01.16.2019
By Rob Daly

Cboe Preps Amsterdam Office

In prepartion of Brexit, Cboe Global Markets is opening an office in Amsterdam to serve its EU clients.

The global exchange operator will begin by moving the necessary London-based staff to the new office to meet local regulatory requirements of the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets, according to Ed Tilly, chairman, president, and CEO of Cboe Global Markets.

He described the selection of Amsterdam as a “perfect storm,” which nudged out the other cities on the company’s short list and that it is ready for the changes that Brexit may require.

“Having a regulator who understands trading and derivatives as well as having two large clients there, IMC and Optiver, it made perfect sense for us,” said Tilly.

From a technology and infrastructure perspective, Cboe Global Markets is prepared for the worse, according to Chris Isaacson, executive vice president and newly minted COO of Cboe Global Markets. “If there is a hard Brexit that cause chaos for the region, it will not cause chaos for us,” he said.

Cboe Global Markets has developed a technical solution, which is predominately software-based, that would permit firms to connect to the same systems as long as the firm has an EU trading entity.

“We are doing a lot of work with them to make sure that their trading across all of the 15 markets we trade as seamless as possible,” said Isaacson.

He noted that the majority of clients do not have UK- and EU-trading entities, but that the situation is evolving rapidly. “They are going to be doing everything possible to service their clients,” he added.

It is too early to tell whether the new office will be a barebones office needed to meet regulatory requirements or if it will grow into a business-development outpost for the company, said Tilly.

“It could be a growth opportunity, but we do not know enough,” said Tilly. “None of us know how hard this will be. None of us truly knows what the obstacles would be at the end of the day.”

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