First Read

Kim Taylor: No One Fights Alone
John Lothian – John Lothian News
There are times when we all stand together – as an industry, as colleagues and as friends. This is one of those times. About a month ago, Kim Taylor, president, global operations, technology and risk of the CME Group, was diagnosed with colon cancer. She is currently working from home while she undergoes treatment to beat this. That is all we know or asked about her condition, respecting her privacy.


A Party to Remember
The party for Gail Osten was held yesterday in Elmhurst, IL. Yes, a party, not a wake or memorial. That was Gail’s wish and had many at the party saying things like “This is a great idea.” I suspect Gail’s legacy will stretch to many others in many different ways in the coming years, as more of us chose a party to celebrate our lives, rather than a funeral to mourn our death. It was well attended by family and friends, with a large showing from the industry she loved and served. One notable absence was John, due to illness, possibly marking the only time he will have had a chance to attend a party in Elmhurst that was largely industry people. I think Gail, with her great sense of humor, is probably laughing about that.
Our story on Gail, Think Positive: Gail Osten Leaves Fond Memories, was the most read story on John Lothian News, with more than 3,000 views this month.


Out of Chaos: ICE’s Sprecher Says Exchange Is Set For Growth

The Intercontinental Exchange Group had a record 2014, but for CEO Jeff Sprecher “boy, it was a chaotic year.” ICE posted revenues of $3.01 billion last year from transaction and clearing fees, as it consolidated operations from the 2013 NYSE Euronext acquisition, navigated changing regulations, handled energy market volatility and eyed its Asian expansion.

Sprecher, who spoke with JLN editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf at the FIA Boca conference, said regulation will continue to be a strong influence on the marketplace in 2015. But ICE is not waiting for the US and European rulemaking process to reach its conclusion. The exchange plans to launch a new Singapore-based exchange and clearinghouse to complement its US and European operations.
Watch the video »

What Silicon Valley Learned From the Kleiner Perkins Case
NY Times
Kleiner Perkins’s victory Friday in the gender discrimination suit brought by Ellen Pao could be seen as an affirmation of the Silicon Valley old boys club. But venture capitalists have said that the trial has already put the tech industry on notice: It can no longer operate as a band of outsiders, often oblivious to rules that govern the modern workplace — even if that has been a key to its success. Silicon Valley has always prided itself on doing business differently. Forget bureaucracy and the traditions of bigger, older companies, the thinking goes. Instead, wear jeans to work, bring your dog, don’t ask permission to try something new, and embrace failure.

***** I know which stories to leave alone.


Sponsored Content

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FIA PTG Supports BATS SEC Petition 4-680
FIA Americas
In light of our previous recommendations for improving U.S. equity market structure submitted on January 28, 2015 and September 30, 2014, the FIA Principal Traders Group (FIA PTG) now writes in support of certain provisions of Petition 4-680 (The Petition) filed by BATS Global Markets, Inc. (BATS) on January 21, 2015.

***** Bueno, Guano

Financial futures pioneer: Time for China to further open market
As China prepares to open its crude oil futures to international investors, Leo Melamed, a founding father of financial futures, said it is the “right time” for China to make this move and further open its financial futures market.

***** It has been the right time for awhile now.

Lead Stories

Wall Street Regulator Gears Up for Labor Fight With Its Workers
Silla Brush and Robert Schmidt, Bloomberg
The top U.S. derivatives regulator is used to battling Wall Street. Now, it’s gearing up for a potential fight with its own employees.In February, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission contracted to spend as much as $420,000 on outside labor lawyers after its workers joined a union, public documents show. The CFTC retained the attorneys in case labor negotiations break down and the agency becomes embroiled in a legal dispute, said a person briefed on management’s thinking who requested anonymity.

Merger That Came to Aid of Knight Capital Struggles; All the top Knight-era executives have exited
Every Monday morning for the past 20 months, Daniel Coleman has stepped off his private jet from Alabama and straight into a storm.

BoE and ECB settle four-year battle over City clearing houses
Alex Barker in Brussels, Claire Jones in Frankfurt, FT
Britain and the European Central Bank have ended a four-year battle over City of London clearing houses in a deal that could ease fears about the UK’s future in Europe’s single market.

