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Hall of Fame 2014

10:39 July 31st 2014 in hall-of-fame

Hall of Fame 2014

“Class of 2014”
It is with great pleasure that we unveil the next members of our industry to be honoured in the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame:


yrTfjnUSWHbaiONzgz66Va6ObXiFT6xfEUSgSWuQIt was once noted that, “any fool can make a price – it takes a dealer to make the right price”. It was 10 years ago that what was then Barclays Capital hired a team of FX options traders from Dresdner Kleinwort – just another move as it seemed at the time.

It was far from that, however, for the team, co-headed by David Cooney and fellow Class of 2014 inductee Tim Cartledge, were to show what was possible in a banking environment and in doing so raised the bar for everyone in the e-FX game.

Although the team joined ostensibly to work in Barclays’ FX options business – Cooney’s background was with boutique options shop Susquehanna and Credit Suisse before heading to Dresdner – they were quickly set to work by founding mem- ber of the Hall of Fame Ivan Ritossa on leveraging what was seen as a good looking, single dealer platform into a fully func- tioning and competitive source of trading.

Given responsibility for pricing and risk management on what was still a well regarded, but little noticed single dealer platform – BARX – Cooney and Cartledge went on to develop the algorithms and risk management techniques that helped propel Barclays from that well regarded regional bank into a top three FX player globally.
Not only were the pair able to build efficiency into the pricing and risk management process, they were also one of the first to monetise a single dealer platform whilst continuing to pressure spreads. The latter was characterised by a core tenet of that time at Barclays – innovation. Barclays was the first bank to pioneer the fifth decimal place when quoting prices – a brave move that was much criticised by competitors…right up until the day they all copied what was clearly a good idea (especially for customers)!

Other ideas followed, such as streaming live options and the first two iterations of PowerFill, all of which saw a bank roll out products that many of its peers considered foolhardy or dangerous to the revenue stream – few of which were. That these men were not afraid of failure when it came to new ideas shows the green field thinking they were used to employing.

In 2010 Cooney stepped down from the banking business with an ambition to start his own firm. With roots in the retail FX space, MahiFX, under Cooney and his wife Susan (also ex-Barclays e-FX), had a head start when it came to credibility. This credibility is especially strong in the FX banking industry and very soon his idea of providing the pricing and risk management for lower tier banks was becoming reality. After all, if you are looking for someone to provide pric- ing and risk management, why would you not go with one of the pioneers in this space – someone who changed the way we viewed e-FX?

Under the auspices of MahiFX, David Cooney is in the midst of building another strong business that can sit at the heart of the foreign exchange industry. Ten years ago it was as an architect of BARX, in 2014 it is as the technology backbone for a new generation of e-FX banks. The success in building this business is proof that know-how remains premium in this business.
 

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Given the other interests that permeate Gavin Wells’ life – it is well known he has a successful “hobby” as a movie extra and enjoys “treading the boards” – one could be forgiven for thinking the foreign exchange industry only gets part of his attention; nothing could be further from the truth. Gavin Wells is a foreign exchange man through and through and has found himself in a pivotal position in recent times as the industry faces great change.

Joining Citigroup from an eight-year career in the British Army, Wells quickly rose through the ranks as the same lead- ership skills that were honed and developed in the services proved beneficial to a trading business. His 15 years at Citi cul- minated with the management of the bank’s FX e-commerce business at an important time as the bank began the journey towards e-FX excellence in the form of Velocity.

In 2008 the global financial crisis that engulfed the world saw demand rise for a new market structure and new solutions to prevent a repeat – Wells switched roles and his acumen, market knowledge, integrity and ability to problem solve were put to good use by a clearing house.

LCH.Clearnet at this time was seeking a leader for its nascent foreign exchange clearing business, ForexClear. After a short period of consulting work it became clear that Wells was their man, resulting in him being appointed to his current role as Global Head of ForexClear. To this job Wells has brought the work ethic and integrity previously exhibited, but he has also shown diplomatic skills, not least when discussing the evolving complexities of the regulatory landscape with mar- ket participants, some of whom may not have wanted to hear what he had to say.

