Recent Publications

For over four decades, Abel Noser has been using detailed benchmark data analysis to help clients trade more efficiently and gain alpha.  Our global compliance and trade surveillance products offer comprehensive and versatile features that help asset owners and investment firms comply with various data-driven regulations while ensuring ongoing monitoring capabilities.  None of this could be possible without the depth of knowledge and market understanding unique to Abel Noser Solutions.  It's important for us to give back to the investment community that we serve.  Here are some articles derived from our research and collective insight.



Fixed Income and FINRA

An Abel Noser Fireside Chat


Alex Sedgwick
Global Head of Fixed Income

Abel Noser Solutions


Ola Persson
SVP and Head of Transparency Services



This Q&A article is taken from a recent recorded Zoom video discussion between Alex Sedgwick and Ola Persson of FINRA and is focused on 20-year-old TRACE, its expansion, data quality, market regulation and complexities of the validation process. Also covered is how fixed income transparency started, evolved, and where it may go from here.


Global Comprehensive Options TCA Panel Discussion


Peter Weiler

Abel Noser Holdings


Brett MacLeod
Managing Director

Abel Noser Solutions


The Q&A is taken from a recent public webinar on global options TCA between Abel Noser’s Peter Weiler and Brett MacLeod. The live panel discussion, moderated by Abel Noser’s Head of Marketing, Jerry Boak, centered on the value of TCA-powered analytics for all option strategies, from covered calls to complex spread strategies. Peter, Abel Noser’s Co-CEO, is a registered options principle, while Brett heads the company’s sell side division. Both have been with Abel Noser for many years, and both have vast experience in the equity options derivative space.


ESG Portfolio Monitoring


Harnessing Consensus Ratings and Portfolio-level Reporting to Monitor Manager Investment Practices


Steve Glass

Abel Noser Holdings


Regardless of one’s views about ESG, its centrality to many investors is borne out by the rapid integration and growth of ESG-oriented retail and institutional investing. Globally, the reported sustainable investment assets under management now represents about 36% of all assets under management. Unfortunately, because of the disparate and inconsistent nature of company disclosures, each ESG rating provider, by definition, must make important decisions about which data sources to use, how to weight various factors, and then apply its own ethical judgments and algorithms to the key considerations associated with each respective industry. Consequently, these firms often yield very different rating assessments. Happily, the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to the consumption of ESG data has provided a solution to this problem.


ESG Consensus Ratings – The Key to Asset Owner Oversight


Utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Overcome the Subjectivity of ESG Rating Vendors


Steve Glass

Abel Noser Holdings


The centrality of ESG-related issues to investors is borne out by the rapid integration and growth of ESG-oriented retail and institutional investing. In this regard, ESG-related initiatives are ultimately about managing risk. Unfortunately, as discussed in our report, the firms that provide ESG ratings/scores often yield very different rating assessments. Happily, recent developments in the ESG ecosystem offer a solution to this issue in the form of what are called 'ESG consensus ratings.'


ESG consensus ratings predicated on data multiples from top rating vendors represent a quantitative statistical optimization of the ESG marketplace’s broad consensus.  Additional benefits of this approach include:


• Reduced subjectivity

• Significantly more coverage (individual rating vendors may assess as few as 8,000 global securities while our consensus ratings cover over 30,000 securities)

• The greater data consumption enables quicker pick-ups of data that warrant rating changes allowing for monthly rather than annual releases.


Our whitepaper on this subject is divided into two sections. The first section explains in greater detail why individual providers of ESG ratings/scores, even with the best of intentions, often assess the same company very differently. The second section describes how artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped provide an elegant quantitative solution to this problem.


A “Fireside Chat” on ESG


An ESG Discussion at the TEXPERS 2022 Annual Membership Meeting


Brian Greene

Senior Vice President

Abel Noser Solutions / Zeno AN Solutions


Benjamin Webster




Read about the current state of ESG policies and risks for asset owners. Key takeaways include the top areas of SEC scrutiny in 2022 including manager ESG practices, the market effects of ESG stocks are real – regardless of your personal or institutional views about ESG, and asset owners need simple oversight tools that employ a top-down approach to help monitor their managers’ ESG practices.



Regulators Accelerate Fixed Income Transparency in Europe


Discussing the Consolidated Tape with Matthijs Geneste of the Dutch Regulatory Authority


Alex Sedgwick, Global Head of Fixed Income, Abel Noser Solutions

Matthijs Geneste, Senior Supervisor – Capital Markets Supervision Team, AFM



From a recording on June 2, 2022


Two expert panelists discuss the state of bond market transparency and the evolution of a fixed income consolidated tape in Europe.


Manager Trading Practices in Today’s Evolving Electronic Markets


What does this mean for asset owner oversight?


Steven Glass, Co-CEO Abel Noser Holdings & Doug Rivelli, President Abel Noser LLC





April 19, 2022


This article provides a summary of the evolving electronic trading landscape and explores the implications of this environment for asset owners. More specifically, when conducting due diligence, what should asset owners be looking for? And for asset owners who care, how might these new technological capabilities enable managers to better achieve asset owner goals for commission recapture, and/or promoting the use of minority/women-owned broker-dealers?


