August 16 2016

elb2

As expected the parish is pretty quiet – Europe celebrated the middle of summer holidays yesterday with festive traffic jams while Poland commemorated victory over Russia’s Communists in 1920. Remarkably both seemed to involve lots of people going to beaches, even though I thought General Pilsudski’s finest military hour came at the Battle of Warsaw, not a summer splash on the Baltic coast…

Exchange News: not much really but on scanning the headlines:

Good numbers from JSE which is assiduously protecting its monopoly in South Africa, the nation the world’s media have just realised is in fact a fetid mess and not a wondrous post apartheid perfection. At least JSE extracts a decent profit from the middle of what is  a challenging government and economic situation.

Breaking news is the approval of HK-Shenzhen Connect by Chinese authorities – another route for the through train alongside Shanghai.

Meanwhile, on Friday IEX launches its full exchange – or a speed bump/chicane which might upset some HFT bots but wouldn’t be likely to encumber Usain Bolt from winning another gold medal.

Otherwise it’s pretty quiet on all fronts in the parish with one very sad piece of news, the demise of former ASX CTO Rory Richmond-Collins.

Amongst those who helped fuel the capital market revolution (in all senses), Rory was an original; a definitive bon vivant whose impact on the world of markets is rather difficult to finitely assess, such is its international significance. Suffice to say if you meet an Australian in capital markets technology over the age of 40, the likelihood they didn’t in some way incur the inspirational “wonder of it all” from Rory, is slim. Like, I’m going to win an Olympic gold medal competing against Simone Biles, slim.

Born in England, Rory was not just the CTO of the Australian Stock Exchange who drove the business electronic. Rather, Rory was a gentlemanly inspiration for a generation of revolutionaries and he did it all with boundless good humour, a glass of decent wine and, cementing my personal admiration, he was a wondrous classic car aficionado too (competing in the Targa Tasmania amongst other historic events).

Rory described that momentous first move from floor to screen of a major bourse in the delightful musing: “It was a bit like changing the engines on a Boeing 747 while in mid air.” (That the date for the cash equity upheaval had been set for the seemingly innocuous date of Monday October 19th, 1987 at a planning meetings months earlier, was merely a side issue in this chapter of capital market revolution).

Rory was a wonderful man, a profound influence on my worldview and as a mentor to myself and many others, simply second to none. His legacy continues to inspire a distributed group of followers throughout the world of finance and technology.

A memorial celebration to Rory’s life will be held at Laurelbank Cottage, 85 Penshurst St Willoughby, Sydney, NSW, Australia from 2pm this Friday August 19th.  Frankly even to incorporate a microscopically tiny percentage of Rory’s magnificent stories and witticisms, not to say brilliant insights into technology, markets and life as a whole, be prepared, this event may take weeks…

My condolences to Rory’s sons Seamus & Toby and my most sincere regrets that I cannot attend this celebration of the life of a man who was great both within and far beyond our exchange parish.

Of the many fabulous remarks I can readily recall from Rory’s marvellous management style, I will choose only one. Observing a passionate argument which at first sight appeared to be utterly insoluble, Rory calmed proceedings immediately with the wondrously sagely: “If I may just interrupt, I think you  find yourselves in heated agreement!” and proceeded to deftly and diplomatically demonstrate the consensus which had been so profusely disputed just moments before…

This special edition of Exchange Invest is entirely dedicated to the memory of the wonderful Rory Richmond-Collins for his contribution to not merely the parish but indeed life in general.

 

 

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