Forum Trading Solutions, a new trading technology provider led by former Chi-X Europe COO Hirander Misra, has snapped up PLUS-TS, the trading platform provider owned by UK SME exchange operator PLUS Markets Group.
PLUS-TS was set up by PLUS Markets in conjunction with Misra last September and was formed as a way of allowing the beleaguered exchange group to diversify its revenues in light of a slow trading environment for SME firms.
Joining Misra at Forum Trading Solutions is Tony Harrop, PLUS Markets Group CTO, who has been appointed as managing director, and Richard Atkins, formerly head of trading system management and development at the London Stock Exchange, who takes the role of non-executive director. All eight existing employees of PLUS-TS have also taken positions at Forum.
PLUS-TS will be fully subsumed by Forum Trading Solutions. The company offers an off-the-shelf exchange matching and surveillance service designed to give investment banks, brokers and prospective trading venues a multi-asset, regulatory compliant matching engine. It already provides technology to PLUS-SX, PLUS Markets main SME market that is in the process of being sold to interdealer broker ICAP, and PLUS-DX, the group’s derivatives market. Forum will continue to provide technology to PLUS-SX for at least nine months following the completion of the deal with ICAP.
“The age of the 0.1bps cash equities multilateral trading facility model is old news given forthcoming regulatory change,” said Misra, who is non-executive chairman of Forum. “Forum responds to the growing demand from market participants to segregate or create their own marketplaces with a cost effective fixed license fee model irrespective of the asset class traded. All that too enabled by exchange technology that we believe is the fastest and most resilient in the world.”
“One month ago, the team were looking at a wind-down situation and the premature end of a great solution,” added Harrop. “The team had been working hard on producing the most streamlined and highest performance multi asset exchange trading platform that can run on standard hardware and by setting up Forum we have the opportunity to progress and deliver something that we all believe in.”
Forum will pay a total of £281,251 for PLUS-TS, comprising an initial payment of £1 and a deferred payment of £281,250 payable as a share of the revenue it receives from the nine-month ICAP deal.
Meanwhile, ICAP has raised its initial £1 offer for PLUS-SX to £500,000. The interdealer broker will also continue to accept the existing and future liabilities of PLUS-SX.