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London Stock Exchange unit in talks to operate Plato venue
July 24, 2015 / 2:51 PM / 2 years ago

London Stock Exchange unit in talks to operate Plato venue

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - A nascent consortium of asset managers, banks and brokerages is in talks with a London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) unit to provide technology for its planned trading platform, conceived as a venue for off-market trading of large blocks of shares.

Plato Partnership said on Friday it was in exclusive discussions on a commercial collaboration with LSEG’s majority owned Turquoise unit, which already operates a so-called “dark pool” venue for large block trades.

Plato, whose members include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs , Deutsche Bank and asset managers like AXA Investment Managers and Franklin Templeton, plans a dark pool or anonymous trading venue linking its members and other institutions, with profits ploughed back into academic studies to make its platform more efficient.

Dark pools, whose transactions are only revealed once they are completed to avoid unduly moving prices, have come under scrutiny from regulators who want more transparency in trading.

The European Union is finalising curbs on the volume of dark pool trading in shares from 2017. However many fund managers are unwilling to give up anonymous trading of big blocks as it helps limit adverse price moves.

Exchanges and trading platforms including Turquoise have already announced measures to accommodate incoming EU rules while retaining some features of dark-pool trading.

The aim of the LSEG-Plato agreement is to outsource operations of the trading venue, Deutsche Bank’s Stephen McGoldrick, project director for Plato, said in an interview. He declined to comment on specifics of the talks but said that the exclusive talks would hopefully only last a few weeks.

Turquoise is 51 percent owned by LSEG, with 12 banks owning the rest. (Editing by David Holmes)

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