Icap beefs-up Fra-Cross staff to meet demand

Fra-Cross manager Charles Sabel said Icap has appointed Simon Summersett as Fra-Cross marketing manager and Simon Cosburn as business development manager, bringing the total number of staff in the unit to six.

Summersett comes from broker Tradition, where he was an interest rate swaps broker; Cosburn was previously at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was working on an FRA mis-matching engine. He also previously developed a Posit-FRA electronic matching engine for Prebon Yamane.

Since January, Fra-Cross has executed six matching runs in sterling and six in euros, and is currently performing runs in each currency every three weeks. These help manage mismatched elements of a trader’s interest rate swap book by automatically matching 'resets'. Banks enter their positions on Monday morning, prompted by Icap’s voice brokers.

Users can currently cut and paste their FRA positions from an Excel spreadsheet into the Web-based Fra-Cross, but a future version will include an API to enable straight-through processing for users. This version should be ready in June, said Sabel.

Fra-Cross competes with rival broker Tradition's e-mail service, Switchfix, launched more than two years ago. Switchfix is used at about 90% of financial institutions in the rates business. It was running more than 2,000 trades per month in February. Icap refused to release actual figures at this time.

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