William Shakespeare wrote: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." It turns out - more so now than ever before - that there is a business equivalent to this famous line from Act 2 Scene 7 of Shakespeare's play, "As You Like It." The difference, however, is that the "stage" in the current context is known as a platform. And, with each passing day, the strength, agility, intelligence and speed requirements of current financial platforms tend to increase. Putting our key points up front, what we are going to emphasize as we make the case for the validity (and urgency) of this opening salvo are the following: The ceaseless march of innovation, competitive forces and exogenous market factors dictate that players in the modern financial services industry evolve from their initial proprietary technology bias to an expanded supply chain strategy, with focus on certain foundational categories of technical functionality. In other words, for a majority of players, their are certain core technical components that [...]
In late April 2017, we noticed a new string of dominoes falling at the fast, automated end of the trading spectrum: With Virtu about to gobble up KCG - not to mention additional consolidations of principal trading groups like RGM Advisors (to DRW), Timber Hill (to Two Sigma) and Chopper Trading (to DRW), among others - it seemed pretty clear that one of the next dominos to fall would be in the direct-feed market data space. The question was: To what degree? (See: "Nasdaq Under Virtu Market Data Axe," April 28, 2017) And yet, when we went back to look - via updating our Nasdaq model - this picture showed up: As Paul Harvey used to say: "...And now the rest of the story..." Obviously this trajectory is the opposite of what was expected. Better yet, in a dictionary somewhere is this chart - at least, of late - next to the words, "fairly smooth sailing" or "strong growth." Over the last few years, data products (and the growth in [...]
A quick math assignment: @Nasdaq earned $540 million in information services (aka - #marketdata) revenue in 2016, up 5.5% over 2015 (and, not to put to fine a point on it, but this growth is slowing as 2015 v. 2014 was +8.2%). @KCGHQ spent $148 million on communications and data processing in 2016. @VirtuFinancial is on its way to acquiring KCG - and is on record with a strategy to ultimately consolidate both operations onto a single, unified trading platform. No doubt, this is not lip service. What is the impact on Nasdaq - and other exchanges - whose revenue growth has become so dependent on market data sales? If you are ambitious, here's some additional intelligence that you could use in the analysis: (We have more in the can if you need it.) BTW, you have to guess that all #HFT leaders have really spiffy axes, no?
Originally published by Reuters here. Markets | Tue Jul 5, 2016 5:27pm EDT By Herbert Lash A judge for the Securities and Exchange Commission opened the door for U.S. exchanges to charge more for their high-speed data products, a move that could reduce the number of high-frequency trading firms that trade large quantities of securities. Brenda Murray, chief administrative law judge for the SEC, last month rejected a petition by a brokerage lobby to set aside fee increases for data sold by Nasdaq Inc and NYSE Arca, an exchange owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc . Only a small group of firms, primarily high-frequency traders, will keep purchasing so-called depth-of-book data from all providers, said Paul Rowady, founder and director of research for Alphacution Research Conservatory. The impact may be to shrink the ranks of these data-intensive firms, he said. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which has fought higher data fees for almost a decade, will have a hard time stopping price increases on the data in question, [...]