Plato asks firms to vote on platform partners

The Plato Partnership has unveiled a shortlist of candidates to build its trading platform.

The Plato Partnership has unveiled a shortlist of candidates to build its trading platform.

Stakeholders are being invited to vote on which company would be best suited to be awarded the contract.

The beauty parade features Aquis Exchange, Bats Chi-X Europe, Cinnober, Euronext and Nasdaq.

Speaking to The TRADE, Stephen McGoldrick, project director for Plato and director of market structure at Deutsche Bank, said: “We have launched this poll to inform our selection of a platform partner. Our steering committee exists to facilitate Plato’s vision and funds, but we are reliant on the broad market to help us deliver the best manifestation of that vision.

“As Plato Partnership is still at a relatively early stage of development, I can’t give a huge amount of detail on its market model. However, what is absolutely integral to our vision is that Plato Partnership is not for profit and that any excess revenue from the trading utility will be used to fund academic research via the Market Structure Innovation Centre (MSIC).”

McGoldrick said that in addition to asking the Plato community to engage on choice of technology partner, the consortium is also open to suggestions on the type of research projects that Plato’s Market Structure Innovation Centre (MSIC) should sponsor.

He explained: “Building a trading utility is only the first step in our vision to build a fairer and more efficient market for all participants. There are a huge number of areas where a collective approach could produce a better outcome for all market participants and doing this through a preformed collective will enable Plato Partnership to take cost out of the system and build trust. This is a very important aspect of what our MSIC will be working on.”

In a statement calling for market participants to share their opinions, the Plato Polling Page said: “Those who care should visit the polling page to take part in our poll and score our final five candidates for suitability. All input is appreciated and will be considered during the selection process.”

In an interview, Belinda Keheyan, head of marketing at Aquis Exchange, said it was important that stakeholders recognise that Aquis offers something different.

She explained: We are the only Pan-European stock exchange that does not have its own dark pool so there is no conflict whatsoever. We have the relevant expertise without any of the adjacent conflicts.”

Chief executive officer Alasdair Haynes and Keheyan previously worked at ITG and were among the founder members of the first European dark pool. 

She added:  “We have got specific pan-European dark pool expertise in our team without the conflict. We have been talking the mantra about fairness and transparency for many years.”

A spokeswoman for Euronext said: “We have been building platforms for exchanges since 1997 and delivering managed services to venue operators since 2011

“As a public Exchange, Euronext has always promoted the interests of issuers, traders and end investors. We support the Plato Partnership in promoting equitability, transparency and simplicity and believe that our technology and our experience offer an ideal combination of innovation and stability.” 

Mark Hemsley, chief executive officer of BATS Chi-X Europe, said: “Cutting-edge surveillance, technical management capabilities, and operational resiliency and efficiency are particularly important elements to the successful launch and growth of a new platform, and are things we’ve prioritised in our own business since we were established.”

Representatives from Cinnober were unable to comment at the time of going to press. Nasdaq declined to comment.