Managing Fixed Income Trading Costs Through Political and Economic Uncertainty


Fixed Income Group, Abel Noser Solutions



March 28, 2022


World events introduced significant volatility into fixed income markets over the last several weeks. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine initially drove investors to safe-haven assets such as Treasuries as they tried to avoid the uncertainty of riskier assets. However, renewed inflation fears are again driving rates markets lower, with Treasuries and European government bonds selling off significantly. Trading costs can increase dramatically during periods of high volatility such as this, so it is essential for managers and owners to use TCA to monitor execution costs as they reposition portfolios.


Best Execution - “Trust but verify” is still the soundest path for asset owners to ensure complete fiduciary transparency


Brian Greene, SVP, Zeno AN Solutions



January 31, 2022


This past November, two studies came out which detailed several deficiencies regarding an investment manager's obligation to achieve and document best execution.   Collectively, these studies serve as a useful reminder that asset owners should not simply assume that their managers have all taken the necessary steps to ensure they obtained best execution on the asset owners’ trades.


Is it a Wrap? - Observations from the SEC’s View on Investment Advisers Treatment of Wrap Fee Program


Vinod Pakianathan, Managing Director, Zeno AN Solutions



November 9, 2021


The SEC’s recently renamed Division of Examination’s periodically publishes the results of its examinations in the form of “Risk-Alerts” to both inform the industry and to help improve the industry’s established policies and procedures. Compliance and risk go hand in hand.  Investment firms with effective and well executed compliance policies and procedures mitigate their risk.  In this context, risk for investment firms implies greater legal exposure through conflicted, unclear policies that are not in the client’s best interest or procedures that do not follow or are not in-line with established rules.  These errors result in potentially greater costs for individual or institutional investors. This article is a summary of the recent SEC mandate to conduct organizational examinations to identify areas of risk.


EU Regulators Ease Best Execution Reporting Demands in MiFID 2 ‘Quick Fix’ Directive


Alexander Sedgwick, Global Head of Fixed Income, Abel Noser Solutions


October 12, 2021


This post was originally published by the SS&C Global Wealth Platform - Fall 2021


Earlier this year, the European Commission (EC) published its MiFID II ‘Quick Fix’ Directive which acknowledges pandemic disruptions and market concerns in its attempt to streamline certain regulatory requirements. From a high-level perspective, the changes are focused on reducing the administrative burden on affected firms including exemptions from ex-ante cost and charges reporting plus some product governance requirements. Since much has been written in the past few months on the numerous changes in the MiFID II requirements, this article instead focuses on updates to best execution reporting requirements and the “rebundling” of research.



Hidden Figures – Introducing a Portfolio Transition & Event Universe


Michael Iannucci – Head of Transition Management – Abel Noser

Steve Glass – Co-CEO – Abel Noser



October 4, 2021


It has long been understood that large trading events are less expensive to implement in terms of explicit costs.   What is perhaps less intuitive, and certainly much more challenging to quantify, is whether or not market participants should expect such activity to be more (or less) expensive in terms of implicit costs (i.e. market-impact and/or multi-day delay costs).  To help answer this question, we have leveraged Abel Noser Solutions’ proprietary trade cost universe to isolate the relevant data.



Are Asset Owners Leaving Tax Dollars on the Table?


By our partner - WTax, a division of the VAT Group


December 15, 2020


More than ever before, asset owners should ensure they recoup all of the foreign withholding taxes (assessed on their dividend payments) that they are legally entitled to.  Indeed, when done correctly, withholding tax recovery can equate to as much as 20% of all foreign dividend and interest income earned.



Asset Reallocations During Turbulent Times


Key Issues to Consider When Planning a Portfolio Transition


Michael Iannucci – Head of Transition Management

Ian Leverich – Managing Director

Doris Pradieu – Senior Vice President


December 7, 2020


Manager changes and asset reallocations present myriad risks to the institutional asset owner and are often the most impactful drivers of a fund’s trading costs.   In these uncertain, turbulent times with global markets prone to unprecedented movement, the stakes are amplified.  As such, asset allocators who are approaching portfolio changes should consider strategic planning and fiduciary caution as paramount.  Given Abel Noser’s unique perspective as practitioners of both Trade Cost Analysis (TCA) and agency-only transition management, we are offering here a number of best practices to help you mitigate risk and lower transaction costs on your upcoming asset reallocations.



The Eight-Per-Cent Solution - Solving an Investment Mystery


Steve Glass - Co-CEO, Abel Noser Holdings


April 27, 2020


Asset owners trying to project future investment performance know two things: No one has a “crystal ball,” and past performance doesn’t guarantee future success.  For this reason, prudent fiduciaries look at multiple qualitative and quantitative data points to help them identify asset management firms potentially able to sustain superior returns into the future.


