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Eventus Systems Appoints First Outside Directors with Three Industry Veterans



Eventus Systems Appoints First Outside Directors with Three Industry Veterans

Kim Taylor, Fred Hatfield and Keith Ross Join Board of Growing RegTech Firm

AUSTIN, Texas– Eventus Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative regtech software solutions for the capital markets, today announced that it has appointed three highly acclaimed industry veterans as the first outside directors on its Board.

The newly constituted Board will meet for the first time this afternoon. The new Board members are Kim Taylor, former President, Clearing and Post-Trade Services at CME Group; Fred Hatfield, former Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and D. Keith Ross, Jr., Executive Chairman of PDQ Enterprises, parent company to broker-dealer and independent Alternative Trading System CODA Markets (formerly PDQ ATS), and former CEO of GETCO LLC.

Eventus CEO Travis Schwab said: “We are truly fortunate to add three of the best minds in the industry to our Board as we continue growing our presence in the marketplace and helping our clients solve some of the most vexing challenges in trade surveillance, compliance and risk management. The expansion of our Board with outside directors is a natural step for us as we mature as an organization, but we are especially pleased to benefit from the strategic counsel of these talented, highly experienced professionals – Kim with her outstanding futures, clearing and risk management background; Fred with his derivatives regulatory and energy market expertise, and Keith with his incredible grounding in equities and market structure.”

Also serving on the board are Schwab and Richard Gorelick, a seed investor and Head of Market Structure for DRW.

Prior to retiring from her role as President, Clearing and Post-Trade Services at CME Group in December 2017, Taylor was President, Global Operations, Technology & Risk from September 2014 to December 2016. Previously she was President of the CME Clearing House since 2004, when CME began also clearing all Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) contracts. She led the clearing house through the challenges of CME’s subsequent acquisitions of CBOT and the New York Mercantile Exchange, as well as the 2008 financial crisis and the MF Global bankruptcy in 2011. She first joined CME in 1989 as an analyst, assuming responsibility in 1998 for risk management in the Clearing House and earning various promotions in ensuing years. In 2014, Crain’s Chicago Business named Taylor number nine on its list of the top 20 most powerful women in Chicago business.

Hatfield was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2004 as a CFTC Commissioner. He was sworn in that December and served through 2006. Prior to joining the CFTC, he was Chief of Staff to Senator and Assistant Minority Whip John Breaux (D-LA) from 1995 to 2004, and previously to House Majority Whip, U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho (D-CA), from 1980 to 1989. In 1998, Hatfield was Deputy Commissioner General of the U.S. Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Lisbon, Portugal. He has been a director of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) since 2007, currently also serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ICE Futures U.S. Hatfield is the founder of Hatfield Advisory Services and is a senior advisor at Patomak Global Partners. He also serves on the Board of Pinpoint Global Communications, which provides learning management systems and regulatory compliance tools for financial services and health care companies.

With more than 35 years of experience in the securities industry, Ross previously served as CEO of PDQ Enterprises, having joined the firm in 2006. During his tenure as CEO of proprietary trading firm GETCO from 2002 to 2005, he expanded the firm’s electronic trading and market making activities from equities to fixed income and foreign exchange. Ross began his career as an options analyst and later became a member and registered options trader on the floor of the American Stock Exchange. In 1983, he formed Ceres Partners, a trading firm specializing in risk arbitrage and options market making. From 1988 to 1999, he was a member and market maker of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (now Cboe Global Markets).

Ross said: “In 2016, CODA Markets was an early adopter of Eventus Systems’ Validus surveillance and risk software platform, and I remain enthusiastic about the technology and the company’s prospects for the future. As a customer, we’ve seen first-hand what a tremendous impact Validus can have – ensuring a robust surveillance program and vastly simplified procedures, leading to substantial operational efficiencies.  I’m looking forward to deepening my ties even further as a Board member.”

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Climate extremes seen harming unborn babies in Brazil’s Amazon



Climate extremes seen harming unborn babies in Brazil's Amazon 1

By Jack Graham

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new study that links extreme rains with lower birth weights in Brazil’s Amazon region underscores the long-term health impacts of weather extremes connected to climate change, researchers said on Monday.

Exceptionally heavy rain and floods during pregnancy were linked to lower birth weight and premature births in Brazil’s northern Amazonas state, according to the researchers from Britain’s Lancaster University and the FIOCRUZ health research institute.

They compared nearly 300,000 births over 11 years with local weather data and found babies born after extreme rainfall were more likely to have low birth weights, which is linked to worse educational, health and even income attainment as adults.

Even non-extreme intense rainfall was linked to a 40% higher chance of a child being low birth-weight, according to the study, published on Monday in the Nature Sustainability journal.

Co-author Luke Parry said heavy rains and flooding could cause increases in infectious diseases like malaria, shortages of food and mental health issues in pregnant women, leading to lower birth weights.

“It’s an example of climate injustice, because these mothers and these communities are very, very far from deforestation frontiers in the Amazon,” Parry told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“They’ve contributed very little to climate change but are being hit first and worst,” he added, saying he had been “surprised by just how severe these impacts are”.

Severe flooding on the Amazon river is five times more common than just a few decades ago, according to a 2018 paper in the journal Science Advances.

Last week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited the neighbouring state of Acre in the Brazilian rainforest, which is under a state of emergency after heavy flooding.

