Marco Polo and Rosenblatt Ally to Offer Foreign Brokers Enhanced Trading Services and Distribution to US Institutional Customers

NEW YORKNov. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Marco Polo Exchange ("MPX") is delighted to announce an agreement with Rosenblatt Securities to expand the distribution and execution services available to MPX's client base of foreign securities firms accessing US markets under SEC Exchange Act Rule 15a-6.   As part of the collaboration, MPX will offer its industry-leading chaperone and distribution automation solution to Rosenblatt's existing universe of chaperoned brokers.  In turn, Rosenblatt will offer MPX's customers privileged access to Rosenblatt's US and international equity trading services and extensive buy-side relationships.

"We have long been an advocate of expanding US institutional investor access to the universe of international investment opportunities and have offered bespoke services to a dozen or so leading foreign brokers for the past several years to foster that," said Joe Gawronski, CEO of Rosenblatt Securities.  "MPX has invested heavily in technology and created the industry-leading compliance and distribution solution for foreign brokers.  With the scale its portal has achieved through onboarding dozens of clients already, offering our foreign broker partners the opportunity to leverage MPX's centralized distribution and agile compliance platform is a no-brainer."

Rosenblatt's Head of Execution Services, Jourdain Frain, added: "And it's a perfect match as we can continue to serve our foreign broker partners' US and international equity execution needs, as well as open up Marco Polo's existing roster of broker offerings to our large US buy-side customer base."

Steve Carlson, President of Marco Polo Securities, noted: "This combination of Rosenblatt's buy-side relationships and leadership in high touch and electronic execution with our tracking, reporting, and deal management tools, creates the first true hub for foreign firms seeking to market their products to the world's largest market in a transparent, rules-driven framework. Over the past two years, we have invested in bringing a new level of automation and analytics to cross-border workflows, creating a destination for the buy side to see the products and transact with foreign securities firms in a compliant manner.  Today, hundreds of foreign firms seek to promote their products to US investors, either violating US compliance rules or simply avoiding the US altogether out of respect for our rules.  MPX is an invitation to bring that era to an end!"

Martin Hakker, Chief Revenue Officer of MPX, added: "I have known Rosenblatt Securities for a very long time and admired the care and intelligence with which they have built the largest NYSE floor broker and the leading global market structure intelligence product, as well as become one of the most respected and trusted equities boutiques overall in the US.  We look forward to incorporating Rosenblatt's trading capabilities and institutional reach as part of our offering to international securities firms."

About Marco Polo:  Marco Polo Exchange (MPX) is a Delaware-incorporated financial service and technology firm dedicated to expanding cross-border capital raising and investing. We leverage specialist regulatory licenses, blockchain, AI technologies, and ESG compliance to match global buyers with local issuance and investment opportunities. Our mission is to lower the cost of capital for SMEs around the world. Our broker-dealer, Marco Polo Securities, is the leading 15a-6 chaperone broker in the US markets.
For more information, please visit

About Rosenblatt Securities: Rosenblatt Securities is a boutique tech research firm, investment bank, and independent institutional brokerage founded in 1979 and headquartered in New York. The firm is the largest floor broker on the New York Stock Exchange and provides industry-leading market-structure analysis, global technology and fintech equity research, consulting and investment-banking services to a wide variety of clients globally, including institutional investors, exchanges, regulators, technology companies, banks, brokers and proprietary trading firms. In 2021 the firm was named Best Firm for Market Structure & Execution Consulting by Financial News. It also has been named two years running to Institutional Investor's FinTech Finance 40 list. For more information, please visit

David Snyder

SOURCE Marco Polo Exchange LLC

Alternative Asset Tokenization

Deloitte - The Dots Luxembourg - Alternative Asset Tokenization

Here’s a shoutout to Wednesday’s Finverse Forum at The Dots Luxembourg! It was a pleasure to sponsor this stellar metaverse event around alternative asset tokenization platforms and technology enablers.

Let’s give a hand to Thibault CholletJean-Paul ScheurenGabriel Übleis, CAIADominik KaraAntonio V., Otto NinoJohn Cronin and Florian Le Goff for providing lots of food for thought.

Blockchain startup to help SMEs access ESG capital

Blockchain startup to help SMEs access ESG capital

Blockchain startup to help SMEs access ESG capital

Small and medium enterprises are seen as the backbone of the net zero approach to the climate. But the vast majority of them lack the financing to implement their environmental, social, and governance ( ESG) programmes. A New York City based start-up named Marco Polo Exchange (MPX) is rolling out its POLO marketplace to help at least 150,000 SMEs overcome these challenges. 

As part of this, MPX has announced plans to invite this September a handful of global institutions such as investment banks, asset managers, impact capital funds and ESG standard boards to become early adopters of the solution.  The company has also announced the launching of the POLO platform at year end, with an initial focus on Brazil, which is a global leader in ESG products & issuance.

