One of the great things about fragmentation is that there are no clear answers, although I have to admit it can make achieving consensus quite difficult at times. Thanks to all the input we’re getting, the Great Dexia Debate continues to rage internally within Fidessa and I almost felt the need to use the baseball bat kindly given to me by BATS Europe to help express my own viewpoint more clearly. On this subject, yesterday was a good day for BATS as it traded nearly 2% of the FTSE 100 and traded over 5% in some stocks. This has been achieved in just a few weeks since its launch and is credit to BATS’ CEO, Mark Hemsley, who has put together a talented team that combines the flair of its US parent with great local knowledge of the European market. Also significant is that the LSE share of the FTSE 100 dropped below 75% for the first time yesterday. It will be interesting to see how it responds with Baikal and some of the other initiatives that they have planned.
Another development that was reported by the FT yesterday was the purchase of Cicada by Chi-X. According to Chi-X Chairman, Tony Mackay, the aim is to promote fragmentation by making fast, low cost technology platforms available on a wider basis. I think this just reinforces how much the European trading landscape is changing and how the previously clear-cut distinction between buy-sides, brokers, exchanges and technology firms is continuing to break down. Venues are becoming more like brokers as they offer smart routing services and the brokers themselves are acting more like exchanges as they seek to match up flow internally.
I’m sure we’ll see further changes as all the players look at how they improve their position in the queue for post MiFID order flow. That’s what makes fragmentation so intriguing.