US multi-dealer platform Simon Markets has closed the first leg of a strategic financing round of up to US$100m of growth capital.

The Series B round was led by WestCap, a growth equity firm founded by Laurence Tosi, former CFO of Airbnb and Blackstone, with existing investors also participating in the round.

This funding round will allow the platform to ‘advance its core offering across structured investments and annuities, while driving additional growth initiatives centered on product and geographic expansion’, according to Jason Broder (pictured), CEO at Simon Markets..

‘The strength of their technology and the experience they’ve built is positioning Simon as a preferred fintech platform for financial advisors,’ said Kevin Marcus, partner at WestCap.

According to the firm, which is a Goldman Sachs spin off, more than 100,000 financial professionals who serve US$5 trillion in client assets have access to the platform.

Additionally, WestCap Partner and former Ipreo president and COO Kevin Marcus is joining Simon’s board of directors.

Eurex: from OTC to central clearing

Eurex Clearing has gone live with its clearing service for deliverable cross currency swaps and OTC FX following a test phase with Commerzbank joining J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley as clearing members.

Cross currency swaps play an important role in the flow of capital through the international markets - Charles Bristow, J.P. Morgan

The launch underscores the Deutsche Borse’s ambition to support the move from OTC to central clearing as transactions are cleared and settled on a net basis across cross currency swaps and OTC FX reducing capital requirements under SA-CCR -  the standardised approach for measuring counterparty credit risk.

OTC FX clearing includes FX spot, FX forward and FX swap matched on 360T, Deutsche Börse’s global FX unit. The launch of non-deliverable forwards (NDF) clearing is scheduled for the second half of 2021. Eurex Clearing will then be offering clearing services for both, deliverable and non-deliverable FX products.

‘Cross currency swaps play an important role in the flow of capital through the international markets,’ said Charles Bristow, head of rates, fixed income financing and credit portfolio trading at J.P. Morgan. ‘Moving to a centrally cleared model is a significant moment for the asset class as it reduces complexity, enhances efficiency and increases market resilience.’

DCG dispatches ‘future of finance’ AMC

Dynamic Capital Group (DCG) has issued in collaboration with Michael O'Sullivan an actively managed certificate (AMC) linked to the Future of Finance 40 index (ISIN: CH1104954412)

The Future of Finance 40 index is an equally weighted group of forty companies that span the payments, Cloud banking services, crypto and digital currency, wealth and banking software and trading platforms that are listed in the US, Europe, Australia and in select emerging markets.

The companies in the FF40 are chosen based on sector growth, market penetration, earnings and revenue growth, ownership structure and fintech strategy.

‘With very few exceptions, the intention is not to feature incumbent banks nor large social media players like Amazon and Facebook, who while often featured in fintech ETFs and fintech funds are not pure fintech plays,’ said the firm in a statement. ‘The intention is that the FF40 manages to pick up the positive effects of market growth and innovation across several fintech sectors, not to mention the side-effects of disruption.’

DCG is a Swiss issuer of AMCs, tracker certificates and credit-linked notes providing access to a wide range of bankable and non-bankable assets including ‘difficult-to-access asset classes including food-tech, crypto currencies, ESG and fintech’.

Michael O'Sullivan has 20 years’ experience in global financial markets, most recently as chief investment officer in the International Wealth Management Division of Credit Suisse, where he worked for 12 years. Today he is adviser to several asset managers.

HIS debuts ESG KRW hedged decrement play

Hang Seng Indexes Company has launched the HSCEI ESG NTR KRW Hedged 40 Points Decrement Index, a new index denominated in Korean won (KRW) offering exposure to the HSCEI ESG Index (Net Total Return Index) while also hedging their associated currency exchange rate risk.

‘The index reflects Hang Seng Indexes Company’s drive to keep pace with market trends and meet the changing needs of the investment community, by serving the rapidly growing investor appetite for ESG-related investments, while also addressing the currency risk concerns of foreign investors, particularly amid continuing uncertainties over the macroeconomic outlook,’ stated Hang Seng Indexes.

The new index is calculated and disseminated on a daily basis after trading closes on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on each trading day when the HSCEI ESG Index (Net Total Return Index) is calculated and the Korea Exchange is not on a scheduled holiday. The index is subject to an annual decrement of 40 index points.

The index provider has also launched the Hang Seng New Consumption Index and Hang Seng Shanghai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong New Consumption Index.

The two new indexes are designed to capture the ‘full picture’ of listed companies in traditional consumption sectors (ie consumer discretionary and consumer staples) as well as online consumption sectors such as e-commerce, online/mobile gaming, media streaming and healthcare retail amid the shifting megatrends in consumption patterns in China.

The Hang Seng New Consumption Index covers Hong Kong-listed Greater China companies; while the Hang Seng Shanghai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong New Consumption Index is a cross-market index, covering Mainland-listed A shares and Hong Kong-listed shares that are eligible for south bound trading under the Stock Connect Scheme.

Spectrum Markets lands in Spain

European trading platform Spectrum Markets, owned by IG Group, has started offering its Turbo24 range in Spain after a 146% increase in its contracting volumes in the first six months of the year.

Spectrum considers that Spain is ‘one of the key markets for its international expansion,’ as it considers that its products ‘are still very little known’ among retail investors. The firm’s medium-term objective is to seek alliances with Spanish entities that want to expand their offer of products and services focused on the small investor.

Throughout the second quarter of 2021, the multilateral trading system recorded 86% higher trading volume than a year ago. Between April and June, 182 million securitised derivatives were traded through this platform which is headquartered in Frankfurt.

Currently, the platform is present in Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland and Finland.

‘Achieving strong and sustained organic growth continues to be one of our priorities,’ said Nicky Maan, CEO of Spectrum Markets.