Waters Rankings 2015: Best Crossing Network Provider ─ Instinet

Instinet wins for the second year in a row.

Brian Cashin and Earl Monroe

Instinet and its central limit order book (CLOB)-style dark pool CBX has once again taken the top spot among the industry's crossing network providers. It's the second straight year that Instinet, the New York-based, agency-only broker owned by Nomura, has won the category.

According to Tom Whelan, managing director for Instinet, the fact that CBX has no tiering or special internalization is one of the reasons why it's been voted by Waters' readers as the crossing network of choice for the second consecutive year.

"It's in an agency wrapper, and the fact that the technology is sound and we don't really have any issues, people can really count on it," Whelan says. "People like the liquidity that's there. You know exactly what you're getting with time-price priority."

Instinet's latest enhancements to the CBX platform this past year were a US Volume Weighted Average Price benchmark cross (VWAP cross) and Market On Close Cross benchmark cross (MOCX).

The former, according to Whelan, has seen good growth rates, doubling in size since last year. A significant reason for that increase is due to adjusting its messaging option. With the VWAP cross, which is forward priced, Instinet provides the option to hold on to the fills instead of issuing them back. Only a balance, not a trade, is given back, and the shares are held on to. This option proved to be better for some firms in terms of workflow, according to Whelan, and caused an increase in participation.

MOCX, which is currently in the midst of a soft release, allows firms to match, offsetting market on close orders. Instinet's product suite has access to MOCX, offering a workflow to route unfilled orders to various exchanges for the closing auction.

"Our consistency and our agency model are reasons that people trust us and come to all of our services and products every day," Whelan says. "I think sound technology, that's part of it. We're up and available every day and have very few problems."

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