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MTF’s can’t make decisions on new symbology by themselves

Interesting to see that MTFs ( BATS, Chi- X and Nasdaq Europe) are going to be creating a steering group to agree a common symbology. This initiative goes hand in hand with the drive to produce a consolidated tape of prices so that MTFs ( and some brokers’ SOR technology) are not dependent upon primary exchanges for reference prices. The aim is to “reduce the back office complexities” according to Todd Glub at Nasdaq Europe – so why not involve the back office system providers and for that matter trading systems vendors and brokers too. The market now understands that the non prescriptive approach of MiFID has created a number of gaps for the industry to solve. A unilateral approach by one set of interested parties is never going to gain ground – if it’s an industry issue then the whole industry needs to work together to solve it – venues, brokers and technology firms. One of the biggest impediments to the adoption of Chi-X and Turquoise has been resolving the downstream workflow issues. Unfortunately the back office providers probably have the most inflexible technology there is – without their involvement any proposals are likely to fail.

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