February 22, 2017

XTX Markets, the market-maker spun out of quantitative hedge fund GSA Capital, has become a member of a London-based equity trading venue founded by former Chi-X chief executive Alasdair Haynes.

Its membership of Aquis Exchange underlines the growth of the venue since it started trading in November 2013. About €10.4 billion of equities traded on Aquis in December 2016, up from €4.6 billion the same month a year earlier, according to its website.

Value traded on Aquis has risen since February 2016, when the exchange altered its rules to stamp out “harmful” aggressive trading techniques employed by some high-frequency trading firms. HFTs can post only passive orders on Aquis, which uses a subscription model rather than charging a percentage of the value of each stock traded.

Led by co-chief executives Alex Gerko and Zar Amrolia, XTX is one of the non-bank trading houses to have emerged since the financial crisis to stand between buyers and sellers of instruments in the markets for equities, commodities, foreign exchange and derivatives.

Andonis Sakatis, head of business development at XTX, told FN that joining Aquis was an “endorsement” of the exchange’s model. XTX says it is different to other electronic market-makers because it takes on the risk of holding assets for longer periods of time than other firms.

“It’s another stake in the ground for us and our long term global expansion,” Sakatis said.

Haynes said he was “delighted” to welcome a “very significant” supplier of liquidity to Aquis.

The EU’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, an overhaul of the bloc’s securities rules coming into force in January 2018, is set to put greater onus on investment firms to secure best execution of trades for clients.

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