Wall Street & Technology's Ivy Schmerken Weblog

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Does NSA’s Tracfin Risk Lives?
March 14, 2014 @ 11:23 AM | By Jonas Olsson- Graz

Financing is the Achilles heel of terrorist organizations, yet the NSA's Tracfin database doesn’t appear to be doing a very good job of it, argues Jonas Olsson, CEO of Graz.

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Did Goldman Sachs Really Have to Discipline 4 IT Workers After Its Glitch?
August 27, 2013 @ 14:56 PM | By Phil Albinus

The investment giant reportedly placed four IT staffers on administrative leave after its embarrassing trading glitch last week. But is IT to blame or does the fish stink from the head?

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The Two Faces of Regulation SCI: Reducing Risk While Curbing Innovation?
August 23, 2013 @ 09:20 AM | By Salvatore Sferrazza- SunGard

While the SEC’s draft proposal of Regulation SCI is a major step toward mitigating the potentially hazardous consequences resulting from a market that is increasingly reliant upon rapid-fire technology, the burdens of data collection risks impeding market innovation and inundating the Commission with extreme volumes of data.

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Breaking: Nasdaq Resumes Trading After 'Flash Freeze'
August 22, 2013 @ 12:46 PM | By Phil Albinus

The market maker resumed trading this afternoon after it suspended trading for several hours due to a technical error.

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Why Is Goldman Sachs Having Trading Glitches?
August 21, 2013 @ 10:43 AM | By Phil Albinus

Even an investment powerhouse that is awash in cash, smart people, and presumed state-of-the-art IT can experience a spectacular trading error. But why are they even happening?

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China’s Everbright Stops Trading After A Surprise Flash Surge
August 16, 2013 @ 14:21 PM | By Phil Albinus

The Chinese brokerage saw its shares soar by more than 50 percent in a single trading day. Will these trading errors stop?

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Is there a Palladium Bubble?
August 15, 2013 @ 11:16 AM | By Alexander Fleiss

Demand for Palladium has increased from automakers, while Russia's 15% stockpile could be dwindling, setting the stage for a bubble.

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BATS Attracts 2 Private Equity Investors: What Does it Mean?
August 14, 2013 @ 17:19 PM | By Ivy Schmerken

On the heels of last week's outage, BATS Global Markets said Spectrum Equity and TA Associates acquired a minority stake in the exchange operator.

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Can Golvis Break the Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Curse?
August 14, 2013 @ 11:09 AM | By Phil Albinus

As a trio of former Goldman Sachs managing directors launch a new hedge fund in Asia, we shall see whether or not all that glitters is Goldman Sachs.

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JPMorgan’s London Whale Helping Feds for Possible Arrests
August 12, 2013 @ 16:29 PM | By Phil Albinus

The trader behind JPMorgan’s leviathan trading fiasco is reportedly helping US authorities as they investigate two of the London Whale’s associates. Will it be handcuffs for cuff links soon?

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SEC to JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon & The London Whale: Admit It Was Wrong!
August 09, 2013 @ 13:29 PM | By Phil Albinus

As the regulator works on a settlement with JPMorgan's for its botched trades that lead to $6 billion in losses, the SEC's new sheriff removed one option from the table: Jamie Dimon and company cannot 'deny any wrongdoing.'

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Moneybrawl: Michael Lewis Takes on Goldman Sachs, HFT
August 05, 2013 @ 17:49 PM | By Phil Albinus

The author of Moneyball takes us inside how Goldman Sachs pushed to have its former top coder, Serge Aleynikov, placed in handcuffs and how the firm barely has a handle on high-frequency trading even today.

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Hackers to Exchanges: You’re Next
August 02, 2013 @ 11:42 AM | By Phil Albinus

US attorneys last week charged a Russian hacker with gaining access to the servers inside Nasdaq. For two years. The CIOs and IT staffers inside today’s exchanges now have to deal with the target on their backs.

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Are Banks Pushing to Weaken Dodd-Frank?
July 26, 2013 @ 12:15 PM | By Phil Albinus

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and other top investment firms have had more meetings with regulators than with reform groups. Wanna bet what they were talking about?

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Will the REAL OEMS Please Stand Up?
July 25, 2013 @ 16:35 PM | By Gavin Little-Gill

Many firms claim to offer an OEMS, yet there is no precise definition. Here are the top 10 features that an OEMS must have to qualify for the coveted moniker.

