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Global Derivatives Awards 2014

GlobalCapital recognised in London on September 18 those who have had the biggest impact on derivatives markets over the last year. The winners of the Global Derivatives Awards were voted for by their industry peers. Below are some of the highlights from the gala evening.

Global Derivatives House of The Year: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s leading role as a liquidity provider in credit derivatives, its investments in FX infrastructure and strengths in equity helped the firm become this year’s Global Derivatives House Of The Year.

In credit, the firm is a leading innovator in structured solutions. Buysiders praise BAML’s credit research and volumes have grown in its credit options business. It showed leadership in credit markets this year, integrating its index products, tranches and options into one global index trading group.

In FX options, the firm’s improved infrastructure has sharpened pricing and boosted liquidity, and the quality of its desktop portal for clients also sets it apart from rivals.

Global Asset Manager Of The Year: BlackRock

BlackRock swept away the competition to win the Global Asset Manager of the Year award once again.

The firm continues to be a leader across all asset classes globally and now has $4.32tr of assets under management, and counting.

BlackRock has tirelessly acted as the voice of the buyside during a period of regulatory upheaval, which has seen wholesale reconstruction of the derivatives landscape.

This has enabled smaller funds and managers to adapt their strategies and enhance their infrastructure in tough markets. Providing such buyside leadership has aided sellside firms to ensure that markets remain liquid and fragmentation is kept to a minimum.

Cross-Asset Hedge Fund Of The Year and Equity Fund Of The Year: BTG Pactual

BTG Pactual’s fund business has received praise to match its results. Success in both its macro and fixed income funds and the rapid development of its equity focused fund secured its win for the Cross-Asset Hedge Fund of the Year and Equity Fund of the Year awards.

Starting as a fixed income fund business six years ago, the firm moved into equities three years later. Equity accounts for about $1.5bn of its assets across its funds. Its Global Equity Opportunities fund now manages about $350m.

Benjamin Clerget, partner and head of equity derivatives trading, also won the Derivatives Fund Manager of the Year award.

Fixed Income Fund of the Year: Cheyne Capital Long/Short Credit Fund

Cheyne’s Long/Short Credit Fund has been awarded the Fixed Income Fund of the Year awards for its track record in deftly timing short positions.

In July, for example, the fund shorted Portugal Telecom CDS when a planned merger looked likely to collapse. Fund managers closed the trade during the Banco Espírito Santo crisis with upwards of 60bp of profit.

The fund operates three strategies — carry, credit alpha and opportunities — and has assets under management of $40m.

It is managed by John Weiss and David Peacock — two early participants in the CDS market during their time at JP Morgan in the 1990s — and Tristram Leach.

Global Law Firm of the Year: Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy’s work advising the International Swaps and Derivatives Association on a range of issues, in addition to the firm’s strong cross-asset franchise and its spread of clients across derivatives markets, were the reasons it was named Global Law Firm of the Year.

The company has helped build new credit definitions with ISDA that will this year update the 2003 definitions’ credit event triggers for CDS transactions, including a sovereign entity credit event trigger and a government initiated bail-in credit event.

Allen & Overy’s structured finance practice, which has seen growth in collateralised loan obligations, commodity financing and in repo structures for syndicated loans also drew praise. 

Global Cross-Asset Interdealer Broker Of The Year: BGC Partners

BGC Partners was ranked as the top interdealer broker in two categories this year and was named Global Cross-Asset Interdealer Broker of the Year.

The firm has been at the forefront of change in derivatives markets as the dealer-to-dealer and dealer-to-client worlds merge thanks to the upheaval in international regulations.

BGC has consistently enjoyed flow and volume, especially in foreign exchange. Clients have repeatedly lauded the firm for its continual provision of liquidity in addition to the breadth of its offerings.

Earlier this year, BGC was also granted a licence by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange to broke FX options to the interbank market in the country.

Global Cross-Asset Exchange of the Year: CME Group

CME Group has seen record volumes on its exchange this year and has extended its global reach, recently partnering with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. This, and the bourse’s commitment to consistent product innovation, helped it take this year’s Global Cross-Asset Exchange of the Year award.

Already accomplished in FX, equity and commodities, the exchange is adding to its suite of offerings and is a constant supplier of liquidity to the market. Its fans say it is a great example of a global firm enabling market participants to adapt their trading strategies in a market in flux.

The firm also won this year’s Clearing House of the Year award. 

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