After the grind of the early years in this role, the launch of ForexClear in March 2012 saw the service gain a more promi- nent place in the industry infrastructure and Wells’ role shifted slightly from developing and establishing a business to- wards running and growing what is becoming a key component of the G20 reform.
The success of ForexClear can be found in the numbers – just four months in the service had cleared over $50 billion no- tional of NDFs, early proof, if it were needed, that the model worked and was accepted by market participants. Before the first year of operation was out, this number had risen to $500 billion notional – all before mandatory clearing of NDFs under Dodd-Frank.

Further growth has followed, driven by improved processes for reporting and clearing and in November 2013, the ex- tension of ForexClear to the buy side – an important move that ensured the service was open to all participants.

Wells will be the first to stress that the success of ForexClear has been a team effort, because that is his character; how- ever, as we have been told by those who work with him, a good team functions even better with good leadership.

Gavin Wells has found himself at the centre of one of the larger shifts in the market landscape with the advent of OTC FX clearing – the industry is lucky to have such a man of integrity, professionalism and in-depth knowledge in such a position. The industry is in good hands.


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Edward Pla is currently a Managing Director and Head of Clearing and Execution at UBS, where he serves on the Global Financing Services Management Committee, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Executive Committee, the Global Distribution Committee and the Americas Equity Committee. In addition, Pla has been a member of the Board of Directors of LCH Clearnet since mid-2010 and the Board of Directors of the Futures Industry Association since January 2014. He has also been a guest lecturer at Boston College's Carroll School of Management.


Pla began his career as an options trader at O'Connor and Associates in Chicago, trading both OTC and exchange-listed FX options in Chicago and Philadelphia. In 1994 he joined Swiss Bank Corporation in interest rate derivative sales; after SBC’s merger with UBS in 1997, Pla held a number of leadership positions in New York and Zurich, including US Head of FX Hedge Fund Sales, Head of FX Business Development, and Head of FX Prime Brokerage.

“From open outcry trading on the IMM floor to building the FX Prime Brokerage business at UBS to helping the industry lay the groundwork for central clearing of Swaps and NDFs, Ed Pla is a true legend in the foreign exchange markets,” says Mike Harris, President of Campbell & Company. “If Ed had a nickname, it would have to be ‘Professor Pla’ as he has single hand- edly educated half of the market on everything from how to use trading pit hand signals to how financial intermediaries facili- tate and optimise credit for their clients. Ed has always been one of my favorite people to interact with on the sell side as he always places the client first and never stops looking for operational efficiencies and ways to reduce risk. Simply put, he is a determined FX thought leader that constantly raises the bar for the rest of us.”

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Ed Pla since I was a pip-squeak clerk wearing a yellow jacket on the floor of the CME back in the early ‘90s,” says friend and former colleague Ed Hulina. “Ed's one of those industry veterans who's truly done just about every role one can in FX. He's traded and he's sold; he's produced and he's managed; he's done business development and been a cross-product senior relationship manager for a wealth of clients. He's trained countless people and taught his teams how to do the job right. And he continues to do all those things, with both regional and global impact at not just his firm, but across the business. Ed's been one of the ‘founding fathers’ for what has become FX prime brokerage, and he continues to serve as a thought leader in our industry's evolution. I've always really respected Ed's unique blending of both the creative and analyti- cal mind, and how he can think about a given problem, opportunity or challenge in an organised, efficient way – I’ve seen time and again how this has made Ed a consigliore of sorts for a number of key players in our business.

