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Capital Markets Intelligence: A (Brief) Letter from the Head of the Practice

This past year was an eventful one for GreySpark’s thought leadership research practice. As always, we are very grateful to our loyal subscriber sponsors and readers, CMI Blog browsers and – indeed – to our subject matter expert colleagues across the capital markets industry, within GreySpark’s client base and within GreySpark as a whole for their commentary, feedback and general inputs into our now well-established research product.

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Risk & Regulations: MiFID II, MiFID II, MiFID II

In 2017, GreySpark has enjoyed a fruitful project pipeline in terms of helping its clients with many aspects of MiFID II. RTS 6 brought HFT and electronic trading very much into the spotlight, and our service offering approach has enabled us to assist many of our clients to document their governance and algorithms, which is a necessary requirement for all banks and brokers with an electronic business. We have also run significant projects working with clients to deliver their overall MiFID II programme, providing experienced subject matter experts in regulatory change, as well as seasoned project managers and programme managers. Implementing solutions for transaction reporting to provide transparency, and surveillance to capture market abuse, were also among the project themes that we were involved in throughout 2017.

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Celebrating Five Years in Hong Kong!

GreySpark started eight years ago in London, with five founding Partners, a handful of consultants and ambitious plans. Only three years later, we were able to make our growing company an international one with an office in Hong Kong. We take a look back at the office’s early days and share what made the Hong Kong business a success.

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Challenger Banks: Looking Ahead to Expansion and Evolution in 2018

2017 for challenger banks is best characterised as a story of expansion and investment: BNP Paribas completed the acquisition of CompteNickel for €200m, N26 continued to impress by scaling all over Europe, Monzo raised another £71m, Revolut added £50m in funding plus applied for a banking licence, peer-to-peer lender Zopa raised £32m to fund the build-out of its banking infrastructure and Tandem acquired Harrods Bank for its deposits, customers and banking licence, a deal that GreySpark acted as a technology advisor for.

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The FRTB: A Case for an Early Start

While many banks are still highly focused on MiFID II, it is time to start planning ahead for the upcoming Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) regulation. The case for proactive action is simple: the FRTB can result in substantial punitive capital charges and the implementation of the apparatus needed to lessen its effects will require a large effort on the part of the banks.

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GreySpark 8 years!

Day 1 of GreySpark’s existence began in the corner of a shared office space in Finsbury Square, otherwise known as “the shoebox”. The Partners walked to PC World on Moorgate, bought a couple of laptops, set up the phones and started making the first calls. Eight years later, and now with a global footprint, we fondly look back on what we have achieved and look ahead to a bright future.

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Reducing Costs Through OMS Selection

Retail investment is undergoing a shift away from managed equity funds and towards index tracking passive funds and exchange-traded funds. Passive funds charge their clients lower fees than managed funds, mainly due to the simplicity of their operations, the buying power they can exert on their brokers and the lack of the requirement for brokers to provide research offerings. By focusing on following their indices and reducing commissions for re-balancing trades, passive funds are becoming increasingly attractive investments.

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