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What’s the buzz? Thoughts from STA and FIA

What’s the buzz? Thoughts from STA and FIA

By Scott Schroeder

October is always a busy month and this year was no exception here at Eventus. In addition to adding new customers, deploying cutting-edge functionality (machine learning) to Validus and contributing thought leadership on both trading with intermarket sweep orders (ISOs) and making the most of regulatory data, we found time to attend the STA Market Structure Conference in Washington, D.C. and FIA Expo in Chicago. Here are a few of our takeaways:

  • As a general rule of thumb, conferences are not good for content because speakers are not incentivized to be controversial or thought-provoking.  A BIG exception to this rule is proving to be the ‘market data debate’ that has been going on for several years. While a few jabs have flown at the STA each year, things really escalated on the STA Exchange Panel earlier this month.  Whether by accident or design, the organizers sat NYSE next to IEX and fireworks erupted.  The debate continued unabated at the SEC’s market data roundtable this past week. It’s rare to see a panel of smart people that have worked together for many years let hostilities come to the surface so readily. Our view is that market data in general is very expensive and difficult to navigate.  We hope there are good concrete outcomes to the roundtable, but that’s doubtful, particularly with the SEC’s recent ruling against proposed data fee increases from Nasdaq and NYSE.  Here are NYSE’s thoughts:
    • An overzealous agenda of government price setting will only benefit the bottom lines of Wall Street firms, at the expense of our ability to reinvest and innovate…Amid the noise on fees, we risk our U.S. leadership, as the most enviable marketplace in the world.
  • It should come as no surprise that nearly every exchange has an offering that relates to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The recent announcement from ErisX – that they are going to become a cryptoasset exchange – and the imminent launch of a physical delivery contract at ICE-backed Bakkt drew a lot of interest. The asset class is developing and maturing quickly.
  • MiFID II is still a hot topic for discussion as the effects are being felt far outside of the EU. One example is real-time monitoring requirements around RTS-6 and banks, brokers, and FCMs are all struggling to find solutions. (Hint: we can help)
  • Prior to FIA Expo, we sponsored Phillip Capital’s  “Trading Asia” symposium and were once again impressed with the level of participation from Asian exchanges and the innovation that they’re bringing to the markets. It’s probably no coincidence that the majority of cryptocurrency mining and trading is emanating from Asia as well.
  • Also at Expo, Eventus Board member Kim Taylor was a member of the “Shattering the Glass Ceiling” panel.  The panel touched upon many topics relating to being a woman in the capital markets, specifically the futures business.  Most felt their success wasn’t affected by their gender and that the futures industry has been ahead of the curve on equal rights for decades now.  One important takeaway was the value of having mentors of both sexes to serve as career guides with all the panelists noting that they had both male/female mentors and felt it was crucial to their success.  Hopefully “glass ceiling” panels won’t be needed in the future as diversity across both gender and race continue to gain traction.

The rest of the year might not be as crazy as October, but we have a lot more in store was we move into 2019. Please let me know if you have comments on the above or need help for the future!