Waters Rankings 2020: Best Crossing Network Provider—Instinet BlockCross

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Over the history of these awards, Instinet has topped this category numerous times thanks to its BlockCross platform, built to help institutional trading clients find quality and block-sized executions efficiently. Sourcing liquidity remains a challenge for Instinet’s buy-side trading clients, including fund and asset managers, as well as hedge funds. Particularly since the start of the year, the volatility in the markets has made it more important to find ways of getting into and out of large positions without triggering significant price impacts and experiencing negative selection—when prices move away immediately after executing a trade.

Ralston Roberts, global CEO at Instinet, says that is an erosion in performance quality that no one wants in any market. BlockCross allows clients to optimize management of their blotters with a range of order functionality, and to select the kinds of participants they want to interact with.

In 2019, Instinet launched trading in European securities on BlockCross, allowing clients in the US, Canada and Europe to trade European and US securities on the platform. This year, the company launched a “Preferred IOI” functionality, which streamlines how BlockCross clients interact with Instinet’s liquidity. Roberts says that through BlockCross, clients can respond to contra-side indications of interest (IOIs) generated by Instinet’s agency trading desk. “This functionality was developed in response to our clients’ demands for other sources of unique, natural liquidity and conditional order opportunities,” he says.

In July, Instinet and its parent company Nomura partnered with Wolfe Research in the US, proving Nomura’s and Instinet’s clients in the US and Japan with access to Wolfe’s US equity research, while Wolfe’s clients have access to Instinet’s execution capabilities, including BlockCross. Clients will be able to pay for their research via commission agreements and trade on the BlockCross platform, including Instinet’s full service and electronic desks.

Roberts says Instinet will continue to analyze strategies to expand its BlockCross offering, including developing plans to expand into Canadian and Asia-Pacific securities trading.

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