Fidessa, the London-based liquidity aggregator, plans to open an Australian office. It is seeking to hire an Australian-based executive. Fidessa is on about 26,000 screens globally through a network of 600 brokers that route order flows from 160 venues.

“We’ve spent two years studying how the market has developed,” says Stephen Grob, Fidessa’s director of group strategy who is in Sydney once every six weeks. “We are going to provide smart order routing and auditability.”

Grob says the company has yet to decide on the location of the office. Fidessa may open an office in the “summer” in Sydney or Melbourne and hire an executive and staff, he says.

The London-based company’s business in Australia is “modest,” Grob says. IRESS Market Technology Ltd. dominates the domestic market. Its platform is on the desk of most brokers and fund managers.

The ASX and Fidessa have developed “ASX Best.” The software enables brokers to route orders to different liquidity pools to meet its best execution obligations. It also allows brokers to direct orders to venues of their choice, either ASX or non-ASX venues.

Chi-X Australia Ltd. plans to open for business in competition with the Australian Stock Exchange Ltd. in October. The break of the ASX’s monopoly is further proof of the global phenomena of fragmented trading, Grob says.

Grob says Fidessa has not ruled out doing business with Chi-X. “We never sign exclusives,” he says.

The fragmentation of trading has blurred the lines between those that are exchanges, fund managers giving buy and sell orders and brokers, Grob says. Investors and brokers can tap into dark and lit liquidity pools that may be available within or outside their own firms.

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