Turquoise, the putative European equity trading venue supported by leading investment banks, is being prepped for a live launch in September, with trading in 300 stocks and a roster of top market-makers on board from day one, CEO Eli Lederman told a packed conference at Finexpo in London.
Speaking in front of a standing room-only crowd, Lederman drew direct comparisons between exchange trading markets in Europe and the international aviation industry, where deregulation led to greater choice, lower prices, better services and a boom in international travel. Similar forces are currently at work in the European trading markets, says Lederman, with the European Union's Market in Financial Instruments Directive the direct analogue to the deregulation that so galvanised the airline industry.
"Turquoise won't be the only player in this drama," he says. "But it's going to be a very valuable one."
Turquoise currently employs about 25 people with wide-ranging experience from across the sell-side, buy-side, European exchanges and US markets, says Ledernman. "We do have an office, but we don't have stone steps, granite columns or high vaulted ceilings. This is a modern exchange... with racks of blade servers."
The Turquoise technology platform is being built by Cinnober, the Swedish technology house that developed the Boat trade reporting platform. "Boat was delivered on time, on budget, and on day one had 20% market share. That's a harbinger for what we want to do," says Lederman.
Turquoise staff are currently working through 8000 test scripts and talking with regulators about their business plans. Says Lederman: "We expect to have FSA approval well before our launch date in September."
He says the exchange will begin trading in 300 liquid stocks in September and gradually roll-out to encompass some 1200 stocks in a darker liquidity pool.