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11 Jun 2009

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority Gains Full IOSCO Membership

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) was formally admitted as the 189th member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) at the meeting of the Presidents’ Committee at IOSCO’s 34th Annual Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel.

With the admittance, CIMA also officially becomes a party to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation, Cooperation and the Exchange of Information. CIMA signed the MMOU, which is the benchmark for international cooperation among securities regulators, on 24 March 2009.

"Some countries either do not allow investment vehicles from non-IOSCO member countries to be sold in their jurisdictions or will require greatly enhanced due diligence which makes it more difficult to do business with those jurisdictions." CIMA’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Langston Sibblies said, "IOSCO membership will remove these impediments and open up these markets for Cayman-domiciled securities providers. This is a development our private sector has looked forward to for a long time. It will be welcomed by the private sector."

IOSCO is the principal global standard setting body for the regulation of securities markets. Its objectives encompass cooperation and information exchange, standard setting and surveillance, and mutual assistance.

BTIG to Expand, Hires 4 High Yield Experts

Institutional brokerage and hedge fund services company BTIG LLC, announced the further expansion of its Global Fixed Income Group with four new hires.

The Global Fixed Income Group was launched in February of this year by Jon Bass, formerly of UBS, and John Purcell, formerly of Citigroup. The group focuses on sales and trading of credit products, which will cover the full credit spectrum from investment grade to distressed debt.

George Chalhoub has joined BTIG from Deutsche Bank where he ran the high yield proprietary portfolio on the high yield desk. Chalhoub spent 15 years in high yield research at Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

Mychal Harrison and Todd Sycoff have been hired as high yield traders in New York. Harrison joins BTIG from Barclays where he last traded high yield cash and credit default swaps. He began his career at Goldman Sachs in high yield syndicate before transitioning into high yield trading. Sycoff comes to BTIG from Bear Stearns where he was last on the buy side as the high yield portfolio manager in the asset management division. Prior to that, Sycoff spent 16 years on the trading desks of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch as the head high yield trader.

Chris LeVine comes to BTIG from UBS where he was an executive director in the Fixed Income Sales Group focusing on investment grade and high yield credit. He will be in fixed income sales in BTIG’s New York office. Prior to UBS, LeVine worked at MarketAxess, Trading Edge and started his career at Morgan Stanley after Graduating Cornell University.

“We have been focused on expanding the firm’s capabilities in fixed income over the past few months and are excited to have George, Mychal, Todd and Chris join the group,” Jon Bass, Co-Head of Global Fixed Income, said. “Their combined experience will greatly enhance the efforts of our new division.”

“We have been able to attract top talent with deep institutional relationships and respected reputations on the Street that will help us better serve our clients in the fixed income area,” John Purcell, Co-Head of Global Fixed Income, said. “During the coming weeks, we expect to announce additional hires in fixed income as part of our overall plan to grow the group to 60 people globally this year.”

The Global Fixed Income Group was launched in February of this year by Bass, formerly of UBS, and Purcell, formerly of Citigroup, who together bring 50 years of fixed income experience to the BTIG team. The group focuses on sales and trading of credit products, which will cover the full credit spectrum from investment grade to distressed debt.

BTIG serves nearly 1,000 institutional customers and offers services from four divisions: Institutional Trading, Prime Brokerage, Outsource Trading and Direct Market Access. BTIG has offices in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Greenwich, Red Bank, Aspen and Orinda. The firm also has affiliates in London, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Hedge Fund Provider Appoints Risk Specialist as Senior Advisor

Risk management expert, Dr. Stuart Turnbull, has been appointed as senior advisor to independent hedge fund technology provider GlobeOp's Risk Services.

"Risk measurement, analytics and reporting are increasingly important to hedge funds and investors alike," said Tony Glickman, GlobeOp Financial Services head of Risk Services. "This presents GlobeOp with significant opportunities, as risk modeling is a core expertise and client service. Our clients can look forward to Stuart adding additional depth, creativity and pragmatism to the development of new GlobeOp risk models. They will also benefit from his expertise in transitioning theory to practical, efficient implementation."

