Articles tagged by prime services
New data from Societe Generale Prime Services shows that CTA performance was down across the board in August for its SG CTA indices.
All of the SG CTA indices were in the red last month, with 19 out of the 20 CTA Index constituent strategies ending August negatively.
The SG Short-Term Traders Index produced the lowest returns in August at – 3.41%, despite remaining the strongest performing of the managed futures indices year-to-date. The flagship CTA index also remains in solidly positive territory year-to-date at 2.19%.
A new London-based prime-of-prime service, Stater Global Markets, has launched today, with former Citi, IG and Integral executive Ramy Soliman appointed as CEO.
The FCA-regulated brokerage is seeking to capitalise on the fact that many traditional prime brokers (PBs) have either pulled out of this segment of the market completely or have reduced the number of firms that they are willing to provide services to, leaving a gap in the market for prime-of-prime to potentially fill.
“Risk appetite and credit appetite at the traditional prime brokers has contracted post-SNB
Louisa Kwok, head of prime of prime sales and products at ADS Securities London, explains to Profit & Loss deputy editor, Galen Stops, why there’s room for numerous different prime services models in the FX market.
With many of the traditional FX prime brokers (PBs) being increasingly selective about who they will offer their services to, this has created a gap in the market that many firms appear eager to fill. Subsequently, numerous prime services offerings are being touted to market participants under the banner of prime-of-prime.
Invast Global, an Australian-based non-bank prime services brokerage, has announced a deal with XTX Markets that will allow its clients to access XTX’s liquidity via its multi-asset prime services facility, PurePrime.
Invast claims that the partnership illustrates the rapidly growing stature of non-bank participants in the financial markets as banks continue to feel the effects of increasing regulatory constraints.
The firm says that this tie-up with XTX follows growing global demand for the PurePrime facility, which offers FX and CFD liquidity via multiple trading GUIs or APIs, backed by what it says are three tier-one prime brokers.
Brandon Mulvihill, managing director, head of FXCM Pro, explains that there is still not enough clarity about the different prime-of-prime services being offered in the FX market, and warns that it is a mistake to believe that these firms are currently ready to fill the gap left by the tier one prime brokers.
Profit & Loss: Since “SNB Day” there have been a lot of firms touting prime-of-prime (PoP) services to the FX market. Many of them actually provide very different services. Two years on from SNB, do you feel like these differences are better understood by market participants?
As access to credit has becoming increasingly constrained in the FX market, Noel Singh head of e-FX business development at Sucden Financial, explains that this is only factor at play in the evolving prime services space.
Questioned on the new credit reality in FX markets, Singh responded: “I think credit is only one aspect of the story and I think that post-SNB, when the top tier prime brokers lost money because their clients couldn’t make good the losses, that started it, but I think it’s now the concept of how much is the wallet worth to the prime broker.”
Following the launch of Sucden Financial’s new OTC FX options service, Galen Stops talks to Noel Singh, head of e-FX business development at the brokerage, about how it’s planning to diversify its FX offering.
Despite having an FX franchise that is over 30 years old, an e-FX offering that has been around for more than eight years and a balance sheet of over $100 million, Sucden Financial is not exactly a household name in the wholesale FX market.
But the firm is now working to change that as it seeks to diversify its FX business in response to changing market conditions.
Noble Bank International recently launched with a new business model aimed at alleviating the current credit constraints in the FX market. Will it be a “game changer” for the industry? Galen Stops takes a look.
If every new product or service launch that claimed to be “game changing” actually was, the FX industry would be a dizzying place to work in, such is the popularity of this phrase and its variant forms.
As a result, it was hardly surprising to see Noble Bank International (Noble) hail its new real-time, post-trade FX service as “industry changing”, when its official launch was announced last month. And yet, if the Noble model manages to gain significant traction within the FX industry, it could have a significant impact on how the market operates.
The Q3 edition of Profit & Loss will feature an in-depth special report on FX prime services, looking at the significant changes that have occurred in this segment of the market and how these will impact trading firms in the future.