“Besides all that, Ed is a foodie and a fantastic chef,” adds Hulina. “He's got a highly evolved taste in music, and has satel- lite radio stations pre-programmed into his car that I've never even heard of. He's also an amazing musician, and does spot-on impressions (spending several years in Zurich gave him a whole batch of quality material). He's been around the world with his wife Laura, and together they've raised three great kids who have the same wicked sense of humour as their parents.

“I'm really thrilled for Ed to be named to the Hall of Fame,” he adds, “thankfully there's no five year retirement requirement, since I'm sure Ed will be contributing positively to this industry for years to come.”

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It was once noted that, “any fool can make a price – it takes a dealer to make the right price”. It was 10 years ago that what was then Barclays Capital hired a team of FX options traders from Dresdner Kleinwort – just another move as it seemed at the time.

It was far from that, however, for the team, co-headed by Cartledge and fellow Class of 2014 inductee Dave Cooney, were to show what was possible in a banking environment and in doing so raised the bar for everyone in the e-FX game.

Although the team joined ostensibly to work in Barclays’ FX options business – Cartledge worked at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse in this role before joining Dresdner – they were quickly set to work by founding member of the Hall of Fame Ivan Ritossa on leveraging what was seen as a good looking, single dealer platform into a fully functioning and competi- tive source of trading.

Given responsibility for pricing and risk management on what was still a well regarded, but little noticed single dealer platform – BARX – Cartledge and Cooney went on to develop the algorithms and risk management techniques that helped propel Barclays from that well regarded regional bank into a top three FX player globally.
Not only were the pair able to build efficiency into the pricing and risk management process, they were also one of the first to monetise a single dealer platform whilst continuing to pressure spreads. The latter was characterised by a core tenet of that time at Barclays – innovation. Barclays was the first bank to pioneer the fifth decimal place when quoting prices – a brave move that was much criticised by competitors…right up until the day they all copied what was clearly a good idea (especially for customers)!

Other ideas followed, such as streaming live options and the first two iterations of PowerFill, all of which saw a bank roll out products that many of its peers considered foolhardy or dangerous to the revenue stream – few of which were. That these men were not afraid of failure when it came to new ideas shows the green field thinking they were used to employing.

When Cooney departed Barclays, Cartledge took on sole responsibility for e-trading, and over the course of the last few years he has added e-FICC to his job title. In that time Barclays has continued to innovate, not least in being the first bank to roll out an official aggregator for its clients based upon its internal technology. Gator, as so many products developed by this pioneer has also helped build Barclays’ next generation algo execution and pre-trade TCA, which has recently been rolled out.
Tim Cartledge is, in many ways, the epitome of the successful modern FX trader. A statistical background, allied to the willingness to take risks where necessary, overlaid by an understanding of the power of technology. He is open to ideas and equally willing to passionately argue the case for his own. He is not afraid to think differently and to push in a direction that others have not considered and it is this, as much as anything else, that has made him a leader in his field.
 

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 EdwardPlaiscurrentlya ManagingDirectorandHeadofClearingandExecutionatUBS,whereheservesontheGlobal FinancingServicesManagementCommittee,the FinancialReportingCouncil(FRC)ExecutiveCommittee,the Global DistributionCommitteeandtheAmericasEquityCommittee.Inaddition,PlahasbeenamemberoftheBoardofDirectorsof LCHClearnetsincemid-2010andtheBoardofDirectorsoftheFuturesIndustryAssociationsinceJanuary2014.Hehasalsobeenaguestlecturer atBostonCollege'sCarrollSchoolofManagement.


PlabeganhiscareerasanoptionstraderatO'ConnorandAssociatesinChicago,tradingbothOTCandexchange-listedFX optionsinChicagoandPhiladelphia.In1994hejoinedSwissBankCorporationininterestratederivativesales;afterSBCs merger withUBSin1997,PlaheldanumberofleadershippositionsinNewYorkandZurich,includingUSHeadofFXHedge FundSales, HeadofFXBusinessDevelopment,andHeadofFXPrime Brokerage.