Deutsche Boerse to Invest in India Stock, Commodity Markets
Don’t Miss Out — Follow us on: Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube
by Will Hadfield, Bloomberg
Deutsche Boerse AG plans to hold stakes in two new Indian securities markets being developed by the Bombay Stock Exchange.

High-Frequency Trading Worries Are Fading, Convergex Finds
by John Detrixhe, Annabelle Ju, Bloomberg
The fever may have broken when it comes to criticism of the U.S. stock market.

Orc Software
Orc, a global leader in trading technology, today announced they have expanded coverage of the Canadian markets to include the Aequitas NEO Exchange, a newly launched Canadian stock market. Orc clients looking for new opportunities can leverage connectivity for order routing and market data to the Aequitas Lit Book and NEO BookTM.

ABN Amro Managers Give Up Pay Increases After I.P.O. Delay
Dealbook – NY Times
A group of ABN Amro’s top managers has said that it would give up a pay increase after the Dutch government delayed a decision last week on an initial public offering of the state-owned lender and after an uproar by lawmakers over the executive salary increases.
This month, the Dutch lender’s supervisory board approved a “temporary fixed allowance” of 100,000 euros, or about $109,000, for six eligible members of its managing board, raising their base salaries to EUR707,500 in 2014. Gerrit Zalm, the chairman of the managing board, a post that is the equivalent of chief executive, was not eligible for the allowance.

Lawsuit Exposes Tensions in Canadian Media Clan
Governance lapses alleged involving firm through which family controls
A lawsuit aimed at a member of Canada’s Thomson family alleges serious governance lapses involving the company through which the country’s richest family controls media giant Thomson Reuters Corp.

Bank of England Outlines Parameters of 2015 Stress Test
The Bank of England will test major British banks on their potential performance against financial shocks including a global slowdown, a sharp drop in inflation, and a reduction in worldwide appetite for risk.

China expands Shanghai-Hong Kong trading link
Josh Noble in Hong Kong,FT
Chinese regulators will allow domestic mutual funds to buy and sell shares between Shanghai and Hong Kong, in an effort to boost volumes after lacklustre demand has characterised the recently created cross-border trading link.


Wealth managers risk enforcement actions as FCA ‘runs out of patience’
Dan Jones, InvestmentWeek
Wealth management firms are facing more serious consequences from a failure to meet suitability requirements as the regulator puts practices under fresh scrutiny.

Complaints on banking and credit cards up as total complaints fall by 7%
The latest complaints data published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows financial services firms received 2,183,540 new complaints (including those related to PPI) between July and December 2014. Overall complaints decreased by 7% compared to the previous six months and by 12% from the same period last year.

Investment complaints hit H2 record as fund problems surge
Dan Jones, InvestmentWeek
Latest complaints data published by the regulator has revealed a record number of second half complaints over investment products, driven by a rise in reports focusing on unit trusts and OEICs.

FINRA Keeps America Laughing
By Ted Siedle, Forbes
A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) employment advertisement from the Wall Street Journal I read in 2013 was such a hoot that I had to clip it, save it and promise myself I’d write about it someday. The newspaper ad scrap, now yellow, still is a knee-slapping, rib-tickler.

Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Rulemaking and National Market System (NMS) Plans

BYX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Y-Exchange, Inc. (Release No. 34-74594; File No. SR-BYX-2015-18; March 26, 2015); see also Exhibit 5

ICC: Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Provide for the Clearance of Additional Standard Emerging Market Sovereign Single Names (Release No. 34-74593; File No. SR-ICC-2015-003; March 26, 2015)

NSX: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change in Connection with the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of National Stock Exchange Holdings, Inc., the Exchange’s Parent Corporation, and the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Exchange (Release No. 34-74597; File No. SR-NSX-2015-01)

NSX: Exhibit 5B (Release No. 34-74797; File No. SR-NSX-2015-01)

NSX: Exhibit 5A (Release No. 34-74797; File No. SR-NSX-2015-01)

NYSE Arca: Order Approving Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the Innovator IBD 50 Fund under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 (Release No. 34-74595; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2015-04)

Phlx: Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Harmonization of Phlx Rules (Release No. 34-74592; File No. SR-Phlx-2015-28; March 26, 2015); see also Exhibit 5

CFTC Staff Issues No-Action Position Regarding Timing of the CCO Annual Report
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (Commission) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (Division) today issued a no-action letter to futures commission merchants, swap dealers and major swap participants (collectively, registrants) that provides relief from certain requirements under Regulation 3.3(f), which requires registrants to give the Commission their CCO annual report not more than 60 days after the end of their fiscal year.