But we want to hear from you about your expectations regarding the future of FX prime services, which is why we're asking you to fill out this 1-2 min multiple choice survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PrimeServices
All survey responses will remain anonymous, but should you choose to include your email address at the bottom of the survey you will receive a free PDF of the special report when it is published in September.
There has been a substantial shift in FX prime services over the past two years: some FX prime brokers having been pulling back from the space, prime-of-primes have been expanding to fill the gap and now new firms are coming to market offering potential new solutions to the current credit constraints in the market.
But how will FX prime services evolve from here?
For the Q3 edition of Profit & Loss, we launched a survey to gauge market sentiment regarding this question. It’s not too late to have your say, the survey will close at midnight on July 31st : https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PrimeServices
Prime brokerage has had an interesting relationship with the FX market – after the initial burst of excitement when it first launched in the late 1990s, the middle years of the first decade of this century saw a growing consensus that it was a good idea that had, had its day.
Generally speaking, PB customers were restricted to dealing on a bilateral basis with the major banks, so while there was undoubtedly some benefit involved, the value proposition wasn’t one that lent itself to continued growth.
Over the past few years, some FX prime brokers have gone from aggressively competing for market share to off-boarding clients and increasing their fees. What happened to make the pendulum swing so dramatically, and is it due for another reversal? Galen Stops reports.
Relatively speaking, it wasn’t all that long ago that banks were aggressively trying to build out their FX prime brokerage (FXPB) businesses and competition was fierce. This precipitated a race to the bottom in terms of fees by some FXPBs. Numerous market sources claim that Morgan Stanley was at the forefront of this race, although they note that a number of major FXPB players were not far behind.
Numerous firms have spotted an opportunity to capitalise on the current credit constraints in the FX market by offering a “prime-of-prime” solution. But what are the different models being operated by these firms and what should market participants be looking at in order to spot the real deal? Galen Stops reports.
It’s no secret that over the past couple of years, some of the biggest FX prime brokers (FXPBs) have been off-boarding
existing clients, while simultaneously raising the bar in terms of the capital requirements for new clients.
But while the willingness of these banks to extend credit has reduced, the need for market participants to access it in order
to trade the FX market has not, as noted in the introduction to this special report.
Profit & Loss talks to John Betts, CEO of Noble Bank International, about the demand for more innovation in FX and the potential impact of a shift towards real-time settlement.
John Betts: The fact that people are not just receptive to innovation but starting to demand it is a really good sign for the industry. I think previously everyone was too focused on the front office, but now there’s a recognition that the back office needs innovation too.
One challenge that I feel still exists, however, is that the back office is not something that’s very well understood, so when solutions are being proposed to back office problems it can be difficult for firms to distinguish between solutions that actually address these problems and ones that are shiny new objects that allow firms to tick an “innovation” box.
"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.
The traditional assumption in the FX industry is that accessing a bank prime broker is always preferable to using a prime-of-prime. Galen Stops speaks to service providers seeking to challenge that assumption.
“One thing that’s quite interesting is that in the mindset of the FX industry, there’s a certain hierarchy,” says Jonathan Brewer, managing director of IS Prime. “There’s basically an assumption that if you want to participate in the FX market, then the pinnacle provider that you should aim for is a tier one prime broker (PB), and then you should only go and look for a prime-of-prime if, for whatever reason, your face didn’t fit at a tier one PB.”
Although to some degree this hierarchy might be psychologically driven, there are also very valid reasons why market participants might prefer an FXPB to a prime-of-prime (PoP) offering.
They may both have been a long time in the pipeline, but the wait for CME and LCH’s introduction of OTC FX options clearing services is nearly over. Yet with both due to launch before the end of 2017, just how much appetite is there likely to be from the prime services sector to support these initiatives? Nicola Tavendale writes.
While there are many different ways institutions can try to reduce their capital costs, clearing is by far the most efficient, according to Paddy Boyle, head of ForexClear at LCH. And even before the advent of the uncleared margin rules, there were already significant benefits to clearing non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), both in terms of enhanced risk management and obtaining operational and capital efficiencies, he adds. “Since the uncleared margin rules were implemented in September 2016, clearing has become a much bigger priority for many firms,” Boyle says.
