staff, with James Reilly being appointed as the global head of Currenex and Beverley Doherty as global head of FX Connect. As a result, David Newns, formerly head of Currenex and SwapEx, will now take on the newly created role of global head of GlobalLink Execution Services.
Additionally, Stephen Dispenza has been promoted to global head of sales for Currenex, reporting to Reilly. Dispenza previously served as North American head of sales for the platform.
It didn’t exactly take Nostrodamus to predict a bid for NEX Group from an exchange operator – even I was all over this in this column in November 2015 when the Tullett-Icap deal was announced, and frankly any opportunity since has been taken to reinforce the logic. It’s simply an inevitable deal and was the day Icap shed its voice broking business. CME may not have it all its own way, though - and what else is likely to be on the table?
Currenex is shifting the focus of its white label business to increasingly target regional and mid-tier banks, citing a number of broader industry-wide trends for this change.
Traditionally, Currenex has focused on selling its institutional grade technology infrastructure to brokerage firms, which then re-brand it in order to provide FX trading services to their own customers.
The most recent example of this is the institutional platform launched by the retail broker Oanda at the start of May, which will utilise a branded version of Currenex’s HTML trading front-end.
In this week’s podcast, Colin Lambert and Galen Stops take a look at the first in-depth analysis from a broker of the CME-NEX deal and while they accept that much of what was written was already known and had been discussed there were a few nuggets of useful information in there.
On the subject of mergers and acquisitions, they also discuss the recent changes at Refinitiv and clarify their thoughts on potential M&A activity involving that firm’s Matching, Dealing and FXall businesses. Will firms be willing to splash the amount of cash required to complete such a deal? Who would be the best buyers for the combined business or elements thereof? This and more is discussed.
In a quite remarkable conclusion, they close out by expressing sympathy for a regulator – something unlikely to ever happen again – before Lambert offers listeners the benefit(?) of his experience of trading Cable with a trading recommendation as the Brexit saga continues…what could go wrong?
2018 “began with a bang” for Currenex and FX Connect due to the implementation of MiFID II, according to David Newns, global head of Global Link Execution Services at State Street, which owns both platforms. He adds that a “not inconsiderable amount of blood, sweat and tears” went into ensuring that the two Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs) that it was required to launch were up and running ahead of the January 3 deadline, an experience that was shared by many market participants in Europe last year.