transparency

Conversation with Justin Schack, Partner and Head of Market Structure, Rosenblatt Securities

Rosenblatt is a boutique securities firm based in New York whose core business is institutional brokerage in US equities. Its roots are on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where it pioneered in offering asset managers direct access to NYSE trading during the 1980s. Today, it is the biggest broker on the NYSE floor, offering clients services unique to floor brokers, such as greater flexibility when participating in the closing auction. Rosenblatt also serves the buy side through its upstairs desk, which specialises in portfolio trades for quantitative asset managers as well as single-stock execution.

After a multitude of articles on the policy objectives of MiFID II, the new obligations of the buy- and sell-side on research and trade reporting, and the new requirements for transparency in fixed-income markets, Thomas Murray finds itself in the position of having to see how trading begins to adapt as the Directive comes into effect at the start of the year. Specialising in post-trade infrastructures and services, its business lines are not in the immediate lines of fire of this reform – its clients are, but in other of their activities.

The authorities with whom we have spoken caution that the new shape of the EU capital markets will not take form immediately, judging from how long it took to see with any certainty recurring patterns in trading after the implementation of Regulation NMS in the US and MiFID I in the EU. We have been advised to expect a period of 12-18 months in which time the order flows and ways of execution will have settled under this new regime, assuming that this adaptation is not unduly thrown off course by world events, unforeseen technological changes, and of course economic and financial changes that would alter significantly today’s outlook on trading and investment conditions. This truly is a complex mix of variability, one which does not give even the keenest of observers a clear view ahead.