In other news, BNY names a COO for GMI, a Hong Kong firm embraces the Eze platform, an ex-space agency exec joins Seraphim, FlexTrade's new partner & LiquidityBook taps JonesTrading.
MRAC Subcommittee Urges July 26 Start Date
A key CFTC subcommittee is recommending that interdealer brokers replace the trading of U.S. Dollar linear interest rate swaps (IRS) based upon the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) with the trading of IRS based upon the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) starting July 26, 2021, and to continue to do so thereafter. SOFR is replacing the scandal-ridden LIBOR.
The Interest Rate Benchmark Reform Subcommittee has submitted its “SOFR First” recommendation to the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC), which is reviewing the proposal, officials say.
The MRAC Subcommittee initiative, called SOFR First, is “the third recommendation this Subcommittee has referred to the MRAC for consideration in connection with the transition of USD derivatives and related contracts away from LIBOR,” according to the CFTC. Rostin Behnam, the acting chairman of the CFTC, is the sponsor of MRAC.
This latest recommendation is “focused on the interdealer market only,” and is not intended to impact the “availability of LIBOR linear swaps in dealer-to-client transactions,” according to the CFTC.
“The views, analyses, and conclusions expressed regarding SOFR First reflect the work of the MRAC Interest Rate Benchmark Reform Subcommittee, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the MRAC, the Commission or its staff, or the U.S. government,” CFTC officials add.
“This step will cause trading activity amongst swap dealers on these platforms, which account for a substantially large share of trading in the interest rate swap markets, to switch from LIBOR to SOFR,” according to the CFTC. “The SOFR First best practice recommends keeping interdealer brokers’ screens for LIBOR linear swaps available for informational purposes, but not trading activity, until October 22, 2021. After this date, these screens should be turned off altogether.”
“SOFR First’s milestone date of July 26, 2021 is consistent with, and is designed to complement, U.S. banking regulators supervisory guidance that banks should cease entering into new contracts that use USD LIBOR as a reference rate at the end of 2021,” says Behnam in a prepared statement.
BNY Names COO for Global Market Infrastructure
BNY Mellon has named Alejandro Perez to the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO) for the custodian bank’s global market infrastructure (GMI).
Perez is a 25-year market structure veteran, who has spent the majority of his career focused on business strategy at several firms, according to a BNY Mellon statement. His mandate in his new post includes maximizing opportunities for closer collaboration and product integration, per the statement.
His previous posts include positions with Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and, most recently, fintech Unqork, the statement notes. Perez will report directly to Robin Vince, BNY Mellon’s vice chair and CEO of its GMI.
CSOP Asset Management to Deploy Eze Investment Suite
The Hong Kong-based CSOP Asset Management Ltd. had decided to use the Eze Investment Suite for order management and portfolio accounting, according to officials at the firm and SS&C Technologies, which owns and maintains the suite.
“CSOP, China’s first offshore asset manager, will use Eze Investment Suite to manage daily investment activity across asset classes, including trading, modeling, reporting and settlement,” officials say.
The Eze Investment Suite offers “the flexibility CSOP required for trading leveraged and inverse products (L&I), ETF’s and equities,” according to the SS&C Eze group. CSOP officials were also swayed by platform’s “ease-of-use modeling capabilities.”
“We were looking for a system that could tailor its services to CSOP’s needs. We were impressed by the level of investment in the system’s capabilities,” says Yuhang Zhuang, head of operations at CSOP, in a prepared statement. “SS&C Eze Investment Suite’s configurable rebalancing and benchmark features streamline our portfolio management and trading workflows.”
CSOP officials facilitate “foreign investment into China’s capital market,” officials say. The firm was founded in 2008.
Ex-European Space Agency Director Joins Seraphim
Seraphim Capital reports the appointment of the former director general of the European Space Agency as a senior advisor and a member of its advisory board. Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Wörner was ESA’s seventh director general, serving from 2015 to 2021.
He was chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014.
Wörner “championed leveraging commercial technologies to build lower cost and higher performance satellites for communications, earth observation, navigation, and science at ESA,” according to a Seraphim statement.
Seraphim characterizes itself as a “specialist investor in SpaceTech,” which has “supported more than 50 Spacetech companies, making us the most prolific Spacetech investment group globally.”
The company’s investment portfolio includes AST & Science, ArQit and Spire Global, as well as Iceye and LeoLabs, per the statement.
FlexTrade & BMLL Partner to Bring Analytics to EMS
Vendors FlexTrade Systems and BMLL recently announced a partnership that will make the BMLL Data Feed analytics offering available to the FlexTRADER execution management system (EMS), officials say.
The agreement will bring BMLL’s Level 3, T+1 data and analytics to the EMS to help trading firms leverage their order book data “to accelerate their research, optimize their trading strategies and generate alpha,” vendor officials say.
The BMLL Data Feed offering will be delivered via an application programming interface (API) “directly into FlexTRADER workflows,” officials say. The BMLL’s data and analytics will then be applied to pricing data “within the FlexTRADER EMS blotter.”
LiquidityBook Taps JonesTrading for COO Post
LiquidityBook, a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based provider of buy- and sell-side trading processes and procedures, reports hiring Sayant Chatterjee to be its next chief operating officer (COO).
In this post, Chatterjee will “drive strategic alignment across all departments and help execute plans for expansion, with a primary focus on enhancing LiquidityBook’s sell-side products and services,” according to the vendor’s statement.
He is a capital markets technology veteran, with more than 20 years of experience.
Chatterjee joins from JonesTrading, where he was chief information officer for more than seven years, per the statement. He will be based in the New York office.