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Best Execution – Spring 2022

As we entered 2022, US, UK and Western Europe were finally returning to some kind of normality with rising inflation and interest rates topping the list of main concerns. However, just as with the global pandemic very few predicted that Russia would launch an invasion into Ukraine triggering a large-scale humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Equity markets, which are our asset class focus this issue, have been shaken to the core with extreme volatility as events continue to unfold. Operational resiliency and efficiency have never been more important although views differ on the merits of a consolidated tape.

However, according to a recent Refinitiv report, most respondents agree that there is a need for better access to market and reference data. Heather McKenzie looks at the challenges that buyside firms need to overcome.

The pressure is also on stock exchanges which have for many years been jostling for position to stay one step ahead of the pack. They now have many strings to their bows and Dan Barnes examines how these trading venues are keeping their competitive edges sharp.

Meanwhile, clearing and settlement continues to be a significant area of focus. Gill Wadsworth checks in with the seemingly never-ending implementation of the Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR) to assess what work still needs to be done.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also provoked a lot of discussion about sustainable investing with greenwashing again being front and centre. In other words, if a fund said it is cutting out Russian companies, does it also exclude subsidiaries with ties to Russia. We talk to industry experts to get their views and best methods to validate a fund manager and companies’ claims. Jannah Patchay also explores the digital solutions that can be applied to the many ESG data challenges.

At the time of writing, a ceasefire has not been called and the death toll continues to rise. All our thoughts with the victims and a profound hope that peace will be restored immediately.

Lynn Strongin Dodds, Editor.

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