Intercontinental Exchange and MSCI expand relationship

https://www.institutionalassetmanager.co.uk/2019/10/01/279120/intercontinental-exchange-and-msci-expand-relationship

Lynn Martin – “With this expansion, MSCI will license and integrate ICE Data Services’ market leading fixed income pricing and reference data into MSCI’s products and services,” says Diana Tidd, Head of Index at MSCI. “MSCI and ICE have developed a strong relationship over the past decade, and we look forward to providing our clients with more access to ESG and fixed income data and tools.”

Unintended Consequences: Shrinking Sell-Side Research

https://tabbforum.com/opinions/unintended-consequences-shrinking-sell-side-research/

Douglas ChristensenTransparency has led to cost pressures and a reduction in research spending, which has had the unintended consequence of brokers and banks scaling back on the cost of coverage and ultimately has led to diminished output of published research.

MSCI to Strengthen Climate Risk Capability with Acquisition of Carbon Delta

https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/press-releases-pmn/business-wire-news-releases-pmn/msci-to-strengthen-climate-risk-capability-with-acquisition-of-carbon-delta

Business Wire – Founded in 2015, Carbon Delta is a global leader for climate change scenario analysis. Together, MSCI and Carbon Delta will create an extensive climate risk assessment and reporting offering for the institutional market, providing global investors with solutions to help them better understand the impact of climate change on their investment portfolios and comply with mandatory and voluntary climate risk disclosure initiatives and requirements.

Unbundling Is Upending Asset Management as We Know It

https://tabbforum.com/opinions/unbundling-is-upending-asset-management-as-we-know-it/

Larry Tabb – Increasingly, the large buy-side firms are embracing unbundling, as it enables them to better manage their business. It provides greater clarity around what research managers need, the cost of obtaining that information, and the service models it entails. It also allows buy-side traders to focus their attention on sending their orders to the most effective execution desks, instead of allocating those trades to research brokers based on their investment ideas, even if their trading desks are not truly effective.

Also See: Industry at War with Itself, and Unbundling’s Impact on the Buy Side-Sell Side Relationship

APIs are the next big SaaS wave

https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/06/apis-are-the-next-big-saas-wave/

Daniel Levine – For fast-moving developers building on a global-scale, APIs are no longer a stop-gap to the future—they’re a critical part of their strategy. Why would you dedicate precious resources to recreating something in-house that’s done better elsewhere when you can instead focus your efforts on creating a differentiated product?

Thanks to this mindset shift, APIs are on track to create another SaaS-sized impact across all industries and at a much faster pace. By exposing often complex services as simplified code, API-first products are far more extensible, easier for customers to integrate into, and have the ability to foster a greater community around potential use cases.

The Importance of Research and How You Pay for It

https://tabbforum.com/opinions/the-importance-of-research-and-how-you-pay-for-it/

Christopher Tiscornia – Westminster Research Associates, which is owned by Cowen Inc., has always been a strong proponent of allowing the use of client commissions to pay for research, particularly through commission sharing arrangements (CSAs). In the simplest form, trades are executed with a broker-dealer, generating commission credits that are housed in a CSA account with a broker-dealer such as Westminster, a pioneer in the business. These credits can then be used to acquire research from a variety of sources, including independent research boutiques as well as the research departments of larger investment banks in accordance with Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. As will be discussed here, we believe it is important that managers continue to have the flexibility to use commissions to acquire research.

Unintended Consequences: Conflicting Regulations, the SEC and MiFID II Requirements

https://tabbforum.com/opinions/unintended-consequences-conflicting-regulations-the-sec-and-mifid-ii-requirements/

Douglas Christensen – Investment firms are moving more and more toward a situation in which they will be paying for research from profit and losses (P&L) instead of using client money. This isn’t necessarily due to firms seeing unjust value in using client money, but more likely a reaction to conflicting regulations across regions and requirements. Inconsistent regulations across regions have forced firms to dip into P&L to pay for research services instead of paying out of expenses of the fund. Investment firms, particularly the large and global, cannot be seen as treating clients differently based on their location. These changes have reverberated across the industry and are potentially doing more harm than good.