Parry said local people had adapted their lifestyles to deal with climate change, but that “the extent of the extreme river levels and rainfalls has basically exceeded people’s adaptive capacities”.

The negative impacts were even worse for adolescent and indigenous mothers.

The study said the “long-term political neglect of provincial Amazonia” and “uneven development in Brazil” needed to be addressed to tackle the “double burden” of climate change and health inequalities.

It said policy interventions should include antenatal health coverage and transport for rural teenagers to finish high school, as well as improved early warning systems for floods.

(Reporting by Jack Graham; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit


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Energy leaders grapple with climate targets at virtual CERAWeek



Energy leaders grapple with climate targets at virtual CERAWeek 2

By Ron Bousso and Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global energy leaders and other luminaries like incoming Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy focused on the tough road to transforming world economies to a lower-carbon future at the kickoff of the world’s largest energy conference on Monday.

Numerous speakers at CERAWeek were prepared to talk about the energy transition and the need for future investment in renewables. But many oil and gas executives were vocal about the need for more fossil-fuel investment in coming years, even as a way of leading the world to a lower-carbon future.

“One of the most urgent things we can do to combat global warming is to back carbon-emitting companies that are committed to get to net zero,” said Bernard Looney, CEO of BP Plc, one of several European oil majors to have committed to ambitious targets of cutting emissions to reach net zero carbon by 2050.

CERAWeek was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which stopped billions of people from traveling and wiped out one-fifth of worldwide demand for fuel.

The U.S. fossil fuel industry is still reeling after tens of thousands of jobs were lost. The pandemic has instead accelerated the transition to renewable fuels and electrification of key elements of energy use. Global majors have been playing catch-up, responding to demands from investors to lower production of fuels that contribute to global warming.

The primary message on Monday, however, was that achieving net zero – where polluting emissions are offset by technologies that absorb carbon dioxide for the atmosphere – is going to be difficult.

“There just isn’t yet enough renewable energy to fuel all of the energy that people need. That’s in developed countries,” said Andy Jassy, head of Inc’s cloud division who will succeed Jeff Bezos as CEO this summer.

He said the company had announced its goal for net zero emissions at a time when it had not entirely figured out how to get there.

Since the 2019 conference, many of the world’s major oil companies have set ambitious goals to shift new investments to technologies that will reduce carbon emissions to slow global warming. BP has largely jettisoned its oil exploration team; U.S. auto giant General Motors Co announced plans to stop making gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles in 15 years.

Oil companies have come under increasing pressure from shareholders, governments and activists to show how they are changing their businesses from fossil fuels toward renewables, and to accelerate that transition. However, numerous speakers warned that the viability of certain technologies, such as hydrogen, remains far in the future.

Hydrogen “is a very small business at this point in time, it will scale up, and it will take a long time before it is a business that is large enough to start making a real difference on sort of planetary scale,” said Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.

Other speakers expected to appear include several representatives from national oil companies along with CEOs of Exxon Mobil, Total, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum, though many are participating in panels focusing on the energy transition.

Mohammed Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was scheduled to appear, but backed out, citing a conflict.

Some CEOs said more oil and gas investment was necessary.

“We don’t think peak oil is around the corner – we see oil demand growing for the next 10 years,” said John Hess, CEO of Hess Corp. “We’re not investing enough to grow oil and gas in the future,” he said, explaining that prices would need to rise to support that investment.

(Reporting By Ron Bousso, Jessica Resnick-Ault and Marianna Parraga; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici, Stephanie Kelly, Jeffrey Dastin and Gary McWilliams; writing by David Gaffen; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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AstraZeneca sells stake in vaccine maker Moderna for nearly $1 billion



AstraZeneca sells stake in vaccine maker Moderna for nearly $1 billion 3

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca sold its stake in rival COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna for roughly $1 billion over the course of last year as the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker cashed in on the meteoric rise in the U.S. company’s shares.

London-listed AstraZeneca recorded $1.38 billion in equity portfolio sales last year, with “a large proportion” of it coming from the Moderna sale, according its latest annual report.

Shares in Moderna, which went public in 2018 at $23 per share, surged more than five times last year after it began working on a COVID-19 vaccine based on a new mRNA technology that won U.S. approval in December.

Its shot relies on synthetic genes to send a message to the body’s immune system to build immunity and can be produced at a scale more rapidly than conventional vaccines like AstraZeneca’s.

Last week, Moderna said it was expecting $18.4 billion in sales from the vaccine this year, putting it on track for its first profit since its founding in 2010.

AstraZeneca began investing in Moderna in 2013, paying $240 million upfront and by the end of 2019 had built up its stake to 7.65%.

That would be worth about $3.2 billion based on Moderna’s 2020 closing stock price of $104.47, Reuters calculation showed.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine being developed with Oxford University has not been authorized in the United States and uses a weakened version of a chimpanzee common cold virus to deliver immunity-building proteins to the body.

In December, U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co said it had sold its equity investment in Moderna, but did not disclose the details of the sale proceeds.

Asset manager Baillie Gifford on Monday disclosed in a separate filing it now held 11% passive stake in Moderna as of Feb. 26.

Moderna shares were down 5% at $146.62 in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee, Pushkala Aripaka, Kanishka Singh and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Jason Neely, David Evans and Arun Koyyur)


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