A roundup of the week’s news and views, as the UK heads into a long weekend.
Here in London, we're gearing up for one of the longest public holiday weekends of the year. Come 4 p.m. local time, out-of-office auto replies will be turned on, computers will be turned off, and phones will be allowed to ring without answer until Tuesday morning. The roads leading out of the city will be filled with people traveling to see family, to escape family, or to begin a vacation. Those of us sensible enough to stay put—or forced to, thanks to the fact that the Underground never works on long weekends—will be eating ourselves into a coma, as is the traditional British way of celebrating anything.
But waistlines aren't the only things expanding. The London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) received shareholder approval from LCH.Clearnet regarding the terms of its recent offer to buy 60 percent of the company. While the formal vote has yet to be held, and the deadline has been extended to allow remaining shareholders to pitch in, the technical terms of offer acceptance have gone through, given the number of “yes” ballots.
How this affects various exchange setups in Europe will be interesting to watch. NYSE Euronext has already signaled its intention to draw down its use of LCH.Clearnet, and is reportedly drafting plans to expand its own European clearing capabilities. The combined LSE–LCH.Clearnet is a potential juggernaut, though, and it's a positive step for the exchange, which is taking a lot of its business lead from technology at the moment.
There has also been a lot of shuffling and movement in various institutions this week. First came news that NYSE Euronext’s Steve Rubinow had become CIO of foreign exchange (FX) trading platform FXall, and FXall’s Mark Warms—who has been with the firm since its inception—is departing. My colleague, Anthony Malakian, has an excellent piece up on Rubinow's move from their conversation a few days ago.
Rubinow’s vacated CIO position at NYSE Euronext was filled by Commerzbank's Peter Leukert. Given NYSE Euronext's focus on technology, following its move to reshape strategy after the European Commission blocked its merger with Deutsche Börse, it's an interesting hire. I spoke with Leukert recently, while he was still at Commerzbank, regarding a few of the bank’s initiatives such as the IT complexity measurement metric, and it's clear that he understands financial technology on a very deep level. I'm looking forward to seeing what both do in their respective new roles.
In other sell-side news, Steve Dew-Jones and Tim Bourgaize Murray examine the case for HTML5, and report on the completion of RBC Dexia's acquisition by Royal Bank of Canada, while Jake Thomases likens Numerix COO and president Steve O'Hanlon’s career to that of legendary National Basketball Association coach Larry Brown.
While our London operation will be shut down over the next four days, our New York office isn't quite as lucky, and will be fully staffed. For those inquiring about Waters Rankings, Anthony Malakian posted information about them here.