The Spire Awards recognise excellence in SA’s fixed income, currency and commodity derivatives markets


A total of 35 honours were handed out at the 12th Spire Awards, presented by the JSE in November, with RMB taking the top spot as overall winner for best fixed income and currencies house. Absa Capital was second and Standard Bank third. The Spire Awards were voted for by clients and the voting period was from October 8–16. The awards were sponsored by I-Net Bridge and Thomson Reuters.

‘Congratulations to RMB and all of the companies who ranked highly in the various categories. Every year we are faced with a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, which lends substantial credibility to the awards since the rankings are determined by clients.

‘Many different groups have the opportunity to be recognised, with categories being adapted slightly each year based on market input so as to ensure that all areas of the industry receive due consideration and recognition as part of the awards process,’ said Graham Smale, JSE Director: Bonds and Financial Derivatives.

In 2013, there were two new categories for JSE commodity derivatives members – best broker for listed commodity derivatives, which went to RMD Financial Services, and best market making team for cash settled commodity derivatives, which RMB took.

‘The success of our local commodity derivatives market is thanks to support from committed brokers. These new awards are great acknowledgement of this hard work,’ said Chris Sturgess, JSE Director: Commodity Derivatives.

Of the 35 Spire Awards‚ six were for research.

The Spire Awards were a great accolade to bestow on top performers who had contributed to the development of the market

Barbara Arnold, executive of client services, marketing and next generation products at I-Net Bridge, said: ‘Having been involved with the JSE Spire Awards since inception, we were pleased to provide our continued support and audit the results this year.

‘Voter participation was up, a great achievement for the awards and the credibility thereof. The awards are highly respected and well supported every year, they give the industry an opportunity to recognise the teams and individuals it believes are the best in their fields.’

She said: ‘In 2013 the list of voters was cleaned up and consolidated making the vote calculation, done by the JSE, and the auditing, done by us, easier and cleaner. Voter turnout increased by 11% from 66% in 2012 to 77% of institutions voting in 2013.’

She said there were high level changes for 2013, including five voter categories as opposed to the previous year’s four; weighting adjustments in best bond house to give greater emphasis on market making; the separation of IRD and FX awards as well as African research being given a weight.

‘There are some interesting changes in the roll-up calculation planned for 2014/2015 and we look forward to seeing the effect of those on the results,’ she said.

Keith Nichols, managing director for Africa at Thomson Reuters, said: ‘In 2013, we’ve seen that a mature and efficient domestic bond market is critical to offering a wide range of opportunities for funding the government and private sector.

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He said the Spire Awards were a great accolade to bestow on those top performers who had contributed to the development of the market in SA. Nichols said Thomson Reuters was happy to join in celebrating the various successes.

In 2012 Absa Capital was named best fixed income house, as well as being recognised as the best bond house.

It, along with RMB, gathered the majority of the awards for that year‚ with RMB winning for credit research, debt origination and general fixed income‚ while Absa Capital came out tops for FX research.

By John Rossouw
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