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Patrick L Young Newsletter The Frontier Financier - Prologue
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In Patrick's Opinion

 

012

Change in Canada

 

“Be ready when opportunity comes...Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet.”

Pierre Trudeau

 


Dear <<First Name>>,


I realise you may be itching to hear of my recent tales of derring do in the European Occident but I will for now leave you merely to peruse my Strategic Review video at your leisure when you have 11 minutes to spare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy8--32aEsU

For today, having endured all manner of excitement in recent weeks, it is only fair to look at a merger situation which has developed sufficiently for me to change my opinion entirely.

Some time ago I saw the LSE-TMX merger as a sensible deal. Giving London a foothold in north America with the opportunity for Canada’s exchange to have a direct linkage to western Europe was logical. Indeed, I had even suggested an ASX-LSE-TSX tie-up as the ultimate resource bourse as long ago as 1999. The deal made sense and while some Canadians sought to beat the drum of nationalism, the protectionist case looked weak. Fast forward however many days it took to reach May 15th and the outlook had changed. Fundamentally.

From the outside, many have seen the Maple Group Acquisition Consortium of Canadian institutions as a protectionist force. I see it as a welcome progress for expansionist exchanges and the development of the exchange model. It must grieve Xavier Rolet to find his pragmatic strategy stymied for he has done nothing wrong per se. Rather, it strikes me the denizens of Bay Street have finally risen up to turn TMX into the sort of business it has the potential to become.

Primarily, I might add, a key reason for my volte face on this issue has not merely been the arrival of the intriguing (and financially superior) Maple bid per se. Rather, in a time when exchange management is looking a touch strategically jaded in many bourses, Maple brings a genuine superstar back in to the ballpark.*

That man is Luc Bertrand the Maple bid TMX CEO-elect. The arrival of the dashing Bertrand simply makes the Maple proposition unassailable. In a world where most exchange CEOs have been squeezing and cutting, and perhaps even chopping, to maintain margins while volumes grew, Luc did what few others have done: he took a stagnant franchise and made it a serious force to be reckoned with.

At the tail end of the last century, the Toronto Stock Exchange agreed to the Canadian Marketplace Agreement. The good folks at the TSX reckoned the national derivatives market to be so worthless they actually gave Luc and his team at Bourse de Montreal 40 million dollars to lose their equity franchise and take away what TSE deemed to be a losing futures/options business. Before the 10 year agreement to divide the markets between equity and derivatives trading had expired, the Toronto Exchange found itself paying some 1.3 billion dollars to buy the Montreal Exchange.


Go out and count on fingers of one hand the people who can turn businesses from minus 40 million dollars to 1.3 billion within 9 years. Now count how many people have done that for exchanges. Yes, that man is right here, right now looking to run a unified Canadian marketplace silo.

To the LSE team, an acknowledgement is due that this is a bitter blow. To the Maple consortium, I really feel this could be the start of something big. For Canada’s markets to have the best Canadian exchange manager in charge of a unified marketplace, I can see only upside. Protectionism? Maple is no defensive play, this is going to be a pure offensive play and I personally will relish every goal that Luc Bertrand’s team scores as soon as they take to the ice and deploy a new strategy to take the Canadian marketplace forward.

Maple is the start of something big and hopefully a return to the business of growing exchange franchises without being fundamentally obsessed purely about M&A.

Yours, looking forward to a better exchange,**

Patrick
patrick@derivativesvision.com



*Given Mr Bertrand’s significant interest in the Montreal Canadiens perhaps “on to the rink” might be a better metaphor.

***See the Maple bid at www.abetterexchange.com

 


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'The Gathering Storm"

- Form an orderly queue, if you haven't got a hard copy of "The Gathering Storm" a unique book about markets as analysed by a selection of the minds who foresaw the credit crunch...then the good news it is coming soon to a Kindle near you! Stay tuned...


The Gathering Storm - Can You Afford Not to Buy It?


Current Projects

As always a lot of discussion on exchange mergers...

The SIBEX story I will get around to in due course.

Meanwhile, it's still a case of stay tuned for some interesting developments.

Travel Plans

Another one of those "from here to there and there to here with even - gosh - a trip more to the west than I have been all year looming...

About This Newsletter

Patrick L Young is the author of several financial market books such as "Capital Market Revolution!" and "The

The original Capital Market Revolution cover

Exchange Manifesto" His Op Eds have been published in most of the world's leading financial media such as the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal while he has appeared frequently on BBC, CNBC, CNN, Russia Today TV and other digital media throughout the world.

My expertise is, (in no particular order!) exchanges, derivatives, market infrastructure and financial centres, as well as emerging markets (parrticularly "New Europe").

I can claim modest provenance as an early adopter on the web, having published various online magazines along with other WWW ventures since 1995.

Nowadays I enjoy a varied portfolio of advisory work (most notably for investors in exchanges) but along the way I have done just about everything from multiple financial start-ups through to advising government and other stakeholders in financial centres the world over. I also indulge in some  entrepreneurial projects too. After more than 20 years in finance some folk might think I am due a spot of remission for good behaviour. I think it is clear from this bulletin, my passion for markets remains as keen as ever!

For more information, try my web site:
http://www.patricklyoung.net

 

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