Category Archives: Industry ViewPoint

Taking Stock of the Regulatory Sandbox

The concept of the regulatory sandbox (“Sandbox”) was first introduced over 4 years ago by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) to offer: “a safe space in which businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of pilot activities.”…

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Best Execution in an Increasingly Complex Market

Several regulators around the world are revisiting their rules and guidelines for Best Execution. This white paper is intended to provide an overview of best execution in Canada and other jurisdictions, and the ways in which best execution is evolving as the Canadian markets continue to grow in complexity. It…

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Canada Drives the LEI Mandate Forward

Due to the size of the Canadian marketplace, the country’s regulators typically rely on other jurisdictions to take a leading role when it comes to global regulatory initiatives. Canada often provides leadership through its input in the early stages of regulatory reform through its participation in international committees and by…

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It’s Time to Get Cracking: The Clock is Ticking for Derivative Dealers in Canada

With the dawn of a new year, Derivative Dealers operating in Canada woke up to the fact that they must quickly get up to speed on two new Rules released by the Canadian Securities Administrations (CSA) ‘Committee’. The ‘Committee’ not only released its Proposal on Central Counterparty Clearing of Derivatives…

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Innovation Trumps Complacency – SEF Rules Level The Playing Field in OTC Derivative Reform

Recently, a client asked us what we thought were the three most important factors that would contribute to the success of an electronic venue. It turns out that this was a timely and relevant question given the release of the final rules on swap execution facilities (SEFs). While these rules…

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Finding their Feet in the Fog: Central Reporting Gone Adrift – Part II

The article is a follow up from my December blog titled: Getting Lost in Translation: Central Reporting Gone Adrift. http://balmoraladvisorygroup.com/blog/?p=229 My concerns regarding regulatory readiness for the central reporting obligation mandated by the OTC derivative reform were validated this week when CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia spoke at a Sifma seminar…

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Keeping Calm and Carrying On: Top 10 Newsworthy Events in Asia of 2012

With 2012 just behind us, it is important to recognize there are two sides to the story of this past year in the markets. On the one hand, no one will dispute that it has been a very difficult year. Trading volumes are down, broker dealers are being challenged to…

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Getting Lost in Translation: Central Reporting Gone Adrift

Over the course of this year, I have often wondered if the G20 leaders who met in Pittsburgh in 2009, discussed the state of the global OTC derivatives market and proposed sweeping reforms truly understood the scope and complexity of this undertaking. In their quest to make the world of…

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Market Integrity Rules Take Over Down Under

Later last year, Australian brokers opened a surprise early Christmas gift: an invoice for a new financial levy to recover the costs of moving market supervision from the Australian Stock Exchange to the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC). This year, they have unwrapped yet another gift from ASIC: new market…

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Breaking Through the Clouds: The Launch of NASDAQ OMX’s FinQloud

NASDAQ OMX’s new product FinQloud has all of the ingredients to be an industry game-changer. It is relevant, timely and innovative. NASDAQ OMX has taken the burdensome task of regulatory compliance and added a sexy twist to it by teaming up with Amazon to provide its customers with a secure,…

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Moving Fast and Slow: Update on Multi-Asset Trading Technology Solutions

Last month, I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion at the FPL Conference in Singapore. The panel consisted of experts from both the buy and sell sides exploring a timely and relevant topic: “Is Multi-Asset Trading Realistic?” It was apparent from the discussion that both the buy and…

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Ready SET Go!: A Strong Start for the Thai Stock Exchange

As I reviewed the Thai Stock Exchange (SET) 2011 Annual Report on-line, the first words that caught my attention were “Driving to Success”. These three words encapsulate a view that I have developed regarding the SET over the last year. Although the Exchange has faced overseas economic challenges, a flood…

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Shifting the Focus to the Little Guy: Update on OTC Derivative Reform

True to their word, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continues to slowly piece together their plans for OTC derivative reform. Their latest installment was released in early August when they issued the second round of feedback from market participants. This response focuses on the central clearing and reporting of…

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Looking Beyond the Obvious: Opportunities in the ASEAN Region

There is a lot of focus around the world on China. Recently, I heard a report that wine producers in Europe are looking to China for quick sale and that Barrick Gold is looking to sell their South African assets to China National Gold Group. The IMF has forecasted China’s…

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These are Testing Times: The “Rush” to Stay Competitive