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Document Risk: Taming the Paper Tiger
July 16, 2013 @ 16:00 PM | By Phil Albinus

Thanks to new regulations - written more often in gray than black white - investment firms are suffering from document risk, or poorly archived documents and information. While it may not have the white-hot urgency of liquidity or credit risk, document risk is still a source of confusion for today’s firms. WST spoke with Mahesh Muthu, associate principal at eClerx, about the ways firms can stay ahead of their documentation dilemmas.

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Is HFT Leveling the Playing Field?
July 16, 2013 @ 11:34 AM | By Phil Albinus

As lawmakers look at high-frequency trading, firms continue to shave the time off of their trades. WST spoke with Azul Systems CEO Scott Sellers for his take on high frequency trading going forward. Is it still full steam ahead or are firms looking to back off?

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What's Inside the Buy Side's Survival Kit?
July 09, 2013 @ 11:53 AM | By Ivy Schmerken

Adapt to change or face extinction, buy side firms are paying attention to the "investment book of record" or IBOR, along with crowdsourcing for alpha, while prioritizing compliance and post-trade cost savings.

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Virtual Trading Clubs: The Next Big Thing?
July 08, 2013 @ 12:56 PM | By Ivy Schmerken

With economic pressures impacting the sell side, social media technology could play a role in helping buy side firms form trusted relationships with counterparties.

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Where is the Innovation in Trading Technology?
July 02, 2013 @ 13:11 PM | By Ivy Schmerken

Complaining about the sluggish state of innovation in trading technology, market participants pointed to cost pressures and low volumes.

