Opening Cross: On Behalf of a Grateful Industry

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In the spirit of giving thanks, this week’s issue features a brief recap of our twenty-fifth anniversary event held on Oct. 25 in New York, where we inducted 25 individuals (or pairs of individuals) into the inaugural Inside Market Data Hall of Fame.

Set on the Hudson Hotel’s roof deck, the evening honored those who through leadership, innovation, and cooperation have made a lasting contribution to the evolution of market data, as a humble thank-you to some remarkable individuals on behalf of a grateful industry. You can see photos from the event on pages 9 and 10, and can view exclusive video interviews from the evening at www.insidemarketdata.com/25.

But though the mood of the evening was upbeat, the economy isn’t out of the woods yet. Larry Leuzzi, former chairman of fixed-income pricing vendor GovPX and now director of Artesian Capital Management, said the fact that Oct. 25 saw the first trade in a treasury inflation security with a negative yield shows that the markets are still fragile.

 

At least some areas are still making money, such as non-display data licensing from exchanges and brokers—though end users may not be too thankful about these policies, which impose higher fees on firms that consume datafeeds in applications other than traditional display terminals, such as algorithmic trading engines, which can execute higher volumes of trades than an individual trader, and which exchanges and brokers say should command a higher fee.

“The reason that the ‘Non-Display’ license is at a different price point is that we consider it to be a business activity that clients source the most value from,” says Jarod Hillman, head of real-time data at the London Stock Exchange. However, the LSE has adopted a different approach to some other markets that introduced similar fees, by basing the charges in part on how much clients already spend on licenses to use data in display applications, rather than on the number of servers that the data might come into contact with.

Tullett Prebon Information has operated application usage licensing since 2008, and is now working with data vendors to beef up the administration procedures for protecting its data to ensure that anyone accessing the data is properly licensed to receive it. This revenue stream is actually TPI’s fastest-growing line of business, officials say, though not everyone is impressed. A representative from UK data user group Ipug says that while exchanges and trading venues have ownership rights to data passing through their platforms, a broker may not have the same rights—especially in illiquid markets where only a couple of dealers quote prices for a particular instrument. In that instance, why should the dealer pay for prices that only they could have contributed, and be subject to tighter administration policies, the Ipug rep asks. On the other hand, you might well make the case that when you reveal a price or order to a broker, it becomes a public fact, even if the identity of the counterparty is not.

Someone who won’t be feeling the Thanksgiving spirit this week is Nordic multilateral trading facility Burgundy, which has apparently been asked to vacate a datacenter run by Verizon Business in Stockholm even before it had finished moving in, forcing the MTF to find another hosting center further away from its clients in the Verizon building. Conspiracy theorists will suggest that Verizon is protecting Nasdaq OMX, whose local matching engine is in the facility, and against whom Burgundy and its technology supplier Cinnober both compete directly—for trading and in the supply of exchange trading platforms, respectively.

So while Burgundy and Cinnober square off with Verizon, we wish our readers in the US and beyond—especially in Sweden—a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.

 

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