Financial News: Ex-Getco director joins European trading upstart

April 15, 2013

Aquis Exchange has appointed an ex-Getco veteran as a non-executive director, as the pan-European equity trading venue moves closer to a prospective launch in the middle of this year.

Mark Spanbroek, the secretary general of the Futures Industry Association’s European Principal Traders Association and an independent non-executive director of CME Group’s new European derivatives exchange, has joined Aquis, effective immediately. He will continue in his roles at the FIA and at CME Group.

Spanbroek was a director at electronic market making firm Getco for nine years until 2011. His arrival at Aquis follows that of Niki Beattie, the former head of market structure for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Merrill Lynch and currently managing director of consultancy Market Structure, who was appointed as non-executive chairman of Aquis last month.

Aquis was founded by former Chi-X Europe chief executive Alasdair Haynes last October and is seeking approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

The alternative trading venue will aim to break what it claims are duopolies in the European equity markets enjoyed by Bats Chi-X Europe – which was formed after the $365m takeover of Chi-X Europe by US market operator Bats Global Markets in December 2011 – and the respective main European domestic exchanges.

Aquis will eschew the maker-taker pricing model used by the majority of alternative venues to incentivise liquidity provision. It will instead favour a subscription-based tariff that offers members a fixed fee, regardless of the amount of business they conduct on the platform.

“There is still room for maker taker pricing, but we believe many market participants will be keen on a model that offers a fixed cost, regardless of the amount of trading they conduct,” said Spanbroek. “The pricing scheme will incentivise electronic market makers to provide liquidity as well as aiding those firms that need to keep a close eye on trading costs.”