Commission-sharing provides halfway house

While the UK’s FSA’s rules on unbundling may not have radically reformed the trading landscape, they have subtly altered the terrain. Commission-sharing agreements have become the status quo and the remaining bulge-bracket sellside firms continue to capture the lion’s share of both execution and research business.A split between the two activities as envisioned in the…

Working goals

Size, says Margrit Schmid, is not the only criterion for success. But it does help indicate just how well a company is doing in its chosen marketplace. “In terms of premium volume, we are the leading global employee benefits network,” she says. “While size is not everything, our size does reflect how many multinational companies…

Boutiques and banks clash

When did your banker last recommend against an execution or transaction for which they are being remunerated?” This leading question awaits prospective clients browsing the website of Ondra Partners, one of a new breed of independent boutique offering “unbiased” advice to companies raising equity, debt or making acquisitions.Senior bankers at established underwriting banks get angry…

Dark pools braced for uncharted waters

Dark pools are not the “new black” anymore – they have been in Europe for more than a decade – but recently these esoteric trading systems emerged as the new battleground for European exchanges and their ambitious rivals.Multilateral trading facility Turquoise signed up six customers to a new service that aggregates the liquidity in their…

Europe’s star performers guide clients in turmoil

To describe the past year as “difficult” for traders would be an understatement. The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September unleashed a tidal wave of volatility that sent traders running for cover. Trading strategies were blown apart, the hedge fund industry crumbled and it was touch and go whether the global economy would follow suit….

Checks and balances

The region compensates for its market size and higher risk with better returns, analysts said, with property yields ranging from about seven percent for a prime building in Warsaw’s central business district to about 10 percent in Moscow. This compared well against London where prime offices yielded five percent last year, but as the downturn…

Mercantilism reconsidered

This question constitutes a Rorschach test for policymakers and economists. On one side are free market enthusiasts and neo-classical economists, who believe in a stark separation between state and business. In their view, the government’s role is to establish clear rules and regulations and then let businesses sink or swim on their own. Public officials…

ETFs and emerging markets

Emerging markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) have one thing in common: both are destined to hold increasing importance for investors for many years to come. Emerging markets offer some of the strongest long-term return prospects as they take their place in the global economy of the 21st century. The BRIC countries are widely predicted…

Red squared

Russia’s budget deficit could reach 7.5 percent of GDP in 2010, stretched by state aid for banks, but economic growth should return after this year’s recession, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said recently. Russia has kept spending high to help the economy out of its first recession in a decade, while tax revenues are falling, in…

Don’t leave home without it

Credit card delinquency figures bring to mind the rock classic “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” Since last July’s record report – delinquencies jumped to 6.6 percent of all card debt in the first quarter from 5.52 percent – the peak may still be far off. The sunniest forecast in the Obama administration’s stress test suggested…