Plato Partnership sets up shop in Dublin

Industry block trading initiative Plato sets up new Dublin company and promises updates on its status soon.

Lawyers acting for block trading initiative Plato Partnership have set up a new company in Dublin days after Deutsche Bank discussed where banks are likely to base their EU operations post Brexit.

It comes just weeks after a leaked board memo from Deutsche Bank – one of the key founder organisations of Plato – showed the bank believes Barclays, Citi and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will choose Dublin as a preferred EU entity base following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

It is not yet clear where Plato intends to base its operations after launch. The organisation that Plato has set up in Dublin is called Plato Partnership SPV Designated Activity Company.

Plato has also extinguished the company name registered in England and Wales as “Plato Partnership Limited” on Companies House.  This company has been renamed “Hack Unused Co No.14 Limited.”

Ciecero Group – the company handling media queries for Plato – declined to issue an on-the-record comment.

Plato was formed as an initiative in response to block trading difficulties. Its aim is to reduce costs and offer deep liquidity.

Buy- and sell-side firms including the likes of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Citi, JP Morgan, AXA Investment Managers and Fidelity Worldwide Investment have all confirmed their participation in the partnership.

The London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) Turquoise was selected by the initiative as its preferred dark pool technology provider back in July 2015, although no update from Plato or Turquoise has been issued since the announcement.

LSE confirmed Turquoise’s progress with Plato Partnership is ongoing and stated further news would be released to the market “soon”. The LSE declined to comment on Plato’s new Irish registered entity. 

At TradeTech in 2015, industry experts strongly disagreed over the issue of the partnership’s capabilities.

Speaking with The Trade in March last year, veteran trader Paul Squires, said: “The prospect of guiding the sell-side towards the launch of a not-for-profit project such as this is unique.”

However, Neil Bond, head trader and partner at Ardevora Asset management, said there would be “no silver bullet” that can help return block trading to levels enjoyed 20 years ago.