Having been instrumental in creating two of the biggest prime brokerage businesses in FX, first at Deutsche Bank and then at Citi, Andy Coyne is a pioneer in the creation of the modern prime brokerage marketplace.
Early in his career, Coyne spent a decade at Bankers Trust, serving as FX business manager before the firm merged with Deutsche Bank in mid-1999. Post-merger, he was made head of FX prime brokerage for Deutsche, whose PB business was small and solely focussed on hedge funds, having originated at Bankers Trust, one of the early institutions that had set up a PB business.
It was at that time that Coyne began working closely with fledgling technology firm Traiana to develop a number of key products that would succeed in changing market structure to a significant extent. His collaboration with Traiana led to the formation of the firm’s first matching engine, as well as the flagship Harmony product.
“Back then, hedge fund demand was all about market access and a much more efficient credit model,” Coyne recalls. “When I looked at the business, I could see that it lacked scale as it was completely manual and therefore risky. Any miss-bookings or duplications would cost a PB business like that a huge amount of money, so a matching engine became the first priority. The idea was to try to make the whole process electronic. Once a few clients had gone live, we realised that the focus now had to be on bank side give-up messages, which were still coming in manually. We really needed to have 100% electronic messaging and as a result, Harmony came about.”
In 2006, Coyne moved to Citi, where he was appointed head of CitiFX Prime, and later took responsibility for G10 e-commerce. During his time with Citi, the bank effectively replaced its entire e-FX infrastructure – starting with the prime brokerage piece and then the main Velocity platform.
“Jeff Feig [head of G10 FX at Citi] had decided that the one thing that was missing from Citi’s arsenal of products was a significant prime broker presence. We had all the natural attributes to be a good FX prime broker: global franchise, global recognition, strong reputation in the FX markets, huge local markets presence, credit, etc, but we had to more or less start from fresh, which was actually a benefit, because when you start from scratch you get to utilise the very latest technology and put into practice all the experience that you’ve built up over the years to make sure that you have a very robust platform. So the infrastructure reengineering started and we set about building a team of diverse individuals to help run the business. That all started to come together and bit by bit we started to re-establish ourselves as a very strong player in the e-commerce space,” Coyne recalls.
Today, Coyne has come full circle, having joined Traiana in July 2012 as chief executive officer, succeeding co-founder Gil Mandelzis in the role.
“Andy has inspired technology development that enabled the efficient development of the prime brokerage market and retail FX trade handling in particular,” notes one former colleague, “and he did all that in spite of being a Spurs fan!”
Fulinda Malone-Rouse has more than 25 years of experience in the FX industry, with roles ranging from trading to sales to business development.
Malone-Rouse spent the first 16 years of her career at Barclays Bank, culminating in the role of Chief Dealer for the North American FX trading centre. She later moved to the former M&T Bank, where she spent four years, and after that, traded proprietarily for a period.
In 1998, Malone-Rouse joined the then five-year-old FX matching platform EBS as an account manager. James Sinclair, who hired her at the time, recalls, “One of the reasons she got the job was that it was remarkable how many people knew her!”
She was appointed Regional Sales Manager for North America in 2000. Just prior to the acquisition by Icap (in June 2006), Malone-Rouse transitioned into a Business Development Manager role, responsible for researching market trends, understanding client needs and following up on new market opportunities. While working in business development, Rouse was responsible for developing a deep understanding of client needs and for evaluating new product and new market opportunities based on ongoing client and market research. In this unit, Sinclair notes she had a particular knack for being able to get the "backstory" on market events.
Most recently, Malone-Rouse was named Head of Global Account Management, Americas. In this role, she manages a sales team committed to providing EBS customers with the highest level of service.
“Fulinda has been in this market as a participant and active driver through all of the important changes throughout the span of the ‘modern’ market: Direct relationship trading; the launch of electronic platforms; the growth of e-commerce, prime brokerage (with EBS Prime); API trading; and algos,” notes former EBS colleague, Raj Iyer, now at the Bank of New York Mellon. “In a market in which everyone knows each other (and that you can never truly leave), there are a few people who are trusted by everyone due to knowledge, experience and personality. Fulinda remains one of the connectors in the marketplace – one of the primary people that everyone can go to – traders, central bankers, technologists, sales, banks and vendors alike. She is an innovator and leader in FX – one of the lynch pins of the FX market over decades.”
Iyer adds, “Fulinda has been and remains one of the few women in foreign exchange – and she has done this in leadership roles, from Barclays to EBS.”
Additionally, Malone-Rouse serves as a member of the New York Federal Reserve’s Foreign Exchange Committee's Chief Dealers’ Working Group. Since 2006, she has been an active participant in the group's activities, ranging from revisions to the Guidelines for Foreign Exchange Trading Activities to its work on trends in electronic trading.
“Fulinda is passionate about the foreign exchange marketplace and committed to its continued growth and evolution,” says EBS colleague Garfield Layne. “She is a mentor and advocate of young people in general and young women in particular, who constantly seek her advice in navigating their careers.
“Fulinda volunteers her time on many internal and external committees, which requires her thoughtful expertise accumulated over many years in the industry. We are privileged to have her on the EBS team and want to congratulate Fulinda on this well-deserved achievement,” adds Layne.
"Fulinda Rouse is not IN the Spot FX market. She IS the spot FX market! Congratulations, Flea!" adds EBS colleague Dan Torrey.
