September 4, 2017

Few would hop into a shiny brand new electric Tesla Model-S car just to experience sitting behind the wheel. They would take it for a spin to see if the electric car really does accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds and whether the smooth handling, eco-friendly credentials and through-the-ether software updates are worth the ride. The same can be said for joining a stock exchange. Just trading a share or two would barely scratch the surface of the wealth of functionality on offer. This is especially true for Aquis Exchange.

Aquis, a start-up that like Tesla, disrupted the traditional modus operandi and sought to introduce greater competition. However, it too has continued to introduce innovative features as it has developed and matured. In the beginning the main difference from its rivals was the new subscription pricing model based on messaging traffic, with the top band offering unlimited usage. In other words, the more you use Aquis, the less you pay per message/transaction.

However, Aquis then shook the exchange world to its status quo core by introducing a ban on aggressive non-client proprietary trading. This not only levelled the playing field but also created the least toxic lit venue in Europe as well as a deeper pool of liquidity. In fact, over the past year, liquidity has quadrupled, reaching a point Aquis liquidity is often second only to the national exchanges.

Aquis is also giving many of its larger competitors’ order books – such as Chi-X, Bats and Turquoise – a run for their money, leapfrogging ahead by frequency of offering the best prices, most advantageous spreads as well as quality of liquidity in many stocks.

Given its history, albeit short participants can expect Aquis to continue shaking up the landscape and improving the trading experience. However, traders won’t be able to reap all the benefits if they only take it out for a test drive. It is far better to take it to the autobahn and put your foot to the floor to really see what this model can do for you.

By Lynn Strongin Dodds