You won’t be seeing any slog sweeps or wild swings from Andrew Ross,
the chief executive of the London Stock
Exchange Group’s (LSEG) ambitious interest rate derivatives platform.
His style is a lot simpler: to knock singles about and put the bad ball away for
four. It is this cricketing style which Ross
is applying to CurveGlobal.
“When it comes to growth, to borrow a
cricket analogy, you get people talking
about boshing sixes all over the place. Then
they come out looking like blithering idiots
and can’t get it off the square. I am more
about talking a little less, not swinging for
the boundary but when the right moment
comes, late cut it for four,” says Ross.
“This is a similar case, we are not
going to be talking about all the prod-
ucts we are going to list, we’re not going
to buy market share from day one, we
will grow organically and be aggressive
with new products and innovation at the
However, it has not been a smooth
innings for the incoming platform, which
was set to go live on 26 September.
CurveGlobal found its origins in 2014
when industry veteran Bill Templer, a former co-head of listed derivatives at
Morgan Stanley, was lined up to lead the
LSE’s new swap futures initiative named
‘Project Rita’. It also brought on Cathryn
Lyall last year as its chief operating officer
to work on the project.
Following the departure of Templer in
November, the go-live date for Curve was
put back from March to September. It then
lost Lyall in June this year at a key time as
it prepares for its September launch.
Ross, Morgan Stanley’s former
European head of swaps clearing, and a
renowned figure in the derivatives industry, has since steadied the ship and is prepared to take on a completely different
role to the one he previously held for over
16 years. He is now the boss.
“When you are running a clearing
business at a bank you absolutely have a
boss, even if your boss is in New York.
But here I report to the board so it is
quite nice to be the boss. Ultimately the
decisions I make and the success the
team has stand or fail on our ability to
deliver against our business plan. So I
feel a real sense of responsibility that I
have the CurveGlobal future in my hands.
That is a huge weight of responsibility
but very empowering,” he explains.
Since his appointment as CEO of
CurveGlobal in February, Ross has been
tasked with generating interest in the platform, bringing on market makers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to hook up
to it, and ensuring testing and connectivity
is all up and running at the time of go-live.
At this point, Ross says the venture is
in a good position, with the majority of
testing complete and market makers
“What I feel we need to do now is less
building technical hardware and much
more about what we have to sell and how
to build up liquidity. That means more
engaging with the client side and banking community rather than focusing on
the very technical area of the internal
build,” he says.
Curve is 65% owned by a consortium
of seven banks, including Barclays, Citi,