“SMEs or small and medium enterprises, as you may know, have big challenges in terms of accessing technology and appropriate infrastructure to access funding that will allow them to become ESG compliant and lower their carbon footprint,” said Otto Nino, MPX’s chief product officer, at the May Finverse Forum event in Luxembourg.

Lacking proper resources

Nino presented a survey from the SME Climate Hub that shows that almost 70% of world-wide SMEs “do not have the proper resources to implement their ESG compliance programmes.” Partly this is due to constraints involving regulatory barriers or adequate infrastructure to access liquidity from worldwide investors facing SMEs.

To resolve this problem, MPX has created a platform bringing together its regulatory licenses and blockchain. “This is the first online blockchain-driven platform that allows local investment managers or issuers of financial assets to embed, meaning incorporate the ESG criteria, and ESG compliance into the assets via the tokenisation of such assets.”

Nino outlined a use case involving and SME that wants to change its energy usage. “And they’re situated in Australia, but the main pool of funding that could be available or interest in investing in a project like that sits in Luxembourg or the US or the UK,” Nino explained. “Without the proper technology channels, those issuances or that need for capital and funding will not be seen by this by those investors.”

Cumbersome & costly

He explained that the SMEs also need help to overcome regulatory barriers that might impose many “cumbersome and costly” processes in order to access the funding.

What the POLO platform does, Nino explained, is streamline the primary issuance of the securities; capital issuance and their distribution. He said tokenisation adds a lot of value, and that later, secondary trading “will enable the liquidity for those financial assets issued by SMEs”.

“Basically what we’re doing is combining in one single environment online with the help of blockchain, the regulatory compliance, the ESG compliance and the reporting and distribution for the investor community around the world.”

Nino pointed out that ESG compliance has faced serious challenges as to the validity and certification of such assets. “Blockchain, via the decentralisation and consensus mechanism, allows us to secure that certainty for the investors.” He added that blockchain’s ability to enable fractional ownership, which makes it more efficient and less expensive to be able to access investments or asset classes.

Smart contracts

Smart contracts, another feature of blockchain platforms, Nino explained, allow the incorporation of the characteristics and attributes that certify ESG compliance without the cumbersome and costly processes of other approaches. “It allows us to, as the volume grows, standardise what any ESG-certified security will look like and how it will be traded.”

Nino said smart contracts play a big role in permitting Polo to lower barriers, but also provides redundancy and technical transparency in term of the certification of the transactions. Blockchain allows us to have an audit trail giving certainty as to the immutability of the records. “So when we are portraying in our platform for an ESG SME issuer that an asset is ESG certified . . . there is certainty that that quality and that information will not be tampered with and is secure and easily accessible.

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SC Lowy

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) -China will launch a real estate fund to help property developers resolve a crippling debt crisis, aiming for a warchest of up to 300 billion yuan ($44 billion) in a bid to restore confidence in the industry, according to a state bank official with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move would mark the first major step by the state to rescue the beleaguered property sector since the debt troubles became public last year.

The size of the fund would initially be set at 80 billion yuan through support from the central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the person, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters.

He said state-owned China Construction Bank (OTC:CICHF) will contribute 50 billion yuan into the 80 billion yuan fund, but the money will come from PBOC’s relending facility.

If the model works, other banks will follow suit with a target to raise up to 200 to 300 billion yuan, he added.

A key pillar of the world’s second-largest economy, China’s property sector has been lurching from one crisis to another, and has been a major drag on growth over the past year. A revolt by homebuyers this month heaped more headache for authorities.

Some analysts said a fund would only provide part of the solution.

“We don’t know details of the fund yet. If just 80 billion it’s not enough to solve the problem,” said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie. “I believe the fund would be part of the bigger package to solve the current debt and mortgage crisis, because it alone would not solve all the problems … we need a real estate recovery.”

Reuters has reached out for comment from China Construction Bank, the PBOC and China’s cabinet, the State Council.

Global investors are fixated on any twists and turns in China’s property market, which along with related sectors such as construction, accounts for more than a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The source said the fund will be used to bankroll the purchases of unfinished home projects and complete their construction, and then rent them to individuals as part of the government’s drive to boost rental housing.

Such a move would underline the importance the central government attaches to providing more affordable homes for young people at a time when some local governments have been reluctant to build rental housing because land sales are a major source of income.

Henan-government backed Zhengzhou Real Estate, which set up one of the first local bailout funds in the country last week with state-owned Henan Asset Management amid the mortgage boycott, plans to use 20 billion yuan to acquire 50,000 units and turn them into rental housing, according to a notice by the Zhengzhou authorities this month seen by Reuters.

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LatAm Investor

How long can Latin America resist higher inflation and interest rates?

