The Trade: Aquis offers FIX testing ahead of potential October launch

May 20, 2013

New pan-European trading platform Aquis Exchange has teamed up with FIX certification firm FixSpec to let potential customers test FIX messaging as the venue eyes an October launch. Aquis Exchange expects approval to operate as an equities multilateral trading facility from UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority in July, after which it will ramp up efforts to officially begin trading in October – a year after CEO Alasdair Haynes established the venue. By working with FixSepc, firms can sort out any FIX issues on the platform before dealing with connectivity, Haynes told “An important part of our strategy before launch is reducing the barriers to entry for potential customers, and by linking with FixSpec market participants can complete FIX testing free of charge before connecting to Aquis,” he said. FixSpec will facilitate member testing for FIX order entry specifications and offer an automated certification platform for Aquis. This will let market participants to compare Aquis specifications to FIX Protocol Standards and those from other venues. Haynes, a former CEO of Europe’s largest equities trading venue Chi-X Europe, said the model of the exchange sought to give market participants greater options to trade equities according to their needs. “Aquis Exchange will introduce several innovations to the market including new order types and a new pricing model which will revolutionise the industry by bringing in telecoms-style pricing, which will offer a subscription fee based on message traffic,” he said. He added that although charges would be based on volume of messages transmitted, the pricing model would not deter or exclude high-frequency trading, which he described as a valuable segment of the market for boosting liquidity. Haynes said Aquis Exchange had entered detailed talks with over fifty potential customers and had received a positive reception so far for firms wanting more variety in equities trading platforms.