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Thought Leaders

  • Ivy Schmerken, Editor at Large
    Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad number of topics including high frequency trading, algorithmic trading strategies, market structure, electronic trading in fixed income , colocation in data centers, Dodd-Frank regulation and the new derivatives landscape. Ivy meets with software companies and other innovators and writes about cloud computing, OMS/EMSs and other financial technologies.
  • Marc J Firenze, Chief Technology Officer, Eagle Investment Systems
    As chief technology officer of Eagle Investment Systems, Marc Firenze drives the software, technology and architecture decisions across Eagle's investment management suite and ensures that development directly supports the firm's corporate vision. With more than 20 years of experience in the design, development and implementation of financial technology solutions, he oversees a world-class team of technical and functional talent responsible for the software development, delivery, engineering and enterprise architecture for Eagle's suite of products. Mr. Firenze began his career with Eagle in 1997 and has been intimately involved in many facets of the build-out of its products including new feature design, analysis and quality assurance. During his tenure at Eagle, he was responsible for launching the enterprise technology platform, which underlies Eagle's product suite. He was instrumental in the development and delivery of Eagle's data management and of Eagle's alternative investment accounting solution. Prior to joining Eagle, Mr. Firenze worked for State Street Corporation, where he worked on the development of portfolio management and accounting systems. Mr. Firenze earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his M.B.A from Northeastern University.
  • Dr. John Bates, CTO, Intelligent Business Operations & Big Data, Software AG
    Dr. John Bates is a Member of the Group Executive Board and Chief Technology Officer at Software AG, responsible for Intelligent Business Operations and Big Data strategies. Until July 2013, John was Executive Vice President and Corporate Chief Technology Officer at Progress Software. John was responsible for creating, evolving and evangelizing Progress' market strategy and technology vision. Previously, John was General Manager of Progress Software's Apama Division. John was responsible for Divisional P&L including sales, marketing, products and consulting services. In 3 years John grew revenue by over 300%.
  • Andrew Waxman, Thought Leader
    Andrew Waxman writes on operational risk in capital markets and financial services. Andrew is a consultant in IBM's US financial risk services and compliance group. The views expressed her are those of his own. As an operational risk manager, Andrew has worked at some of the leading investment banks and consulting firms in Wall Street and the City of London. He writes on topics such as: rogue and insider trading, technology and markets, disaster planning, regulatory responses and risk management strategies. Andrew has a first class degree in history from Kings' College London and an MBA in finance from NYU.
  • Jennifer L Costley, Ph.D, Principal, Ashokan Advisors
    Jennifer L. Costley, Ph.D. is a scientifically-trained technologist with broad multidisciplinary experience in enterprise architecture, software development, line management and infrastructure operations, primarily (although not exclusively) in capital markets. She is also a non-profit board leader recognized for talent in building strong governance and process. Her current focus is in helping companies, organizations and individuals with opportunities related to data, analysis and sustainability. She can be reached at www.ashokanadvisors.com
  • Michael J. Levas, Founder, Senior Managing Principal, Director of Trading, Olympian Group of Investment Management Cos
    Michael J. Levas has been in the investment management business for over twenty years and is the founder,senior managing principal & director of trading at the Olympian Group of Investment Management Companies. Prior to Olympian, he was a VP and Portfolio Manager in the Private Client Group at Lehman Brothers Inc. Prior to that, he was a VP with SG Cowen, UBS PaineWebber and Bear Stearns where he managed in excess of $250 million in both institutional and retail portfolios. Mr. Levas is the former founder and managing member of Olympian Securities LLC, and is a licensed Series 24 general securities principal, Series 7 general securities representative, and a Series 65, 66 investment adviser representative with (FINRA). Mr. Levas is also the former founder and principal of Olympian Futures LLC, a former (NFA) registered introducing broker, and a licensed Series 3 associated person. Mr. Levas currently holds the Chartered Portfolio Manager (CPM) designation from the American Academy of Financial Management. Mr. Levas completed investment management studies at Harvard Business School and additionally, Mr.Levas has completed the Hedge Fund Programme at The London Business School. He is a current member of the CFA society of South Florida, Securities Traders Association of Florida, The National Association of Active Investment Managers, and formerly served on the 2008/2009 board of directors of The Hedge Fund Association. Mr. Levas is a frequent conference speaker, and commentator on the financial markets & asset management industry.He has been featured throughout the U.S.,Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and in numerous publications, and media outlets including BusinessWeek, Dow Jones Newswires, The Financial Times,Smart Money,Hedge Fund Manager Week, Wall Street Letter, Euromoney, Wall St.& Technology,The Economic Times, Securities Industry News, Alternative Investment Review, Advanced Trading, Markets Media Magazine, TradeTech , Reuters, Bloomberg and National Public Radio.
  • Vamsi Chemitiganti, Chief Architect, Red Hat
    As Chief Architect of Red Hat's Financial Services Vertical, Vamsi Chemitiganti is responsible for driving Red Hat's technology vision from a client standpoint. The breadth of these areas range from Platform, Middleware, Storage to Big Data and Cloud (IaaS and PaaS). The clients Chemitiganti engages with on a daily basis span marquee names on Wall Street, including businesses in capital markets, core banking, wealth management and IT operations. The other large component of his role is to work with Client CXOs and Architects to help them on key business transformation initiatives. Chemitiganti hold a BS in Computer Science and Engineering as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also a regular speaker at industry events on topics ranging from Cloud Computing, Big Data, High Performance Computing and Enterprise Middleware.
  • Dr. Howard A. Rubin, President and CEO, Rubin Worldwide