Dr. Stuart M. Turnbull is the Bauer Chair Professor of Finance at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, TX. He has authored more than 50 academic papers on financial economics, law and economics topics, as well as two books on derivatives. With Robert Jarrow he introduced the reduced form approach for pricing credit-risky assets. This approach was later extended to consider counterparty risk and credit rating transition matrices in risk management and pricing, and to the practical difficulties of credit default swaps valuation.

He currently serves as an associate editor of Mathematical Finance, the International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance and the Journal of Derivatives. Turnbull previously held executive positions in fixed income research at Lehman Brothers in New York and in risk management at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Ph.D. in financial economics from the University of British Columbia, and an M.Sc. in statistics and operational research and a B.Sc. in physics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, UK.

GlobeOp is listed on both the RiskTech 100 and FinTech 100 rankings of global risk and financial technology specialists.

SEC Outlines Securities Regulators Guidelines

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, speaking at the IOSCO 2009 Conference, said today that in light of the current economic crisis and in an attempt to restore confidence to investors, the US is currently examining how to best shape the future role that regulators as well as credit rating firms will play in the securities market.

“We need to constantly keep pace with the financial products and with the risks of how the products are packaged and sold,” she said. “Now is the time for securities regulators to prove ourselves and the capital markets around the world can flourish if we succeed.”

In her remarks, Schapiro listed the principles that should guide the decisions made by worldwide securities regulators, including protection of investors, ensuring that markets are always fair, efficient and transparent and protection of systemic risk. She also noted that corporations must address the issue of executive pay and said that the elimination of excessive compensation to executives will ultimately lead to long-term corporate health.

Schapiro’s remarks came as part of a panel discussion focused on improving the role of securities regulators in a changing global financial system. The panel was moderated by Mr. Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman, Authority for the Financial Markets, Netherlands and included Mr. Janichi Maruyama, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs, Financial Services Agency , Japan ; Prof. John C. Coffee, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School and Mr. William J. Brodsky, Chairman, World Federation of Exchanges; Chairman and CEO, Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The conference was hosted in Tel Aviv by the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

Northern Trust Named Fund of Hedge Funds

Financial technology vendor youDevise Limited congratulated its client Northern Trust upon being awarded the Fund of Hedge Funds Administrator of the Year award at the inaugural HFMWeek Service Provider Awards, held recently in London.

Northern Trust is a leading, global administrator of FoHFs with approximately US$50 billion of hedge funds under administration at March 31, 2009. Northern Trust employs youDevise’s Hedge Fund Information Provider (HIP) online portfolio management system, which enables Northern Trust’s fund of hedge funds (FoHF) clients to track daily position information and other vital data.

“The award recognised Northern Trust for outperforming its peers during 2008-2009 and demonstrating financial progress, growth and genuine innovation,” said Richard Koppel, Managing Director of youDevise and an expert in FoHF technology who co-developed the HIP. “We are proud to see our client recognized for this achievement. Northern Trust was the first fund of hedge funds administrator to integrate our technology into its platform, and, in so doing, significantly advance its clients’ ability to access more timely and accurate management information, while, at the same time, eliminating the need for error prone spreadsheets to track positions.”

Mr. Koppel noted this is the second time over the last few years that clients have won major industry recognition due, in large part, to their deployment of youDevise technology. In 2006, Trade Ideas Limited (TIL) was named overall winner of the Innovation of the Year category in The Banker magazine's Technology Awards for TIL's trade idea platform, employing youDevise's Trade Idea Monitor (the TIM). Trade Ideas Limited is an industry consortium owned by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Dresdner Kleinwort, and Merrill Lynch.

The TIM enables more than 300 institutional brokerage firms around the world to send long/short equity trading ideas to more than 100 hedge funds and traditional asset managers, which in turn use the TIM to determine payments for the top-performing ideas they receive. The TIM’s “ideabase” is the foundation of TIM Insight, a more useful short-to-mid term indicator of market direction than traditional consensus earnings estimates.