Bank of America Merrill Lynch has launched BofAML Express, a new low-latency market access platform for US equities that delays orders for no more than 10 microseconds for pre-trade risk controls, according to the broker.
The new platform has been in production for almost two months and includes a series of embedded risk controls required by new market access rules being introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is connected to all major US equity exchanges.
The new SEC rule prevents broker-dealers from allowing clients to trade directly on equity markets without appropriate pre-trade risk controls. Brokers will be required to establish, document and maintain a system of risk management controls and supervisory procedures to manage the risks associated with market access. While most aspects of the SEC's new access rule came in on 14 July, some elements, including the implementation of controls and procedures that ensure orders sent through brokers' systems do not exceed pre-set credit or capital thresholds, have been delayed until the end of November.
According to Michael Lynch, head of Americas execution services at BAML, the core feature of BofAML Express is its speed, which he believes is critical to achieving best execution.
“Customers with quantitative strategies will be the initial beneficiaries but the demand for high-performance technology has never been more evident so we're committed to leveraging BofAML Express across our entire client segment,” Lynch told theTRADEnews.com.
The platform was initially developed by trading technology supplier Thesys Technologies, a subsidiary of high-frequency trading firm Tradeworx. Lynch said the broker intends to launch BofAML Express in Europe and Asia and in asset classes such as futures.