    Dr. Howard A. Rubin is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Hunter College of the City University of New York, a MIT CISR Research Affiliate, a Gartner Senior Advisor, and a former Nolan Norton Research Fellow. He is the founder and CEO of Rubin Worldwide. Dr. Rubin is a pioneer in the area of technology economics and has built the world's largest database in the field consisting of business, national, and technology data. He is personally retained by many of the world's largest enterprises as a strategic advisor to provide them with continuous competitive calibration via benchmarking and to advise them on business-technology strategy and trends. His current portfolio of client companies in total generate more than $1.5T in revenue to the global economy annually and account for almost $100B in yearly Information Technology (IT) spending. Dr. Rubin has also worked directly with heads of state or their key ministers around the world in the development of national competitive technology strategies - Canada, India, the Philippines, South Africa, and in the United States with former President Clinton. He currently is an informal advisor assisting President Obama's Council on Job Creation and Competitiveness. Dr. Rubin possesses a Ph.D. from the City University of New York in Computer Science and Oceanography. Outside the world of technology Dr. Rubin is Chairman of the Board of Riverkeeper, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a Leadership Council member of the RFK Foundation, a major support of student development programs at the Tribeca Film Institute, and a supporter of the Rainforest Foundation.
  • Sang Lee, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, Aite Group
    Sang Lee is a co-founder of and currently serves as managing partner. Mr. Lee's expertise lies in the securities and investments vertical and has advised many global financial institutions, software/hardware vendors, and professional services firms in sell-side and buy-side electronic trading technology and market structure. Prior to joining Aite Group, Mr. Lee was a founding member of Celent Communications and served as the Manager of the Securities & Investments Group as well as the Operations Group.
  • Alexander Fleiss, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Rebellion Research Partners LP
    Alexander Fleiss serves as Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Rebellion Research Partners LP, a Global Macro hedge fund and financial advisory that invests across all asset classes and is based in New York. Mr. Fleiss also oversees the firm's institutional research division, Rebellion Economics, which offers coverage of 44 countries. Mr. Fleiss has spoken about Artificial Intelligence investing at conferences, colleges and in the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg News, Geo Magazine and Institutional Investor. Prior to co-founding Rebellion Research in 2007, Mr. Fleiss served as a Principal at KMF Partners LP, a long-short US equity fund. While at KMF, he was primarily responsible for investments in the financial service, technology and consumer industries. Mr. Fleiss began his investment career as an analyst for Sloate, Weisman, Murray & Co which was acquired by Neuberger Berman. Mr. Fleiss developed investment algorithms with the firm's CEO, Laura Sloate who is now a partner at Neuberger Berman. Mr. Fleiss received a BA Degree from Amherst College.
  • Brooke Allen, 30-Year Industry Veteran
    Brooke Allen is a 30-year industry veteran who most recently founded a quantitative trading desk now celebrating its 17th year in continuous operation. For years he wrote a monthly piece for International Family Magazine, in 2009 he founded NoShortageOfWork.com to discuss work life, and in 2011 he created Questions For Colleges (Q4Colleges.com) to discuss issues facing higher education. Now he is beginning a series for us here on his beloved Securities Industry. Before you decide to trust him or collaborate with him, look at BrookeAllen.com where you will find his Personal Disclosure Statement.
  • Sean Owens, Director, Fixed Income and Derivatives, Woodbine Associates
    Sean Owens is Director, Fixed Income at Woodbine Associates, Inc. focusing on strategic, business, regulatory, market structure, and technology issues that impact firm’s active in and supporting global fixed income and derivative markets.
  • Joe Saluzzi, Partner and co-head of equity trading, Themis Trading
    Joseph Saluzzi is partner, co-founder and co-head of equity trading of Themis Trading LLC, a leading independent agency brokerage firm that trades equities for institutional money managers and hedge funds. He is also the co-author of Broken Markets -- How High Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street are Destroying Investor Confidence. Mr. Saluzzi is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on issues involving market access, algorithmic trading and other sell- and buy-side concerns. He has provided expert commentary for media outlets such as CBS's 60 Minutes, BBC Radio, Bloomberg Television & Radio, CNBC, Fox Business, BNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reuters, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News. Mr. Saluzzi also has authored articles for Traders Magazine, Dow Jones and Journal of Investment Compliance. Prior to Themis, Mr. Saluzzi headed the team responsible for equity sales and trading for major institutional accounts at Instinet Corporation for more than nine years. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an MBA in Finance and received a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from New York University.
  • Sean O'Dowd, Capital Markets Program Director, Teradata
    Sean O'Dowd leads the Global Capital Markets program at Teradata for Industry and Marketing Solutions. In this role Sean focuses on industry strategy, marketing and field enablement. Areas of focus span financial market structure, regulations and technologies that impact the business models and strategies of financial markets firms (buy-side, sell-side, wealth management, custody, exchanges, and retail brokers). Topics include many of the large transformational technologies impacting capital markets, such as cloud services, mobility, information management and big/fast data, unstructured data and analytics. Additionally, Sean covers many industry specific trends and technologies including electronic trading, investment management operations, wealth management and personal finance, oversight infrastructure (Government agencies and SRO's). Sean's personal area of expertise lies within investment management, derivatives securities and trading technology.
  • Stephen Davenport, Director Equity Risk Management, Wilmington Trust Company
    Steve is responsible for developing risk-managed investment strategies for high-net-worth clients. He has a strong background in quantitative investment analysis, and a sophisticated approach to asset allocation and the use of derivatives. In particular, he has managed a call writing strategy for clients seeking additional income for the last six years. Steve began his career with State Street Global Advisors and later joined Columbia Management Investment Advisors in Boston as a senior investment advisor. During his career, Steve has focused on developing comprehensive solutions for families, executives, and entrepreneurs with concentrated stock positions. Steve holds an M.S. in Finance from Boston College's Wallace Carroll School of Management as well as bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering and mathematics/computer science from Columbia University and Providence College, respectively. Steve holds CFA designation and he is a member of Atlanta Security Analyst Society.