Bridging the Week by Gary DeWaal: March 23 to 27 and 30, 2015 (HFTs; MF Global; Another CFTC Big Fine; ATS Breakdowns; Fed Study Assesses Clearing)
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Developments impacting high-frequency traders dominated news in financial services last week. The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to an existing rule that would subject many proprietary trading firms to oversight by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for the first time, while both FINRA and the Futures Industry Association issued guidance on best practices for automated trading systems and algorithms. Unrelated, a study by the NY Federal Reserve Bank raised some red flags regarding central clearing. As a result, the following matters are covered in this week’s Bridging the Week:

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CFTC Grants Order to ICE Clear Europe Permitting Portfolio Margining of Futures and Foreign Futures Contracts by Non-Clearing Member FCMs
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) issued an order granting a request from ICE Clear Europe Limited (ICE Clear Europe), a Commission-registered derivatives clearing organization, for an order pursuant to Section 4d(a) and (b) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

Cerenis Therapeutics lists on Euronext Paris
EnterNext, the Euronext subsidiary dedicated to promoting and growing the market for SMEs[1],today celebrated the listing of Cerenis Therapeutics, an international biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing innovative HDL (“good cholestrol”) therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Cerenis Therapeutics is listed on the Euronhttp://jlne.ws/1NtJTRb

Offering bullish and bearish exposure that is 10 times as much as the daily performance of the IBEX 35 NET RETURN
The Spanish stock exchange today started trading on the Warrants, Certificates and other products segment the first MULTI, which offer exposure to the IBEX 35® X10 LEVERAGE NET and IBEX 35 x10 SHORT. The MULTI are exchange-traded products that track the performance of daily leverage indices as well as daily leverage short indices.
(No Link)

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Exclusive: Fidelity moves to end DuPont proxy battle-sources
A Fidelity spokesman declined to comment. DuPont and Trian reiterated their positions, but declined to comment on Fidelity’s involvement.

Banks & Brokers

Wall Street banks poised to recover trading revenues
Ben McLannahan and Tom Braithwaite in New York, FT
Wall Street banks are set to enjoy their best quarter from trading in three years after a resurgence in volatility caused by diverging monetary policies around the world.

Clearing & Settlement

ICE Clear Europe granted CFTC order permitting portfolio margining of futures and foreign futures contracts by non-clearing member FCMs
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) has issued an order granting a request from ICE Clear Europe Limited (ICE Clear Europe), a Commission-registered derivatives clearing organisation, for an order pursuant to Section 4d(a) and (b) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

ECB, BoE reach accord on UK clearers handling euro trades
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England have reached a deal that strengthens the financial backing of British clearing houses in their handling of euro-denominated securities, ending a long-running legal battle.
The agreement follows a court ruling, which has led the ECB to shelve a policy requiring clearing houses that handle euro-denominated securities to be located in the euro zone.

ICE Clear Europe granted CFTC order permitting portfolio margining of futures and foreign futures contracts by non-clearing member FCMs
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) has issued an order granting a request from ICE Clear Europe Limited (ICE Clear Europe), a Commission-registered derivatives clearing organisation, for an order pursuant to Section 4d(a) and (b) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

Indexes & Products

S&P 500 Profit Reversals Hard to Stop as Bad Quarters Add Up
Analysts predict Standard & Poor’s 500 Index profits are going to decrease for three straight quarters. Investors better hope they don’t.
History shows that once earnings drop for that long, they almost always keep falling, and usually take the market with them. In fact, among 17 declines that got to nine months since the Great Depression, exactly one stopped there, in 1967.