“FromopenoutcrytradingontheIMMfloortobuildingtheFXPrimeBrokeragebusinessatUBStohelpingtheindustry laythegroundworkforcentralclearingofSwapsandNDFs,EdPlaisatruelegendintheforeignexchange markets, saysMike Harris,PresidentofCampbell&Company.“IfEdhadanickname,itwouldhavetobe‘ProfessorPla’ashehassinglehand- edlyeducatedhalfofthemarketoneverythingfromhowtousetradingpithandsignalstohowfinancialintermediariesfacili- tateandoptimisecreditfortheirclients.Edhasalwaysbeenoneofmyfavoritepeopletointeractwithonthesellsideashe alwaysplacestheclientfirstandneverstopslookingforoperationalefficienciesandwaystoreducerisk.Simplyput,heisa determined FXthought leader thatconstantly raises thebarfortherestofus.

“IhavehadthepleasureofknowingEdPlasinceIwasapip-squeakclerkwearingayellowjacketonthefloor oftheCME backintheearly‘90s,saysfriendandformercolleagueEdHulina.“Ed'soneofthoseindustryveteranswho'strulydonejust abouteveryroleonecaninFX.He'stradedandhe'ssold;he'sproducedandhe'smanaged;he'sdonebusiness developmentand beenacross-productseniorrelationshipmanagerforawealthofclients.He'strainedcountlesspeopleandtaughthisteamshow todothejobright.Andhecontinuestodoallthose things,withbothregionalandglobalimpactatnotjusthisfirm,butacross thebusiness.Ed'sbeenoneofthe‘foundingfathers’forwhathasbecomeFXprimebrokerage,andhecontinuestoserveasa thoughtleaderinourindustry'sevolution.I'vealwaysreallyrespectedEd'suniqueblendingofboththecreativeandanalyti- calmind,andhowhecanthinkaboutagiven problem,opportunityorchallengeinanorganised,efficientwayIveseentime andagainhowthishasmadeEdaconsigliore ofsortsforanumber ofkeyplayers inourbusiness.

“Besides allthat,Edisafoodie andafantasticchef,addsHulina. “He'sgotahighlyevolvedtasteinmusic, andhassatel- literadiostationspre-programmedintohiscarthatI'veneverevenheardof.He'salsoanamazingmusician,anddoesspot-on impressions(spendingseveralyearsinZurichgavehimawholebatchofqualitymaterial).He'sbeenaroundtheworldwith hiswifeLaura, andtogetherthey'veraisedthreegreatkidswhohavethesamewickedsenseofhumour astheirparents.

“I'mreallythrilledforEdtobenamedtotheHallofFame,headds,“thankfullythere'snofiveyearretirementrequirement, sinceI'msureEdwillbecontributingpositivelytothisindustry foryearstocome.




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Ian Battye is a 20+ year veteran of the FX industry. He is currently chief operating officer of global financial services firm Rus- sell Investments, based in Seattle. He leads and manages various global functions including Corporate Marketing & Commu- nications, Global Technology & Operations, Global Web and Human Resources, as well as the Global Product Committee and Investment Operations group.

Battye was responsible for establishing and developing Russell’s investment services currency implementation and management businesses, which service the foreign currency needs of external clients and all of Russell’s internal businesses. The currency man- agement group is tasked with building and developing a business whose primary role is to optimise relative execution outcomes while minimising operational risk. In developing Russell’s third party currency management service, Battye directed a team which offered external clients the ability to immunise international portfolios from currency risk. Battye joined Russell in 2003.

Previously, Battye was managing director and CEO of Russell Implementation Services (RIS), which is responsible for all capital mar- kets activity for Russell Investments globally, including exposure management, specialty asset management and execution management. He has direct responsibility for the delivery of investment outcomes for RIS clients globally and is accountable for all elements of the investment process, including portfolio management, quantitative analysis, execution services, middle office, sales, client service, legal and compliance. Prior to this role, Battye was director of currency implementation for Russell Investments, based in Tacoma.

