The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has indicated that it is satisfied with the altered terms of the proposed merger between Tullett Prebon and Icap, and will not refer the deal for an in-depth investigation.
Profit & Loss reported in June that the two brokerages offered to change the terms of the proposed acquisition of Icap’s global wholesale broking and information business (IGBB) by Tullett in order to avoid an in-depth investigation by the CMA.
Under the terms of the new proposal, Icap and Tullett agreed to sell Icap’s London-based oil desks – with key staff – that are responsible for providing broking services to customers based in EMEA to an up-front buyer approved by the CMA.
The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) has announced INTL FCStone as the newest Supporting Member of the FX trade group, bringing the total number of institutional members to 25.
Edgar Ramon, global head of foreign exchange at INTL FCStone Markets, says: “We are proud to now be an FXPA member firm and to join with other members in education, research, and advocacy initiatives for the foreign exchange industry. As the first non-bank swap dealer, we are intimately familiar with the constantly changing FX landscape, and will leverage our significant knowledge to further the FXPA’s goal of advancing a sound global currency market.
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.
INTL FCStone has announced that the Global Payments Division (GPD) of its London-based subsidiary has introduced Automated Clearing House (ACH) connectivity, enhancing the company’s high-volume, low-value cross-border payments offering.
Low-value payments are the single largest driver of growth in GPD’s payments volumes, which are currently 60% up year-on-year, the firm says. In order to support this increasing demand, the firm launched an initiative to securely access a greater number of global ACH low-value clearing systems.
“In the past, how a payment was sent and what the cost of sending it was didn’t matter as much because the absolute value of that payment was usually relatively high. But today, as payments become smaller and smaller, it becomes more and more important to build networks that are cost effective,” Carsten Hils, the global head of GPD, tells Profit & Loss.
Michael Sarro has joined INTL FCStone as a product manager in its global payments business.
Based in New York, Sarro joins from Portware, where he worked for over two years as a product manager.
Before joining Portware in 2015, Sarro spent four years working as a contractor. During this time he did work for BNY Mellon, State Street Global Markets, Traiana and Thomson Reuters.
He has also worked at Omgeo and FXall.
"Prime-of-Prime" has become something of an umbrella term these days, used by many firms operating very different business models. So Profit & Loss asked a number of firms that place themselves in this category exactly what constitutes a "true" prime-of-prime service provider.
Galen Stops takes a look at some of the potential risk concerns associated with the prime-of-prime model in FX.
I n a recent survey conducted by Profit & Loss 57.25% of respondents said that they think the trend towards more firms using prime-of-primes (PoPs) rather than traditional FX prime brokers (FXPBs) could increase the impact of a shock event.
This is in contrast to 27.48% who said that it won’t and 15.27% who think the impact of a shock event would be unaffected by this change. The logic underpinning this concern is based on the fact that risk is increasingly being pushed towards less well-capitalised institutions.
INTL FCStone’s Global Payments Division, a London-based subsidiary will now offer indicative foreign exchange rates, viewable in real-time for more than 140 currencies through its proprietary global payments network.
These indicative rates will be offered via the Global Payments Division’s Rate Feed product. The Rate Feed is designed to enable customers to instantaneously establish an accurate indication of the cost of a cross-border transaction, valuing the transaction or foreign currency holding in various currencies in real-time.
Although it remains a separate product, the Rate Feed is integrated into FXecute – INTL FCStone’s global payments platform – meaning that anyone using the latter can use information from the Rate Feed to inform transactions being executed on the platform.
Edgar Ramon has left his position as global head of FX at INTL FCStone, according to market sources. He leaves after thirteen years with the firm, where he was based in its Chicago office.
Ramon’s next destination is not known at this point in time and Profit & Loss understands that INTL FCStone has yet to name a replacement.
Separately, Profit & Loss understands that Joe Conlan, global head of FX sales at the firm, has also left. Conlan joined the firm in 2007 from AM Rosenthal - he also had stints at Currenex, Integral Development, CME, Cognotec and EBS. Conlan's plans are also unknown.
FX liquidity providers that use technology and data analytical tools are becoming more powerful in FX markets, but liquidity consumers are becoming better informed.
The role of data and the empowerment it brings FX market participants was a key theme of the first panel looking at liquidity at Profit & Loss Forex Network Chicago. Panellists agreed that generally speaking, liquidity in FX markets is fine, there is always a price; however, the question liquidity consumers need to ask is: “How high is that price?”