So far this year Latin America's economies have proved surprisingly resilient. Pollyanna De Lima, from S&P Global crunches the latest data and forecasts to explore the economic outlook for the region...


Latin American nations displayed considerable economic resilience during the second quarter of 2022, according to S&P Global’s PMI data, despite significant global headwinds. The outlook remains cloudy, however, as the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia continue to exacerbate price pressures, thereby underpinning monetary policy tightening. Other challenges include ongoing disruptions to supply chains and political uncertainty, while the cost-of-living crisis and rising interest rates are expected to restrict consumption and investment.

In the opening quarter of the year, gross domestic product in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico all expanded by 1.0% from the preceding period, with only Mexico having failed to see a return to pre-pandemic levels. Since then, our timelier indicator — the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — strengthened and thereby signalled a more robust performance for the second quarter.

Despite a challenging global economic environment, and in line with stronger PMI results for Q2, our full-year forecasts for 2022 have been revised higher. GDP growth is expected to hit 6.2% in Colombia and 1.5% in both Brazil and Mexico. Included in the forecast assumptions are expectations of a slowdown in growth towards the end of the year, as higher borrowing costs and surging inflation dampen consumption and investment. On the monetary policy front, we anticipate year-end policy rates of 13.5%, 8.5% and 9.5% in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico respectively.

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Substantive Research LTD

After 5 years of no-action letters and extensions, the SEC has announced that from July 2023 US providers will no longer be able to accept hard dollar payments from asset managers for research (with the exception of those registered as investment advisors)

Read more below...

SEC Staff Pulls Rug Out From Under ‘Hard Dollar’ Research Arrangements

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The Long and Winding Road to Financial Reporting Standards

2022 Review of Shareholder Activism

Mary Ann Deignan is Managing Director; Rich Thomas is Managing Director and Head of European Shareholder Advisory; and Christopher Couvelier is Managing Director at Lazard. This post is based on a Lazard memorandum by Ms. Deignan, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Couvelier, Emel Kayihan, Antonin Deslandes, and Leah Friedman.

Related research from the Program on Corporate Governance includes The Long-Term Effects of Hedge Fund Activism (discussed on the Forum here) by Lucian Bebchuk, Alon Brav, and Wei JiangDancing with Activists (discussed on the Forum here) by Lucian Bebchuk, Alon Brav, Wei Jiang, and Thomas Keusch; and Who Bleeds When the Wolves Bite? A Flesh-and-Blood Perspective on Hedge Fund Activism and Our Strange Corporate Governance System (discussed on the Forum here) by Leo E. Strine, Jr.

Observations on Global Activism Environment H1 2022

Activity Slows vs. Q1 but Remains Robust

  • Despite a challenging investing environment in 2022, activity remains elevated—Q2 was the second most active quarter in the past five quarters
  • Global campaign activity for Q2 (53 campaigns) down 27% vs. Q1, in line with Q1/Q2 pattern of recent years
  • Regionally, the decline was most acute in the U.S., where activity materially declined by 50%
  • By contrast, Europe saw a strong Q2 with a 33% increase over Q1 levels

Technology Repositions as the Most Active Sector

  • Technology companies accounted for 1 out of every 4 activist targets in Q2, resulting in Technology being the most targeted sector in H1
  • Software, Services and Internet were the most active subsectors
  • Primary activist objectives in Technology campaigns are in line with key themes across other sectors, with M&A, strategy and capital allocation dominating the narrative 

First Timers Break Records and Diversify the Field

  • First time activists accounted for 37% of all activists launching campaigns in H1, the highest level in recent years
  • In addition, campaigns were more dispersed across the universe of activists, with the top 5 most prolific activists accounting for 19% of all campaigns in H1, which is below the concentration levels observed over the past 5 years
  • The H1 top activists feature a broad range of investor types including established global players, regional and sector focused funds, and increasingly active ESG specialists and occasional activists


Financial Regulation, Corporate Governance, and the Hidden Costs of Clearinghouses

Paolo Saguato is Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. This post is based on his recent article, published in the Ohio State Law Journal.

Recent financial market events have splashed onto the front pages of newspapers the often-overlooked plumbing found in those markets: the clearinghouses that handle trillions of dollars’ worth of securities and derivatives trades. During the Robinhood and GameStop events, the National Securities Clearing Corporation, a securities clearinghouse, played a critical role when it required Robinhood to provide collateral to guaranty its open positions. And recently, FTX US Derivatives, a cryptocurrency exchange, brought further attention to the clearing business and the critical risk mitigation and containment function it provides to the financial system when it applied to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to offer clearing services for non-intermediated margined crypto derivatives.

