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EUROPE – Past, Present and Future

By Matteo Cassina
FIXGlobal puts forth some questions to Matteo Cassina of Citadel Execution Services on the changes in the European arena.
What are your views on the regulatory changes that have taken place over the past couple of years?
We have seen a significant change in the equities markets in Europe over the past two to three years. This change can be attributed both to regulatory developments through the introduction of MiFID and changes that were already occurring in the marketplace, such as the increased awareness and usage of electronic trading systems. The regulatory changes have had a broadly positive impact, including increased competition and reduced execution costs, however there have been other, less desirable impacts that are limiting the benefits and effectiveness of these changes. For example, an increase in the fragmentation of trade transparency data has made price discovery and the consolidation of data more problematic. Also investors are not always gaining the full benefits of the new trading venues open to them, as brokers are not always connected to the venues where the best price with the lowest trading fees may be. We are still in the relatively early stages of the post-MiFID transition and there has been an unprecedented period of market volatility in the recent past. We anticipate that there will be further changes in the market as participants continue to react and adapt to the market conditions and the needs of investors. It is a constant challenge for regulation to keep pace with a fast moving marketplace; a comprehensive and flexible regulatory framework at a European level coupled with focused and consistent implementation through local regulators is vital for the fair and efficient functioning of the European secondary markets.

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