“Ian has set the standard for assisting pension funds and other institutional investors with measuring and then managing for- eign exchange transaction costs, says colleague Michael DuCharme. “He drove the development of foreign exchange transaction cost analysis (Russell was one of the first to offer FX TCA beginning in 2004). With this cost information, investors had a means to evaluate their trading costs and a feedback mechanism with which to monitor and adjust their trading program. In addition, Ian was in the vanguard of time stamping transactions and reporting the cost of every deliverable currency trade.

“Years before the lawsuits and complaints filed by pension funds and other institutional investors claiming they had been over- charged for currency transactions, Ian had recognised and quantified those trading costs. Ian spoke at conferences, wrote papers, analysed transactions, and met with countless prospects and clients to point out the problems in the industry and the options for addressing those issues,” DuCharme adds.

Battye relentlessly "beat the drum" about best execution in foreign exchange. “While some dramatic changes in the FX indus- try may be a response to the legal disputes, Ian can take significant credit in showing what execution quality meant, what institu- tional investors could expect from FX providers, and how currency transactions should be managed,” DuCharme notes.

Some large banks now do what Battye has been providing to clients since 2004 – reporting FX fees explicitly and describing how trades are executed. As a result, investors can now more easily evaluate whether an FX provider’s services are worth the costs.

Other important actions have resulted in part from Battye’s efforts: measurement of transaction costs is more common; investors are demanding their investment managers provide evidence of best execution; and average costs have reportedly declined. Perhaps most important is that banks, pension funds, and investment managers have changed their behaviour, contributing to better in- vestment outcomes for beneficiaries and investors.
 

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Soren Haagensen has managed the e-Commerce product for Societe Generale in the Americas since 2007, during which time he has overseen a dramatic transformation of the business as foreign exchange markets have become increasingly dominated by computerised trading models.

Before focusing on e-commerce, Haagensen acted as Societe Generale’s business manager for its New York FX business. He began his career with Societe Generale in 1995, initially trading EMS and DM/FRF and then, with the introduction of the Euro, trading EUR/USD where he became the first individual to execute over $1 bil- lion in a day on Integral’s currency trading platform. He was also one of the fastest, if not the fastest on Reuters Matching platform with three inputs per second.
Haagensen began his FX career at Den Danske Bank, Copenhagen in 1987 as an FX salesperson. He was transferred to New York, where he quoted spot, swaps and covered sales. In 1990, he joined Banco Espanol de Credito (Banesto) in a similar role. In 1993, he joined Bank Brussels Lambert (BBL) as a spot market maker in EMS currencies.

On May 25, 2014, Haagensen celebrated his 19th anniversary with Societe Generale, a rare event in today’s FX field.

“During his time at SG, Soren has managed the compliance issues and credit limits for the FX trading floor and has been a mainstay in keeping SG’s name in the market,” says colleague Robert Gomprecht. “As head of FX e-Commerce, he has helped set up a platform for exotic currencies and continues to work to ensure that SG has a strong presence and solid reputation in FX e-Commerce.

“Throughout the evolution of the FX market, Soren has been a key contributor in the development of electronic trading functionality,” he continues. “On Reuters, he was clocked as the fastest trader on the platform and was one of the reasons that the Minimum Quote Life was instituted. As a subject matter expert, he was called on for advice by nearly all of the platforms; in fact, the original Integral keypad was designed based on his recom- mendations and hand-size!”

Other friends and colleagues add: “Soren has filled many roles in FX over the past 25 years, including being one of the best and largest short term prop traders. Soren is always positive, professional and never has a bad thing to say about anyone.”

“Soren is a man of character and is a character. He's open minded, thoughtful and engaging. Soren's contri- bution to our business is well established, hallmarked with delivering value and client focus.”

“Soren is an obvious choice for the Hall of Fame.”