Buy-siders broach block trade bugbears

Influential buy-side figures have clashed over the future of block trading at this year’s TradeTech conference in Paris.

Panellists discussing equity fragmentation debated the idea of a single venue market for block trading, but failed to agree over whether a single venue would benefit the market.

David Miller, head of EMEA equity trading at Invesco said competition amongst venues for block trading was unhelpful and said it would be much simpler to have one venue. 

The Investment Association’s Arjun Singh-Michelle said his buy-side members do not necessarily want a single venue for block trades, however. 

He explained: “It could create a monopoly provider which will dictate prices, and there’s a captive audience with nowhere else to go. 

“It may end up being more efficient if there was single venue as far as complexity is concerned, but the cost will be in the hands of the venue operator.”

Turquoise’s head of capital markets, James Baugh countered by explaining the “buyer power will keep a venue on its toes.” 

Panellists agreed on issues concerning venue toxicity and agreed that it remained one of the biggest issues for the industry today. 

Herbert Rotivel, head of dealing at BNP Paribas Dealing Services, said: “Toxicity is important to us and our clients. We put our brokers through workshops to train them on how to evaluate venue toxicity.”