The passage of MiFID II is weeks away and venues are quickly moving to shore up their compliance requirements ahead of the January 3 implementation date. Consequently, US futures broker, RJ O‘Brien has entered into an agreement with Fidessa, focusing on the group’s futures and options capabilities.
MiFID II has been in the works for the past couple of year and will dramatically reshape the financial services space. This year has seen a surge in demand for MiFID II-ready and compliant solutions, with Fidessa, among others, drawing interest for its services suite.
In particular, RJ O‘Brien’s accord with Fidessa will target non-clearing member clients of its UK subsidiary. This will see the distribution of Fidessa’s futures and options workstation to RJ O‘Brien’s institutional clients. Of note, the agreement with RJ O‘Brien will initially cover markets operated by CME, ICE, and Eurex exchanges.
Best execution in focus
Thomas Texier, Managing Director of RJ O’Brien, commented on the agreement: “A number of our customers were particularly impressed with Fidessa’s options trading capability, together with its fully integrated benchmark algo suite.”
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Indeed, Fidessa currently boasts a diverse services suite, including access to algorithms, analytics, and other trade reporting tools that are all MiFID II compliant. More importantly, these tools help demonstrate best execution in terms of listed derivatives activities, which has long been a centerpiece of MiFID II regulations.
Fidessa seemed a logical choice for RJ O‘Brien, given the group’s penchant for providing best execution algorithms. The group’s services suite has previously offered users MiFID I-compliant capabilities in both cash and equity markets. With the newer iteration of the regulations being broadened to other asset classes however, these requirements are now more important than ever.
MiFID II will necessitate a focus on derivatives, futures and options – an increased call for transparency will also obligate RJ O‘Brien and others to demonstrate that they are spending investor money in a responsible manner when trading these instruments.
“We’re providing the container that runs these things robustly, and with a complete audit path and exchange reporting, so all the heavy lifting is taken out,” explained Steve Grob, Director of Group Strategy at Fidessa.
According to Mr. Grob: “We’re providing consistency in terms of how algos are developed, deployed and run, and consistency over how they’re measured. If you’re serious about best execution, its the only way to do it.”