Galen Stops explains how OTCXN is applying blockchain technology to help firms access wholesale liquidity.
OTCXN seeks to leverage its own proprietary blockchain technology to solve what its CEO and founder, Rosario Ingargiola, says is currently the biggest challenge in the FX market: accessing wholesale liquidity.
This challenge is caused by a credit gap in the market, according to Ingargiola, that has in turn occurred because the banks have been broadly reducing the number of firms that they are willing to extend credit to.
Galen Stops speaks to market sources about the feasibility of splitting prime services into credit provision and trade processing.
Capitolis is the latest venture headed by Gil Mandelzis, the former EBS BrokerTec and Traiana CEO. Mandelzis co-founded the company along with his former Icap and Traiana colleague, Igor Teleshevsky, and former Thomson Reuters CEO, Tom Glocer in New York earlier this year. Mandelzis operates as CEO of the firm, Teleshevsky is VP of R&D and Glocer is listed as an executive chairman.
BNY Mellon is launching an FX prime brokerage service for its institutional clients.
The custodian bank announced in a release today that the new service will launch “in early 2018”.
In the release, BNY Mellon says the service will allow institutional clients to access a significant new source of FX liquidity while helping streamline and reduce operational expenses, including legal and onboarding costs, as well as generating substantial capital and netting gains.
Users of the service will be able to transact a suite of FX products while also having access to pre- and post-trade services in addition to BNY Mellon’s collateral, funding and liquidity capabilities.
Saxo Bank has launched a new, full amount execution infrastructure for its prime-of-prime (PoP) service.
Running on dedicated infrastructure through the firm’s direct market access (DMA) liquidity hubs in London and New York, Saxo says the full amount execution capability provides lower market impact for large orders in FX and precious metals.
Demand has been driven by growth in small- to mid-sized institutional clients looking for direct market access and liquidity optimisation services.
Lucian Lauerman, global head of electronic distribution, comments: "We have grown our prime-of-prime business quite significantly and we are meeting increasing client demand for execution in large order sizes. To support efficient execution and sustainable liquidity access, we have set up a dedicated infrastructure allowing clients to execute in full amount through liquidity connectivity in both NY4 and LD4. This offers clients better pricing and lower market impact on larger tickets.”
The announcement by BNY Mellon this week that it is launching an FX prime brokerage (FXPB) service is interesting for a couple of reasons.
Superficially, it bucks a trend that has developed in recent years of banks scaling back, or even shutting down, their FXPB businesses. However, Profit & Loss already argued in a special report looking at prime services published in Q3 2017, that this trend was beginning to reverse itself.
So perhaps more significant is that it indicates that the barriers to entry in FXPB have been lowered as the cost of technology and infrastructure has both decreased and become more available.
Raj Sitlani, co-founder of IS Prime and managing director of ISAM Capital Markets, sat down with Profit & Loss in Shanghai to talk about the challenges associated with expanding into Asian FX markets and why technology remains the key differentiator for prime-of-primes.
Profit & Loss: So what’s your business focus in Asia?
Raj Sitlani: We have a large market share in Australia but, until recently, never truly had the manpower or the resources to crack the broader Asia market. However, there’s a very big opportunity in the region for us to provide our flagship product – which is a prime-of-prime service with aggregated FX liquidity – and so last year we set up a Hong Kong office through which we can build out our presence in North Asia and China.
Marcus Butt, global head of FX prime services and futures at NatWest Markets, talks about how the bank is developing its FX Prime Brokerage offering in response to changing client needs.
Profit & Loss: So what are you doing on the FXPB side of your e-FX platform that you think differentiates your offering right now?
Marcus Butt: What we're doing on the platform that is unique is really a reflection of what we’re doing in the business. Part of this is that we’ve introduced a number of new prime brokerage models to accommodate the diversification of our client base.