Plato gains backing for new industry-owned equities trading utility
The Plato Partnership, a consortium of asset managers and broker-dealers working to build a non-profit equities trading utility in Europe, has signed four more asset managers, including AXA Investment Managers, JP Morgan, Union Investment and Fidelity Worldwide.
The trading utility will be a one-stop shop for anonymous block trades and will be open to all market participants with the aim of reducing trading costs, simplifying the market structure, creating deep liquidity opportunities and delivering an equal trading experience for all market participants.
Plato Partnership says it will use the revenue generated from its trading utility to commission academic research focusing on better trade execution and lowering execution costs. The platform is an attempt to mutualise the governance of equity execution across its participants. Existing members include Deutsche Asset and Wealth management, Norges Bank Investment Management, UBS, Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley.
“Having the opportunity to get involved with Plato Partnership at such an early stage is very exciting for us,” said Paul Squires, head of trading at AXA Investment Managers. “The prospect of guiding the sell side towards the launch of a not-for-profit project such as this is unique – I don’t believe that the buy and sell side have ever worked together in this way before, and we are proud to be a part of that.”
“Plato’s vision of a Market Structure Innovation Centre that sponsors academic research working alongside a trading utility to deliver on the resultant insight is thrilling for us and ultimately beneficial for our clients,” added Christoph Hock, head of trading at Union Investment. “We believe that supporting such a positive initiative is part of the stewardship obligation that we hold on behalf of our clients.”