Top Ranked Small Cap ETFs For Outperformance
Seeking Alpha
Small cap stocks have been significantly beating their large cap cousins over the past few months. The Russell 2000 index that measures the performance of the small cap segment of the US equity universe has returned more than 14% in the past six months, versus about 5% return for the large cap US equity indexes. The most important reason for small cap outperformance appears to be the dollar strength.

U.S. Index Futures Signal Stocks Will Climb Amid Deal Activity
U.S. stock-index futures rose, signaling equities will extend a quarterly advance, amid increased deal activity and optimism central banks will support global growth.


Stocks Revisit Last Spring’s Selloff — With a Difference -
The latest pullback in technology and biotechnology stocks echoes a temporary selloff last spring. But this time around, some investors are warning that the broader market’s problems could run deeper.

Jack Lew to discuss China technology policy, urges market reforms
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Monday he would discuss with the Chinese government recent technology policy moves that Washington has complained constitute unfair regulatory pressure on foreign firms.

Reevaluating 2015 Fintech Trends
Forex Magnates
In the beginning of 2015, Forex Magnates published its version of fintech trends of the year. Three sectors put in focus were ‘Robo Advising’, digital based equity crowdfunding, and what we termed ‘service based investing’. While the latter which we described as low cost or free brokerage trading being integrated with financial apps remains a quiet market, the former two have been thriving during 2015.

London’s booming FinTech sector will stumble without better access to talent
City A.M.
One of London’s strongest attributes has always been its ability to reinvent itself – and the success of the financial technology (or FinTech) sector shows this characteristic coming to the fore once again.
Since the financial crisis, the explosion of companies specialising in financial technologies has brought innovation and prosperity to formerly run-down areas of the City fringes, revitalising Shoreditch, Old Street and King’s Cross as new business hubs. More than 44,000 people are now employed by FinTech companies across the UK – more than in New York or Silicon Valley – and investment last year tripled to $12.2bn. One thing is for sure: FinTech’s success cannot be underestimated, and it is now vital to London’s future as a financial centre.

Global fintech investments reach £8bn, with Europe leading rapid growth
Global investment in financial technology (fintech) companies has tripled in the past year, with the fastest growth witnessed in Europe.
Research carried out by CB Insights on behalf of Accenture showed investment in fintech firms across the world grew from $4.05 billion (£2.7bn) in 2013 to $12.2 billion (£8.2bn) in 2014. Overall spending on fintech firms grew by more than three times the rate of general venture capital investment.

New Chartis and SunGard Research Indicates Integrated Risk Management Performing a More Strategic Role – But Most Firms Are Behind in Realizing its Potential
According to a new research report by Chartis, “Key Trends in Buy-Side Risk Management,” integrated risk management is playing a more strategic role within buy-side institutions, with the trend set to continue as the tactical and functional execution of risk begins to align with strategy. However, the report, sponsored by SunGard, also indicated that most firms were behind in realizing the execution of risk management as an integral part of their investment strategy.
(No Link)


Financial Conduct Authority Made a ‘Serious Error’ on Insurance Review, Panel Says
Dealbook – NY Times
The Financial Conduct Authority of Britain made a “serious error” in providing an exclusive briefing to a newspaper reporter last year on its plans to review the life insurance industry, and in not responding quickly after the report inadvertently sent British insurance stocks down sharply, a parliamentary committee said on Friday.
The authority, which is the country’s top financial regulator, announced in March 2014 that it would review whether longstanding customers had been treated fairly by their insurers.

SEC Charges New York-Based Brokerage Firm With Faulty Underwriting of Public Offering by China-Based Company
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a New York-based brokerage firm responsible for underwriting a public offering despite obtaining a due diligence report indicating that the China-based company’s offering materials contained false information.

Federal Court in South Carolina Imposes Lifetime Ban from Commodities Industry on Robert Stanley Harrison
The CFTC Charged Harrison with Commodity Pool Fraud in 2013
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn D. Austin of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina entered an additional Order of permanent injunction against Robert Stanley Harrison of Easley, South Carolina, permanently banning him from engaging in commodity-related activity.