Gil Mandelzis has been at the heart of the foreign exchange industry for more than a decade – which is not bad going for an M&A banker! In 2000, Mandelzis brought his entrepreneurial spirit to the FX industry for the first time, as a co-founder of a firm called Traiana. His is an ideal to fit to our industry, because he believes in risk taking that is educated within a disciplined framework.
Why else, you could ask, would someone create and build a company dedicated to what was then a very marginal industry segment in prime brokerage? The answer would be that Mandelzis and his fellow pioneers saw an opportunity and area that in their opinion was likely to grow strongly – and they went for it.
The answer – Traiana – now not only sits at the core of the foreign exchange industry as one of the vital mechanisms to ensure the smooth flow of business, but has been extended into other product classes. It is not too often we can talk about how a process or mechanism from FX attracts attention in other asset classes – that is the quality of the vision Mandelzis and his colleagues had in 2000.
The visionary nature of the man shone through in 2011 when Traiana unveiled the Kill Switch. At the time this was seen in some circles as a useful, but not especially important tool in the prime broker’s toolkit. It targeted operational risk. Roll forward two years and what is the biggest challenge this industry faces? Operational risk. Again, that is the quality of the vision.
Mandelzis’ approach to business is a desirable – but hard to achieve – blend of collaboration and innovation. He recognises the importance of building strong relationships in key areas, but also how vital it is to be able to plan and create new and different solutions.
These qualities were very likely in the thoughts of Icap CEO Michael Spencer when he made the call to put Mandelzis in charge of one of the market’s core trading platforms, EBS. The platform was struggling with decreasing volumes and troublesome relationships with some of its key partners. Mandelzis brought the same energy, enthusiasm and vision to EBS that he had shown at Traiana. The result has been the rebuilding of those key relationships in surprisingly quick time and a host of new ideas intended to keep EBS at the core of the industry.
In some ways, although still early days at EBS, the past 15 months since Mandelzis took the helm of that platform encapsulate the man. At both Traiana and EBS he has demonstrated a keen understanding of what needs to get done to improve things both for the firms and the industry as a whole. Of course, one man cannot do this alone, and Mandelzis’ passion, enthusiasm and drive motivates those around him.
“Gil burst onto the post trade scene at the beginning of the last decade,” recalls Andy Coyne, Mandelzis’ first FX client and now CEO of the firm he started. “A typical entrepreneur of that generation, Gil succeeded where many failed and, with boundless energy, brought his team together and made things happen for their earliest clients. Through rounds of funding and restless nights he flew economy between SF, NY and London; no mean feat for a 6'5" man!
“Gil is singularly client focused, calling them almost daily. He is tenacious in his pursuit of opportunities that have lead to a significant change in market structure, scale and efficiency,” adds Coyne. “He is collaborative in working with industry peer groups and has become a significant contributor to market structure. He has been a driver of change and a true partner to his clients.”
Few senior managers have been through three of the biggest bank mergers of the past 20 years, but David Puth has done just that – Chemical Bank/Manufacturers Hanover Trust in 1992, Chemical/Chase Manhattan Bank in 1996 and Chase/JP Morgan in 2000. Today, he has taken his career in a new direction, having joined the “systemically important” CLS as CEO last August.
Puth began his career in 1980 on the trading desk at the former New England Merchants Bank in Boston, but would soon move to New York in 1984, when he joined Citibank. During these early days, Puth says he obtained a good cross-product knowledge base. "I grew up in a culture of trading many instruments, and have focused on interest rates and currencies throughout my career. Variety challenges people to become better risk managers and better sales people,” he told Profit & Loss in 2003.
In 1988, Puth joined Chemical Bank, where he tapped into his cross-product background to evolve the business from a purely FX focused product in the late 1980s, to FX and interest rates by the early 1990s, placing a strong focus on emerging markets – making the bank among the first to make a commitment to developing its emerging markets currency trading business. A background that should serve him well in his current role, as CLS aims to significantly increase the number of currencies in the years ahead.
When asked what the key elements are for a successful merger, Puth said the answer lies in making sure you hold onto the best people and are blind to where they came from, but it also depends on how one redefines the brand. "Rather than becoming fixated with historical strengths, you must look to the new organisation's strengths," he said, "So the staff and characteristics that stand out most are what is carried forward."
Over the course of his three decades in the industry, Puth’s enduring commitment to the market is a strong part of his legacy. Since becoming a member of the New York Foreign Exchange Committee, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in 1989, he has addressed the pressing issues of the day – from broker points, to non-deliverable forwards, to the Asian currency crisis, to the impact of the electronic marketplace, to the post-Lehman regulatory environment. He served as chair of the FXC between 1999 and 2002. He has also served on the board of directors of both CME Group and ICAP.
In addition to his industry undertakings, Puth has made an enduring commitment to charitable endeavours as well. He has long served on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York and the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire School and the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston.
“I have had the pleasure of serving with David for many years on the Federal Reserve FX Committee and he has always been a leader amongst his peers, and the FX industry has truly been a beneficiary of his service,” says John Nixon, ICAP. “I have had the pleasure of calling on David as a client, where he has always been honest to his word. I have also had the pleasure of calling on David as a colleague, where he has been thoughtful as a Non Executive Director of ICAP. But most importantly, I continue to have the pleasure of calling on David as a friend, where he has always been someone you can rely on for impartial advice. There are very few in the FX industry that are as dedicated and hardworking or who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame before David Puth, so I can only assume induction is being done in alphabetical order.”