As we move into the second half of 2012, global regulators continue to aggressively push ahead with their plans to improve regulation and supervision of over-the-counter (OTC) derivative markets. We are also seeing moves by global regulators to impose transaction tax and fee levies on high frequency trading. Market participants…

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It’s Still up For Grabs: Market Dominance in Enterprise Data Management Services

At the beginning of this year, I made some predictions for 2012 in an article in my inaugural newsletter entitled: Balmoral Advisory’s Vision for 2012. One of these predictions was that data management, particularly in the market data vendor space, would dominate headlines this year. This definitely has been a…

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Strengthening Competition Through Co-operation: The Pan-Sino Peninsula Market

Few would have missed the conclusion of the latest merger attempt that saw the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEx) gain shareholder approval of its £1.3billion bid for the London Metals Exchange (LME). However, what may have slipped your radar was the recent announcement of a joint venture between the…

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Rising Expectations, Diminishing Returns: The Closure of chi-east

Even though it was unfortunate that chi-east folded, market participants in Asia were not surprised at its demise. Most would agree that the concept of a multi-regional dark pool with cost efficiencies such as central clearing made a lot of sense. In practice, this is difficult to achieve in a…

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Creating a More Flexible Landscape: Market Developments in Japan

If you take a look at the trend in market share for alternative venues operating in Japan, growth has been relatively flat in the last six months.  Apart from a spike in trading turnover on SBI Japannext in May, Chi-X and SBI Japannext continue to share approximately 5% of the…

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Timing and Momentum are Everything: Launching the ASEAN Link

In April 2011, there was a formal announcement of the ASEAN link, a collaboration among seven ASEAN countries who are committed to promoting the ASEAN region through freer flow of capital and greater harmonization of their equity markets. Sungard was later named as their technology partner. The intention behind the…

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Carving Out their own Path for Change: Status of OTC Derivative Reform In Australia

The Council of Financial Regulators in Australia broke their silence last week and introduced their policy proposals for meeting the G20 objectives to reduce systemic risk in the ‘over-the-counter’ (OTC) derivative market. We have become accustomed to Australia taking the lead in the Asia-Pacific region with regulatory change so their…

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Slowing Down the Speed of Profitability: Regulators Attempt to “Control” High Frequency Trading (HFT)

I came across an article in Business Week about a new transatlantic fibre optic line that will connect financial markets in London and New York at record transmission speeds. When it opens for service in 2013, ‘Project Express’ will be the fastest cable across the Atlantic; reducing the time it…

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Balmoral Advisory’s Vision for 2012

Balmoral Insight–As the market and regulatory landscape takes shape in 2012, Balmoral Advisory’s monthly newsletter will offer you their informative insights and thoughtful perspectives on the most newsworthy events of the previous month. For January, our top stories are: The Year of The Dragon: China Breathes Fire into their Capital…

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Who Ends Up Paying for Competition? – It is a Vicious Circle

Brokers in Australia got an early Christmas present from the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) when they received an invoice for a new financial levy that will be introduced in Australia to pay for the costs of moving market supervision from The Australian Stock Exchange to ASIC. The calculation is…

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Facing Forward and Focusing on the Future – Top Ten Newsworthy Market Events of 2011 in Asia

Even though the dramas in Europe took centre stage for much of 2011, Asia was busy working in the wings and preparing to take over the spotlight in 2012. 1. SGX-ASX merger attempt – Bold and Innovative This event takes top spot even though the transaction fell through when the…

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Dollars and Sense: Manage your Expenses and Expectations in Asia

This year we have seen tremendous uncertainty in financial markets across the world. In August, the U.S. nearly defaulted on its enormous debt obligations and had to raise its debt ceiling to keep their books afloat. Now, European markets are going through their own financial crisis as countries such as…

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About The Author

Donna Bales
is a product development professional with a proven track record of managing complex capital market industry initiatives during times of significant market change and market structure reform. Donna is the founder and managing director of Balmoral Advisory, a boutique advisory firm that works with exchanges, regulators, technology firms, market participants and market data vendors to identify and evaluate business opportunities, understand and respond to changing industry/market dynamics and develop and implement strategies and solutions that make sense now and in the future. In addition she acts as a strategic advisor to an international consultancy firm, CollegeHill Asia and sits on the Board of 3Q Innovation, a non-profit focused on retaining and replacement of older workers who face protracted unemployment. Originally from Canada, Donna holds a bachelor degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.