How do you rate your brokers?
Nielsen: Consistency and best pricing are always the best benchmarks. However, there is often no price difference between brokers, especially for the liquid products we trade. In that case, we prefer brokers that offer full transparency; uptime; low latency in terms of market data, execution and confirmation; reliable and accurate post-execution that requires no manual intervention; clean and reliable interfaces; support of different order types; and -- very important -- ease of integration with our infrastructure.
How are you handling the euro crisis?
Nielsen: The interest rates market is very sensitive to news, especially any news related to the current and prolonged euro crisis. We still trade German and U.K. government bond futures and on-the-run bonds, but our allocation of those securities has been reduced. It is still very hard to avoid the influence of the European situation. The U.S. interest rates market is often substantially influenced by European news. In fact, any recent European crisis news is so powerful that it often wipes out the impact of other signals temporarily. We rarely use discretionary intervention, except just before or after a big market event. Our discretionary intervention is mostly through risk reduction.