ITG, a trading solutions firm and agency broker, is to buy investment bank Merrill Lynch’s stake in BLOCKalert, a block crossing service.
BLOCKalert was originally a joint venture between ITG and Merrill Lynch, but following the acquisition, ITG will own the service outright. The unit will be renamed POSIT Alert and merged into the ITG’s POSIT crossing suite.
The crossing network averaged 10.4 million shares a day in the first half of 2008 and had an average execution size of 41,000 shares.
POSIT Alert will be available under the same brand name in the US, Europe and Australia.
“ITG’s neutral agency broker status and trusted POSIT crossing suite have long been key differentiators for the firm,” said Bob Gasser, CEO and president of ITG, in a statement. “After a thorough evaluation of our global POSIT crossing suite, we felt that clients would benefit most if ITG focused on enhancing the system with direct buy-side to buy-side liquidity.”