Addressing the matter, this article is divided into three sections.  The first section provides a brief primer on what we mean by the term trading costs.  The second section describes how deeper quantitative analysis of trading costs can enhance the deductive reasoning engaged in by fiduciaries trying to predict future investment success of search finalists.  The final section is a case study of a manager-search involving three small cap growth managers that provides a concrete illustration of the insights possible through this due diligence.



Fixed Income TCA - Déjà Vu All Over Again


Steve Glass - Co-CEO, Abel Noser Holdings


March 17, 2020


Over the past several years, regulators, asset owners, and some managers have increasingly begun focusing on fixed income trading costs.  This begs the question, “When will the broader fixed income marketplace start conducting Trade Cost Analysis (“TCA”) in a meaningful fashion?” Many industry participants, including us, feel the time has come.  This article is divided into two parts.  The first is a review of five of the more common concerns we’ve been hearing and our responses.  The article then provides a flavor of the type of insights achievable today with robust fixed income TCA, and some high-level trading statistics across various fixed income sectors.



Unintended Consequences of MiFID II Research Unbundling


Steve Glass - Co-CEO, Abel Noser Holdings and Michael Earlywine - Senior Vice President, Abel Noser Solutions


November 14, 2019


For several years, we have been alerting asset owners and investment managers about both the opportunities and potential unintended pitfalls associated with the Markets in Financial Information Directive II’s (MiFID II) research unbundling rules.   To be sure, we support the increased transparency and accountability engendered by the new rules.  However, we have also cautioned asset owners to be proactive in ensuring ...



SEC Rule 606 Provides Asset Owners with Another Tool for Protecting Fund Assets

Five Important Questions to Ask Your Fund Managers in Light of the Amended Regulations


Steve Glass - Co-CEO, Abel Noser Holdings


November 8, 2019


In the first quarter of 2020, new regulations are scheduled to go into effect which amend SEC Rule 606 to require that broker-dealers disclose “enhanced information about the way they handle investors’ orders.”   Broadly speaking, these amendments will collectively enable managers to ...



SEC Rule 606 Update


What You Need to Know Now!


Michael Earlywine – SVP, Channel Partner Sales, Abel Noser Solutions


November 4, 2019


The SEC has finalized their comments on the revised Rule 606. Barring any last-minute changes, the implementation dates are now set. Read on to view a compliance date matrix. Here are also some thoughts on the 606 timeline (including some not so obvious implications) ...



More Transparency Required

A Quick Review of the Amended SEC Rule 606


Michael Earlywine – SVP, Channel Partner Sales, Abel Noser Solutions


April 25, 2019


In this second article of our series on the growing regulatory focus on best execution, we’re taking a quick look at the recently adopted amendments to the SEC Rule 606 “that will require broker-dealers to disclose to investors new and enhanced information about the way they handle investors’ orders.”1  Despite the changes and delays common to regulatory evolution, the new 606 reporting requirement deadlines are fast approaching.  More importantly, the updated rule holds the potential to transform the traditional broker/client relationship.



Best Execution Requires More than a Midpoint Print and a Low Commission

Advisers, managers and brokers need a systematic approach to comply with their ever-growing best execution responsibilities


Michael Earlywine – SVP, Channel Partner Sales, Abel Noser Solutions


March 12, 2019


When confounded by the threshold test for obscenity in 1964, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Potter Stewart, famously remarked “I know it when I see it."  To a great degree, the same is often said about best execution in the securities market.   Traders and managers will often struggle to explain or define best execution but consistently profess “I know it when I see it” or, just as often, “I know it when I don’t see it!”


But with last year’s introduction of MiFID II/PRIIPs in Europe, and the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) alert memo on best execution, and this year’s restructuring of the 606 broker execution reporting requirements, the days of “I know it when I see it” are certainly past. ...



The Impact of Passive Investing on Intraday Liquidity


When the Volume Smile Turns into a Volume Smirk

Michael Earlywine – SVP, Channel Partner Sales, Abel Noser Solutions


Index tracking portfolios currently hold more than 29% of US stocks and are projected to top 50% as soon as 2021, according to Moody’s Investor Service.  Less conservative projections suggest that passive investors are on track to own 100% - that is to say, everything - by 2030.  This idea is implausible for any number of reasons, and of course  we do not expect ...



Working with Abel Noser Solutions


There are a number of ways a company can work with us to experience our best-in-class products and services:

  • Direct Clients - Direct clients receive products and industry-leading services directly from Abel Noser Solutions.
  • Strategic Partners - We have also developed a network of partners who we work closely with to ultimately deliver our products and services.
  • Distributor - In a typical distributor partnership, Abel Noser Solutions operates as a wholesaler, delivering TCA services through a reseller to its clients. Resellers, usually prime brokers, brokers, correspondent clearing firms, and custody clients, pursue opportunities with their own sales forces using Abel Noser TCA products that can be "white-labeled" or re-branded.
  • Referral - In a referral relationship, partners such as brokers and consultants can actively sell our services to their clients in return for revenue sharing with Abel Noser Solutions.


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