EFP and CBOE
Environmental Financial Products LLC (EFP) and CBOE Holdings Inc. (CBOE) announced plans to launch the American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic marketplace for small and mid-sized banks to lend and borrow short-term funds. AFX was designed to bring the benefits of exchange trading, including standardization, transparency and a rules-based process, to interbank lending. EFP is a prominent, successful exchange incubator headed by Dr. Richard Sandor, designer of the first interest rate futures and founder of the Climate Exchange PLC (CLE) family of companies.
CBOE Holdings Inc. announced that it has finalized the acquisition of the market data services and trading analytics platforms of Livevol Inc., a provider of equity and index options technology and market data services to professional and retail traders, effective Aug. 7. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO) announced that its London-based affiliate R.J. O’Brien Limited has successfully gone live on the London Metal Exchange following its July 23 approval as a Category 2 clearing member.
SunGard has won the Corporate LiveWire 2015 Global Funds Award in the “corporate actions software solution of the year” category for its XSP corporate actions solutions, including its enterprise processing platform, software as a service (SaaS), managed services and business process as a service (BPaaS) offerings. The Corporate LiveWire Global Fund Awards is an international awards program that recognizes and honors outstanding fund performance and service providers who support the financial services industry.
Tradegate Exchange and Ullink announced a partnership to provide all members of Ullink’s global NYFIX community access to Tradegate Exchange’s services and liquidity.
As part of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) ongoing efforts to help protect Americans from fraud, in September the agency launched the “RED List,” a new tool that allows investors to identify unregistered foreign entities that may be engaged in illegal practices. The RED List can be found at: www.SmartCheck.gov/REDList.
Donovan Davis Jr., one of three Principal Defendants charged by the CFTC for the fraudulent operation of Capital Blu Management, LLC of Melbourne, Florida, was sentenced to 17 years in a federal prison on Aug. 27, 2015. Davis was convicted on May 14, 2015 of multiple counts of criminal conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the operation of a fraudulent $17 million commodity pool. The two other co-defendants in the CFTC action, Blayne Davis and Damien Bromfield, earlier pleaded guilty to similar criminal charges.
In August the CFTC approved rule amendments enhancing protections for retail forex customers filed by the National Futures Association (NFA). Rules include additional capital requirements, security deposits for off-exchange foreign currency transactions and additional market disclosures.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Frederick Alan Voight of Richmond, Texas, with defrauding more than 300 investors in multiple offerings of promissory notes issued by two partnerships he owns: F.A. Voight & Associates LP and DayStar Funding LP. While Voight’s latest offering promised investors returns as high as 42% a year from loans to small public companies, most of the funds went to pay earlier investors, the complaint alleges. Approximately $22 million of Voight’s allegedly ill-gotten gains remain unaccounted for to date.
FIA, FIA Europe and FIA
The respective boards of Futures Industry Association, FIA Europe and FIA Asia announced that they have reached an agreement to formally merge the three groups in the first quarter of 2016. Since June 2013, the three associations have been working closely together under an affiliated global structure, FIA Global, which enabled the independent organizations and their boards to better coordinate policies and priorities.
The Andersons Inc.
U.S. grain handler The Andersons Inc. named a vice president from larger rival Cargill Inc. as its new chief executive. Patrick Bowe, who was a corporate vice president for Cargill and a leader of its food ingredients unit, will replace Michael Anderson, who has been Andersons’ chief executive officer for 16 years, on Nov. 2, according to a statement.
CME Group announced it will expand its base metals offering with the introduction of a new Aluminum European Premium Duty-Unpaid (Metal Bulletin) futures contract to begin trading on Sept. 21, 2015. Pending relevant regulatory review periods, the new contract will be available for trading on CME Globex and for submission for clearing through CME ClearPort, and will be listed with and subject to the rules and regulations of COMEX.
CME Group and Rim Intelligence announced the signing of a license agreement to permit CME Group to exclusively develop and clear energy derivatives based on the Rim DES Japan LNG Assessment, available for submission to CME Clearing via the Japan OTC Exchange and through OTC brokers.
Minneapolis Grain Exchange
The Minneapolis Grain Exchange set all-time records in total volume and electronic volume for fiscal year 2015. Total volume finished at 2,278,559 contracts traded, a 13% increase over the previous record set a year ago. This marks the third time ever the Exchange’s total volume has surpassed 2 million in a fiscal year, and the first time it has done so in back-to-back years.
Aberdeen Asset Management
Aberdeen Asset Management has completed its acquisition of FLAG Capital Management and announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Arden Asset Management. These acquisitions are part of Aberdeen’s strategy to grow its alternatives business via multi-manager hedge funds, property and private market allocations, direct infrastructure investments and pan-alternative capabilities.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) will launch its Singapore platform on Nov. 17 with five new contracts, the bourse said. The contracts are one-kilogram gold futures and “mini-Brent” futures that ICE announced earlier as well as mini gasoil and mini onshore and offshore renminbi futures. ICE’s mini-Brent contract will be for 100 barrels, a tenth of the size of its Brent crude oil benchmark. ICE bought the Singapore Mercantile Exchange in 2014 for $150 million to gain a foothold in trading and clearing in Asia.