Institutional Investor: The 2018 Trading Tech 40

April, 2018

By Jeffrey Kutler

To get past the buzzwords, look no further than the trading business and the innovative leaders spotlighted in Institutional Investor’s annual Trading Technology 40.

The Trading Technology 40 were selected by Institutional Investoreditors, taking into account nominations and other input from industry experts. The leadership criteria include recent and career accomplishments including contributions to individual companies and to the industry at large, scope and complexity of executive responsibilities, and pure technological innovation.

The ranking was compiled under the direction of Senior Contributing Editor Jeffrey Kutler. Individual profiles were written by Kutler, Allen T. Cheng, and Senior Writer Julie Segal.

 

20: Alasdair Haynes

Chief Executive Officer, Aquis Exchange

The measure of an upstart stock exchange is market share. Aquis Exchange, taking on top dogs like Cboe Global Markets, Euronext, and London Stock Exchange Group in each of 14 European markets, had a market share of 2.1 percent at year-end — double what it owned two years prior. “We had 4.7 percent of the Swiss market in December, and more than 3 percent of the Scandinavian markets,” notes CEO Alasdair Haynes, 58, who launched London-based Aquis in 2013. “We are a meaningful player in major markets.”Another read on the statistics: “Our share of actual liquidity — that which is available for trade at the European best bid and offer — is 15 percent,” which, Haynes says, bests several competitors and indicates the direction in which the overall percentage is headed.

Haynes, formerly CEO of Chi-X Europe, has stressed the need for patience, and slowly but surely, the results are validating his subscription pricing strategy, low cost structure, and prohibition of “aggressive, non-client, proprietary trading.” Meanwhile, the Aquis Technologies unit is making progress licensing the Aquis multi-asset-class matching engine and exchange system and Aquis Market Surveillance “regtech” software for compliance, trade supervision, and abuse detection. The exchange technology went live last year at A2X Markets in South Africa, and UBS’s multilateral trading facility became an AMS customer in January.

Early this year, Aquis Technologies launched Aquis Market Gateway for systematic internalization, or bilateral trading with counterparties, to conform with MiFID II rules that disallow multilateral broker-crossing networks. As of mid-January, Aquis had agreements with ten firms to use the gateway.

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