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Monday, August 15, 2016

Jim Ross Hosts an Exchange Harmonization Celebration

News summary by MFWire's editors

A year after an infamously bad day in the markets, the big American stock exchanges are singing similar tunes when it comes to improving market structures around trading ETFs and stocks.

James Ross
SSgA
Executive Vice President
On Thursday Jim Ross and his team at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA [profile]) gathered reporters to talk with stock exchange executives and a famous ETF market maker about how the industry has come together around certain ideas for dealing with volatile, challenging market conditions since August 24, 2015. The cocktail reception and panel discussion was held at the posh Norwood Club in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.

Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at S&P Global Market Intelligence, moderated a panel featuring: Ross, executive vice president of SSgA, global head of SSgA's SPDRs ETF business, and head of U.S. intermediary distribution; Reggie Browne, head of ETF trading at Cantor Fitzgerald; Tal Cohen, senior vice president of North American equities at Nasdaq; Bryan Harkins, head of U.S. markets at Bats Global Markets; Dave LaValle, head of U.S. capital markets at SSgA; and Doug Yones, head of exchange-traded products at the NYSE.

Ross and his fellow panelists "geeked out" together about how far the marketplace has come in less than a year. On August 24, 2015, Harkins notes, there were 1,259 trading pauses in individual securities (including ETFs); yet on June 24, 2016 ("Brexit Day", and also Ross' birthday), eight months later, despite lots of market volatility there were 68 trading pauses.

(Non-ETF fundsters may also remember August 24, 2015 as NAVgate day, which caught the attention of a Massachusetts politican.)

Ross also shared his "favorite brexit example." On August 24, 2015, he said, the bulk of the SPDRs team's incoming customer calls were people asking something along the lines of, "Are ETFs safe to trade?" On June 24, when markets around the globe shook, most of the incoming calls were about "what should we think about Brexit from an investment standpoint." ETF investors, it seems were no longer worried about the health of the market structure around ETFs.

Ross and Browne applauded the three exchanges for working with the industry on harmonizing trading procedures around LULD (limit up/limit down) and "clearly erroneous". Earlier on Thursday, the three exchanges issued a joint statement on their harmonization plans, and SSgA and the two other biggest ETF providers, BlackRock and Vanguard, issued their own joint statement in support of the exchanges' efforts. 

Correction: A prior version of this story gave the wrong year for Brexit Day (the day the results from the Brexit poll were announced). Brexit Day was this year, on June 24 (i.e. 6/24/2016).

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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