Given the magnitude of the trades crisscrossing clearinghouses every day, these vital market infrastructures warrant more scrutiny than they have received. My article calls for policymakers to focus on the existing governance and financial structure of clearinghouses and urges them to seriously address a critical open issue in their organization: the misaligned incentives across clearinghouses’ main stakeholders—particularly their shareholders and their members—and how that misalignment might affect clearinghouses’ risk profile and financial resilience.

Clearinghouses are, in fact, corporations with a unique financial structure. Clearing members are financial institutions that access clearing services. While such members are the ultimate risk bearers of the business, they lack any formal governance rights over the firm. Instead, clearinghouses are controlled by their shareholders, who are large publicly-listed for-profit financial infrastructure groups. These shareholders retain all governance rights, yet have extremely limited financial skin in the game.


Delaware M&A Developments

Andre BouchardKyle Seifried and Jaren Janghorbani are Partners at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This post is based on a Paul, Weiss memorandum by Mr. Bouchard, Mr. Seifreid, Ms. Janghorbani, Laura C. Turano, and Ross A. Fieldston, and is part of the Delaware law series; links to other posts in the series are available here.

In Totta v. CCSB Financial Corp., the Delaware Court of Chancery, in an opinion by Chancellor McCormick, held that a charter provision that gave the board “conclusive and binding” authority to construe the charter’s terms did not alter the standard of review applicable to fiduciary duty claims related to those board decisions. The applicable charter provision prohibited a stockholder from exercising more than 10% of the company’s voting power. In the face of a proxy contest, the board adopted a new interpretation of that voting limitation allowing the board to aggregate the holdings of multiple stockholders that the board determined to be acting in concert. Relying on that new interpretation, the board instructed the inspector of elections not to count any votes above the 10% limit submitted by the insurgent, its affiliates or its nominees. This instruction was outcome determinative and the insurgents brought suit to invalidate the board’s instruction to the inspector of elections. The company argued that the court was required to uphold the instruction based on the board’s “conclusive and binding” interpretation of the charter provision. The court rejected that argument, reasoning that a corporate charter (unlike an alternative entity’s organizational documents) cannot modify the standards by which director actions are reviewed, and that the board’s self-serving and new interpretation of the voting limitation in the face of a live proxy contest was inequitable because the board did not have a “compelling justification” under the Blasius standard of review for their interference with the election. Because the board’s actions were inequitable, the court ordered the inspector of elections to disregard the board’s instruction and count the insurgent’s votes that had previously been excluded.

ESG Investing

WEBINAR | CFA ESG Exam Tips and Strategies

Event by alma mundus
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (your local time)

Short Introduction to GRI standards

A Short Introduction to GRI Standards

The foundation of sustainability reporting is for an organization to identify and prioritize its impacts on the economy, environment, and people - to be transparent about their impacts.


Distributed Renewable Energy Sources - Africa


For many rural customers in Africa, distributed renewable energy sources such as mini-grids represent a cheaper alternative to diesel generators or main grid extension. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Africa Energy Outlook 2022, “mini-grids and stand-alone systems, mostly solar based, are the most viable solutions,” to reaching universal energy access in Africa by 2030.

💡 Crossboundary’s Mini-Grid Innovation Lab works to test, iterate and analyze data on the factors that impact the commercial viability and reliability of mini-grids.

The Lab recently took a closer look at consumption patterns, finding reliable power boosts consumption by ~9X.

Here’s why this matters:

📉 Unreliable power hinders African businesses and commercial enterprises

African businesses have a hard time reaching their full potential without access to constant power. Lack of reliable power is consistently cited as one of the top challenges African businesses face today.

These businesses are the highest-consuming customer segment for mini-gids, and they have zero tolerance for unreliable power – they will adopt expensive alternatives such as diesel generators or scale back operations to maintain some profitability.

Growing African businesses is key to economic development on the continent. According to The World Bank findings, there is a strong negative relationship between power outages and employment that reduces the probability of employment by approximately 35% in a community.

📈 Customers reward reliable power by consuming ~9X more

Our data from more than 67 mini-grid sites supports this finding – we calculated a grid score for each site based on an assessment of whether the grid was on or off as indicated by smart-meter data. We then conducted a clustering analysis to group these sites into low, medium, and high-reliability sites.

The analysis shows that the average consumption per user (ACPU) on sites with the highest grid scores is ~9X higher.

⚡️ This data highlights the importance of reliable, stable supply of power in supporting commercial enterprises and ultimately mini-grid economic viability. Though mini-grids are often more reliable than the main grid, operators cannot be complacent in maintaining their quality of service.

➡ Read more about taking the electric brake off African enterprise:

Check back for regular updates from CrossBoundary’s Mini-Grid Innovation Lab, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, as we test and iterate on mini-grid innovations designed to close the gap on the 618 million Africans who do not have power.

#minigrids #energyaccess #renewableenergy