The Trade: Aquis appoints Spanbroek as director

April 15, 2013

European trading veteran Mark Spanbroek has been appointed non-executive director of new European equities trading venue Aquis Exchange. Spanbroek – who will continue in his current role as secretary-general and vice-chairman of the Futures and Industry Association’s European Principal Traders Association, a high-frequency lobby group – will help drive strategy for the new exchange as it prepares for a mid-year launch. Aquis is awaiting regulatory approval from the UK markets watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority after submitting an application to operate as a multilateral trading facility (MTF) in October. The alternative venue will operate on a subscription basis, as opposed to the popular maker-taker model, and attempt to attract high-volume participants. “Competition among different venue models and firms is good for the industry and we’re challenging the trading landscape in Europe by offering unique transparency and pricing on Aquis,” Spanbroek told He added that the exchange would not specifically target HFT firms but would not exclude those willing to make markets on the venue. “The subscription model will be advantageous for firms because it is fixed-cost, and we’re targeting high-end users on both the buy- and sell-side. HFT firms active in cash markets may also find this model attractive,” he said. Spanbroek’s appointment signals the importance of experience at Aquis rival BATS Chi-X Europe – the largest European MTF by market share – which Spanbroek played a key role in establishing. Aquis CEO Alasdair Haynes was previously Chi-X Europe CEO, before it was acquired by BATS Global Markets, but was not with the venue in its development stages. In March, the MTF also announced the appointment of Niki Beattie, managing director at consultancy Market Structure Partners, as its non-executive chairman. Spanbroek’s trading career spans three decades and includes stints at GETCO Europe, Amro Bank and Dutch market-maker Van der Moolen. He has also acted as non-executive director of CME Europe’s board. Commenting on the appointment, Haynes said Spanbroek’s European expertise and understanding of market structure would benefit the venue’s development. “His contribution will be invaluable as we gear up towards introducing subscription pricing into Europe and bringing innovative order types to the market,” said Haynes.