Environmental & Energy

Australia’s climate change policy on course for ‘disastrous’ 4C warming
By Lenore Taylor – The Guardian
The government’s just-released discussion paper on emissions reductions has no mention of the global goal to limit warming to 2C.

Miners are undermining your wealth
By Claude Walker – Motley Fool
It’s been a tough few years for investors in Australian natural resource companies. The price of coal has halved in a few short years, as has the price of iron ore. Even the price of “black gold” — crude oil — is down by roughly half in under a year.

Mexico sets 25 pct pollution cut by 2030 for climate talks
By Mark Stevenson – Associated Press
Mexico has become the first developing nation to submit pollutant reduction goals for next fall’s Paris climate change talks, pledging Friday to cut greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutants 25 percent by 2030.

Norway pledges minimum 40% carbon cut to UN
Carbon Pulse
Norway has submitted its INDC to the UN ahead of the December Paris talks, pledging to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.


This Magic Number Can Make or Break You in China IPO Market
It’s the magic number in China, a figure that conjures up public companies and private fortunes.
The number is 23 — and it’s one of the most powerful forces in China’s $6.4 trillion equity market today.

Morgan Stanley Hops On China ‘Through-Train’
Big investment banks are salivating over the prospect of China’s mainland securities market, with everyone expecting it to become one of the world’s largest in a few years. That has everyone from London to New York either touting their ability at getting their hands on some renminbi for their corporate clients, to singing the praises of Chinese fixed income. On Sunday, a Morgan Stanley executive said the company was hiring dozens of new equity analysts to help sell China’s A-shares market since it opened to foreigners this year.

Chinese Stocks in Hong Kong Rally Most This Year on PBOC Signal
Chinese stocks rallied, with a gauge of Hong Kong-traded shares jumping the most this year, after authorities allowed more mainland funds to use the city’s exchange link and the central bank governor signaled further monetary stimulus.

Vietnam to merge stock exchanges for increasing market competitiveness
Deal Street Asia
After executing a spate of mergers and acquisitions in the banking and the real estate sectors, Vietnam’s government is now considering the merger of its two independent stock exchanges.

Bourses merger set in May
By Jenniffer B. Austria, The Standard Business
The integration of the Philippine Stock Exchange and Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. is likely to be completed in May, a banker said over the weekend.

Morgan Stanley to expand China team as stock market reforms take hold
South China Morning Post
US investment bank Morgan Stanley plans to add dozens of new jobs to its China-focused equity research and corporate analysis teams over the coming year as Beijing moves to give foreign investors more direct access to mainland stock markets.

SGX welcomes UOB Bullion and Futures as Securities Trading Member
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is pleased to welcome UOB Bullion and Futures Limited (UOBBF) as a Trading Member of its securities market.

SGX consults public on introduction of Position Accounts for CDP Clearing Members
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is consulting the public on the proposed introduction of Position Accounts for Clearing Members of the Central Depository (CDP) as an operational step to further improve the post-trade environment of the Singapore securities market.

Subsidiaries of HKEx and SSE Sign Market Data Vendor Licence Agreement
HKEx Information Services Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), signed a market data vendor licence agreement with SSE Infonet Limited (SSE Infonet), the information business subsidiary of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), on 27 March 2015 (Friday) to better meet the needs of Mainland investors for Hong Kong stock market data.

Frontier Markets

Qatar’s bourse says plans rights issue trading
Qatar’s stock exchange plans to allow investors to trade rights to share issues, which would let them profit from capital increases even without subscribing to them, the bourse said on Sunday.

NSEL scam: A merger FTIL fears
FTIL says majority of its shareholders are against the government’s proposal to merge NSEL with it. A merger will transfer NSEL’s liabilities to its parent FTIL. Here’s a recap of the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam and its current status…


Publishers and adblockers are in a battle for online advertising
Robert Cookson, Digital Media Correspondent, FT
Electronic warfare has broken out between internet users and the $120bn online advertising industry.

READ MORE: John Lothian: Wall Street Regulator Gears Up for Labor Fight With Its Workers; Merger That Came to Aid of Knight Capital Struggles – All the top Knight-era executives have exited; BoE and ECB settle four-year battle over City clearing houses.

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