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Ian Shea, Jane Street

Taking an interconnected and global approach


Jane Street: Best Market Maker/Authorised Participant (Commodity ETFs) & Best Market Maker/Authorised Participant (Fixed Income ETFs) – Q&A with Ian Shea, Head of Fixed Income, Europe and Asia, Jane Street.

What do you think lies behind you winning the award for Best Market Maker/Authorised Participant in Fixed Income ETFs and Commodities?

After 20 years of trading, we have developed deep cross-asset expertise and a uniquely collaborative culture that has positioned us to excel in trading nuanced products like commodities and fixed income ETFs. One of the key reasons we have been able to remain a leading liquidity provider is our interconnected global approach that combines technological efficiency and human insights. This approach gives us the flexibility to adjust our strategies when markets become volatile and allows us to adapt quickly to shifting environments like those we saw in 2020.

The scope of our liquidity providing, especially in fixed income and commodities ETFs, meant that it was important for us to remain a reliable partner especially as liquidity became scarce in February and March. Because of how we approach risk-management we are willing to commit our own capital and are able to hold risk for days, weeks, and longer durations as needed to help our clients accomplish their trading goals. This differentiating element allowed us to remain that reliable partner and enabled us to respond to market needs when others were forced to step away.

What changes and developments have there been to your offering over 2020?

Our liquidity providing has continued to grow alongside increasing adoption of ETFs, especially in areas like fixed income and commodities that saw substantial growth throughout 2020. In addition, segments such as UCITS ETFs, ETF options, and cash bond portfolio trading, which are all natural extensions of our activity in the US-listed ETF market, have been areas of growth for the firm. These business lines all work to support each other in our offering, both in providing more comprehensive cross-asset liquidity to our clients and in helping us build the expertise and inventory that allows us to do so at highly competitive prices.

What was the experience of the company during the early volatility of 2020 and during the work from home experience caused by the pandemic?

Our technology personnel did a tremendous job enabling and supporting various work-from-home and work-from-office configurations as Covid-19 spread to different parts of the world. 

The team’s agility and innovative thinking allowed us to seamlessly interact with our clients and with each other despite being physically separated.

What plans do you have as a firm going forward?

We’re always looking for new ways to support the ETF markets, whether by expanding our offering into new markets, strengthening our partnerships, or extending the reach of our existing offering. 

We will continue promoting new and innovative ETFs across global markets through our seeding activity and by serving as lead market maker and authorised participant. As ETF adoption continues to increase and product structures continue to evolve, we look forward to using our position as a leading liquidity provider to meet market demands. 

Ian Shea, Head of Fixed Income, Europe and Asia, Jane Street
Ian Shea is Jane Street’s Head of Fixed Income for Europe and Asia. In this role, Ian oversees the firm’s fixed income strategies, which include trading ETFs and credit portfolios as well as utilising electronic platforms. He also manages the strategic development of Jane Street’s client-facing businesses across the two regions. Ian started in Jane Street’s New York office where he worked on the equities and fixed income teams before moving to the London office in 2010. During his tenure in the UK, he helped launch the firm’s fixed income trading and ETF client business in London. Ian holds a BS in Engineering with honours in Operations Research & Financial Engineering from Princeton University. He grew up in Washington DC and is fluent in Spanish. His travels and work have brought him friends and family across the globe.

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