This podcast series offers a wide range of unique insights regarding how the FX market today is developing.
As a technology provider for the global foreign exchange market, 360T interacts daily with a wide spectrum of international financial institutions that contain a wealth of expertise, knowledge and insight regarding the world’s largest asset class. In our podcast series we look to tease out just a fragment of this information inviting our listeners to join an exchange amongst industry professionals with each episode.
The episodes themselves consist of short, informal interviews with senior figures from market-leading firms within the FX industry, exploring some of the key trends and themes they see impacting the market today. Tracing the evolution of technology, liquidity, credit, data analytics, market structure, trading strategies and more, this podcast series offers a wide range of unique insights regarding how the FX market today is developing around us.
Episode 18 – Robbert Sijbrandij, Head of Institutional FX, Flow Traders (14 min)
There’s been a lot of talk about NDF trading shifting towards electronic channels, but is this actually happening? Robbie Sijbrandij from Flow Traders discusses how this product segment is evolving, in addition to delivering his view on the challenges and opportunities around trading FX Futures, Outright Forwards and FX Swaps. Sijbrandij goes on to explain that for firms like Flow Traders credit remains a core concern when it comes to FX trading, but also highlights the steps that the firm is taking to mitigate any potential issues on this front.
Episode 17 – Justin Slaughter, Partner, Mercury Strategies (17 min)
The upcoming US presidential election could prove to be a crucial fork in the road when it comes to financial regulation, explains Justin Slaughter, a partner at Mercury Strategies. In this episode he talks about the potential for the politicisation of US regulatory agencies, the extent to which international cooperation on financial rules could be jeopardized and whether or not geopolitical conflicts around trade and technology could be replicated within financial markets.
Episode 16 – Juan Garcia, Director of Domestic Operations, Banco de México (22 min)
The local FX market in Mexico is ripe for change, and technology could be the catalyst for it, says Juan Garcia at Banco de México. For example, he highlights that ten years ago less than 20% of FX trading in Mexico was conducted via electronic channels, whereas today that figure is estimated to be around 60%. In this podcast episode Garcia talks about the implications of this trend, as well as anaylsing the growth prospects for the Mexican peso going forwards and discussing the impact of the Global Code of Conduct on the domestic market.
Episode 15 – Saeed Amen, Founder of Cuemacro (14 min)
In this episode, Saeed Amen from Cuemacro discusses the practical challenges facing firms as they try to adopt a more data-driven approach to FX trading. These include finding a source of high-quality data for non-spot FX products, overcoming the fragmented nature of the market and having the right technology with which to analyse the data being accumulated. Amen also explains that sourcing the right data is only the first step — to derive the maximum value from it firms need to apply their domain-specific expertise.
Episode 14 – Kirstie MacGillivray, Head of Multi-Asset Dealing, Kames Capital (12 min)
This episode opens with MacGillivray talking about her firm’s technology stack for multi-asset dealing, explaining that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution and, therefore, the desk has instead built out a “best-of-breed” model which deploys asset class specific technology to ensure the best execution outcomes. MacGillivray also highlights areas where she sees existing technology being adapted to fit different asset classes, talks about the importance of reducing manual risk from the trading desk and discusses how attitudes towards handling FX exposures are slowly changing amongst the investment management community. The episode ends with MacGillivray expressing optimism that the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to greater diversity within the financial services industry, reducing the existing culture of presenteeism that she says exists today.
Episode 13 – Christopher Cruden, CEO and Director, Insch Kintore Ltd. (13 min)
In this episode Christopher Cruden, CEO and Director of the hedge fund Insch Kintore Ltd., reflects on how the FX markets have changed since he launched his first currency trading programme back in 1991 and explains how he has adapted his trading strategy accordingly. Cruden also tackles the question of why trend following strategies have generally yielded poor returns over the past decade and whether or not there is actually such a thing as “sweet spot volatility” when it comes to FX.
Episode 12 – Momtchil Pojarliev, Head of Currencies at BNP Paribas Asset Management (11 min)
Institutional investment portfolios have become increasingly international over the past decade, with one unintentional consequence of this being that FX exposures have similarly increased. As Momtchil Pojarliev, Head of Currencies at BNP Paribas Asset Management, explains, the key question then becomes: how should these investors be managing this risk? In this episode Pojarliev evaluates some of the different currency hedging strategies available to institutional investors and highlights some of the key challenges they face in attempting to implement an effective currency management policy.
Episode 11 – Alejandro Padilla, Executive Director of Economic Research & Financial Markets Strategy at Grupo Financiero Banorte (17 min)
In this episode Alejandro Padilla, Executive Director of Economic Research & Financial Markets Strategy at Grupo Financiero Banorte, gives his outlook for emerging market currencies, noting that contagion curves and stimulus policies are likely to be the main drivers of performance this year. Focusing on Latin America in particular, Padilla explains what different factors will determine currency hedging decisions and talks about the impact of the US election on the value of the Mexican peso.
