Opening Cross: Roses? Say It With Data!

Romance isn't dead; at least, not according to the data...


As another Valentine’s Day passes and the heart-shaped boxes of chocolate goodies are finally taken off the shelves, this week’s issue of Inside Market Data presents the perfect opportunity to look at some of the different way that love manifests itself in the market data industry.

Sometimes love is all-consuming and clear for all to see: for example, Australian low-latency switch vendor Exablaze was so enamored by FPGA processor manufacturer Xilinx’s UltraScale FPGA card that it built a new network interface card, the ExaNIC X10, specifically to take advantage of the latency benefits that it offers, shaving 150 nanoseconds off the wire-to-wire latency of its predecessors.

Other times, love is mysterious and secret. For example, almost three years ago, Bloomberg eloped with some assets from the defunct real-time bond pricing venture Benchmark Solutions. After marrying pretty much in secret when Benchmark collapsed, Bloomberg announced—almost as casually as Derek Jeter announced his engagement—that the Magenta Line pre-trade transparency tool originally developed by Benchmark is now available in the Bloomberg Professional terminal's order management tools.

Sometimes, people find themselves attracted to others because of shared interests. For example, Hentsu, a startup provider of hosted technology for hedge funds, is creating a data hub in Amazon Web Services’ cloud, using data technology provider B2N—in part because the vendors saw eye-to-eye about the direction of on-demand data services and could be flexible on commercial terms that would be appropriate for on-demand deployments. Because the truth is, for a service to truly be on-demand, you not only need to be able to start using it on-demand; you also need to be able to stop using it whenever you want, and stop paying for it when you want.

And where does one find love? The classified ads? In the case of the European Securities and Markets Authority, almost. ESMA is advertising for compatible individuals from the market data industry to join the Consultative Working Group that advises its Market Data Standing Committee on standards and legislation. 

Speaking of legislation, Montreal-based BCA Research has allied with FiscalNote, a startup vendor that provides a platform for analyzing the potential impact of government legislation on the energy, financial services, healthcare and technology sectors, by predicting the probability of something actually becoming law, and analyzing the impact, while providing users with context of all related policies. How cute—they’ve gotten together to bring something new into the world.

But not everything goes according to plan. Some people find themselves in long-distance relationships and struggling with the distance between them. And it’s true, MiFID 2 and the capital markets industry haven’t really been intimate for some time now, and if anything they were drifting apart with separate goals of their own. So MiFID 2 is taking a break, and has set a new date for its big day, delaying things by one year, after which it will get back together with the financial markets, and (hopefully) everyone will live happily ever after.

Others, however, won’t be getting back together. As a case in point, the senior execs who have recently departed Interactive Data following its acquisition by Intercontinental Exchange—first chairman Mason Slaine and chief executive Stephen Daffron, and now chief operating officer Jay Nadler and chief technology officer for infrastructure Scott Caudell—look to have made a clean break from their former partner. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t get back together in different ways: Slaine and Nadler have worked together before at other Warburg Pincus-backed businesses, so don’t be surprised if you spot them parachuted into the private equity firm’s next venture.

Love is like any of the agreements and circumstances described above, insofar as you get out of it what you put in. So however you display it, why not spread a little love this Valentine’s Day.

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