The market makers in Amsterdam have a pressure group for defending their rights in discussions with governmental institutions like the trading watchdog AFM, the national bank DNB and all other sorts of (semi) government. Recently in focus was the proposed limitations in handing out bonuses to employees – talks are still ongoing. They don’t waste their time as much online as I do, as their slick website is still outdated with a member list resembling a financial graveyard. However, behind the screens they do have a surprising lot of influence. Time to move on to higher levels.
This week the big three Dutch traders (Optiver, IMC, Flow) announced to have joined forces with Getco to start a lobby in Brussels dubbed the FIA European Principal Traders Association. While originally from the US, Getco is a worldwide electronic market maker and high frequency trader – similar to Citadel . The chief in Europe has been Mark Spanbroek for many years, a former VDM trader. In his position at Getco he usually had some strong opinions to share in the press. He retired a few months ago, and will head the European lobby group for HFT firms. Word is Spanbroek hasn’t always been very supportive with the market maker association APT in talks with the Dutch government – but clearly the former difficulties have been set aside. Apart from the four founders, backing has been secured from a dozen other firms.
The lobby group is a sister organization of the US Washington-based FIA Principal Traders Association. Another lobby in Asia will probably be initiated as well. Main objectives for the lobby group will be to create a common view to Brussels and local regulators of proprietary trading activities. There is a lot of explanation work to do for FIA, as the avalanche of bad publicity is hard to tackle.
Update: Another Dutch touch in this story. Current IMC managing director Remco Lenterman (former Goldman Sachs, Kempen) will be chairman of the FIA ETPA, Quotenet reports (nl). Mark Spanbroek will be vice-chairman. Other three members of the board will be Dennis Dijkstra (CFO Flow Traders), Jennifer Boneham (Getco) and Hans Pieterse (Optiver). The current member list of companies can be found here. Tibra Trading hasn’t joined in yet. Maybe their FTD memory is preventing them.