Nasdaq reorganizes market services to boost global competitiveness

Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:30pm EDT
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By John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O: Quote) said on Monday it is reorganizing its market services business to better compete globally in fixed income, currencies, derivatives and other asset classes.

Hans-Ole Jochumsen, the exchange operator's top executive in Europe, will take on an expanded role that includes oversight of transactions, clearing and settlement services for the United States and Europe.

Jochumsen will be at the helm of Nasdaq's new Global Market Services unit, aimed at driving growth across the New York-based company's fixed income, currencies and commodities businesses, as well as equities-based cash and derivatives.

"The focus will be on how we can align our different businesses and make them more global where that makes sense," Jochumsen said in an interview.

Nasdaq has been expanding its offerings in fixed income and derivatives, having closed its $750 million purchase of electronic Treasuries-trading platform eSpeed last July, and launched NLX, a London-based fixed-income futures trading platform, late last May. Around two-thirds of Nasdaq's trading revenue comes from derivatives and fixed income.

The company also operates a clearinghouse in Europe that last week was the first of its kind to be authorized to clear over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives under new European reforms.

Regulators around the world have been taking steps to push derivatives, which include commodities and other financial instruments such as swaps, onto exchanges and into clearing to improve transparency and lower risk.

Jochumsen said mandatory clearing obligations for certain OTC products would likely be in place in Europe in the next nine to 15 months, a development that represents a big opportunity for Nasdaq.   Continued...

A man walks past the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, August 23, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly