As the sagacious Richard Balarkas points out in these pages, ‘Competition is the best policy’ and it was with this in mind that at the back-end of 2007, Lynn Strongin Dodds, Mohamed Isman and I put together the plan to stir up the incumbents and launch a new publication into the securities trading arena. This was Best Execution magazine.
Best Execution wasn’t a new concept, although it had taken on new meaning with the passing of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) in the UK and Regulation National Market System (NMS) in the US. The definitions of the two sets of regulation varied, but we anticipated that the impact would be profound on both sides of the Atlantic. We expected the trading landscape to fragment into different venues and as a result players would need the latest cutting edge tools to unearth the best and most efficient pools of liquidity.
With competition intensifying we anticipated that brokerage houses would have to raise their game while fund managers would continue to trade an ever expanding array of assets and more complicated instruments, and our mission was to relay the technological, legislative and operational developments and trends to readers across the entire ecosystem – buyside, sellside, market infrastructures, solutions vendors, consultancies and regulators – and not just target one side of the transactional process.
So far, so good, but what we hadn’t anticipated was the economic barometer swinging from ‘fair’ to ‘stormy’ (and worse) as we attempted to get this new venture off the ground. However, despite the head-winds, we launched in April 2008 at TradeTech in Paris with the erstwhile CEO of Chi-X, Peter Randall (see p.22) on the cover.
We sailed those choppy seas for the next four years, and in 2012 with new director Scott Galvin on board, we re-launched with a new format and more importantly a wider remit, going beyond just equities and looking across the whole asset class spectrum.
After ten years, it seemed fitting to invite some wise and familiar faces to take a look back at the evolution of the markets over that tumultuous period. In addition to offering their recollections and forecasts, we also take a look at some of the challenges that are ahead, and in what remains a predominantly male environment, give a platform to the journeys of a selection of leading women in the industry.
I hope you enjoy reading this commemorative publication, and that it doesn’t bring back too many bad memories!
Ian Rycott, Publisher