Waters Rankings 2019: Best Crossing Network Provider: Instinet

Waters Rankings 2019

Liquidity is all-important in the capital markets—this is no secret. But sourcing for liquidity remains a big challenge: It’s hard to find and is often fragmented, particularly as more trades are electronically executed. This has resulted in smaller trade sizes while the risk of information leakage has increased, which in turn leads to an impact in price and slippage in performance expectations.

This is where Instinet’s BlockCross—the winner of the best crossing network provider category—has made a difference. The alternative trading system (ATS) offers users smart and configurable opportunities to aggregate quality liquidity from buy- and sell-side counterparties, and execute block-like transactions. BlockCross’ conditional-order and proprietary-order blotter integration creates opportunities to execute large trades efficiently and anonymously, minimizing market impact.

In the past year, Instinet, a subsidiary of Nomura, has kept busy with enhancements to the platform that seeks to address the liquidity challenge. Mark Govoni, president of Instinet, LLC (the Americas), says it enabled the BlockCross graphical user interface (GUI) access to Instinet’s advanced suite of algorithms and drove more liquidity into its ATS. Instinet doubled the platform’s volume and now trades in more than 4,500 symbols.

Instinet completed the purchase of BlockCross from State Street in August 2017. By tapping into Instinet’s broad client base, the number of firms and diversity of participants in BlockCross has grown—it now serves over 100 new firms.

Instinet is looking to expand BlockCross’ global presence. It expects to offer US BlockCross clients the opportunity to trade EMEA stocks soon. It is also working on capabilities to launch the platform’s conditional order management capabilities of BlockCross in EMEA and APAC.

The firm also brought Ralston Roberts over as CEO in December 2018, after previous CEO Jonathan Kellner left to head the Members Exchange (MEMX), an equities venue formed by a group of nine financial services firms.

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