Episode 10 – Melody Martinez-Davidson, Managing Director, Global Head of e-Sales at BBVA (16 min)
The impact of technology on relationships within the FX industry is one of the central themes of this episode, with Melody Martinez-Davidson from BBVA. She explains that e-trading can actually benefit salespeople by eliminating the administration around their client’s trading activity and freeing up time to focus on more important issues. Martinez-Davidson also details, how various client types have shifted some of their FX trading to different execution channels during the pandemic and why it’s beneficial for sales teams to have a more holistic, cross-asset focus.
Episode 9 – Andreas Gaertner, Trader at Traton (7 min)
In recent months, everyone has had the experience of being on a virtual group call. Conversation is punctured by awkward silences, followed by two or more people trying to talk at once, as technology still doesn’t fully compensate for in-person interaction. In this podcast episode, Andreas Gaertner, a trader at Traton, talks about how his firm has had to adapt to new communication channels, in order to ensure efficient FX execution. He also explains that while the FX market itself is already highly digital, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced firms to make more of the process around trading more digital, a trend that he expects to continue in the future.
Episode 8 – James O’Connor, Senior Manager, FX Division, Bank of England (20 min)
The FX Global Code of Conduct has been a big industry-wide initiative in recent years, but when volatility exploded back into life earlier this year, did it really make a difference? In this podcast episode James O’Connor from the Bank of England talks about putting the Code to work and using it to generate greater communication between counterparties. He also discusses how recent events have served to highlight the changing nature of liquidity within the FX market and the implications of the trend towards increased algo usage amongst buy side firms.
Episode 7 – Jasper Livingsmith, Director, Treasury at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (13 min)
In this podcast Livingsmith highlights that FX Swaps are the core funding instrument for most financial institutions – and therefore are critical within financial markets – but that even now pricing for these often remains significantly wider than normal. He also ruminates on the need for greater automation and end-to-end processing, improved communication and a means to effectively measure output within firms.
Episode 6 – Alex Clark, Senior Execution Trader at Aspect Capital (10 min)
Alex Clark talks to 360T about the liquidity issues caused by the sudden combination of market volatility and people working from home. However, he says that despite stressed liquidity conditions FX algorithms have performed well, enabling the trading team to focus their attention on the most challenging markets, such as EM currencies, options and NDFs. Explaining that enhanced execution tools are in high demand amongst buy side firms right now, Clark discusses how algos have needed to adapt to changing market conditions in recent weeks.
Episode 5 – JB Mackenzie, Managing Director, Futures & Forex, TD Ameritrade (15 min)
If you could go back in time six months before the pandemic, what advice would you give yourself? This is one of the questions put to JB Mackenzie, Managing Director, Futures and Forex at TD Ameritrade, in this podcast episode. He also talks about the impact of recent central bank stimulus, trading in 24 hour markets and how technology has made life better for investors.
Episode 4 – Bhav Trivedi, FX and FI Dealer at Merian Global Investors (13 min)
In this lively discussion Bhav Trivedi talks to 360T about the technical challenges associated with trading in an isolated environment. He also points out how the recent FX volatility tested banks’ re-pricing and auto-hedging capabilities, and why an increased reliance on technology has not diminished the big importance of relationships in the industry.
Episode 3 – Nigell Todd, Director Global Foreign Exchange at Fidelity International
Nigell Todd talks to 360T about some of his positive takeaways from the recent experiences adapting to the Coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that it could lead to more compassion in the workplace. Todd also says that it is “naïve” to think there will be no longer-term implications of the pandemic for businesses, recalls some “bleak days” of trading as volatility in the FX market spiked and, most importantly, reveals where his first holiday destination will be once travel restrictions can be safely eased.
Episode 2 – Juan Landazabal, Global Head of Trading at GAM Investments (13 min)
In this podcast episode Juan Landazabal from GAM Investments runs through some of the key factors that had to be considered as trading activity moved out of the office and into people’s homes. Having now adjusted to this initial wave of change, he also highlights some of the longer-term challenges – and opportunities – associated with a more decentralised working and trading environment.
Episode 1 – Jim Rockall, Director of Trading at Record Currency Management (12 min)
In the inaugural episode of “Business as Un-Usual” Jim Rockall from Record Currency Management explains how the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has forced his firm to reconsider its compliance and technology boundaries and adapt to new communication challenges. In addition, he discusses life working from home, revealing that one member
of his team currently has to contend with a rather unusual noisy neighbour!