New York-based broker-dealer Ballista Securities has begun live trading on its alternative trading system (ATS) for block options and delta neutral orders.
The Ballista ATS launched with an initial client base of hedge funds, proprietary trading firms, market makers and other liquidity providers.
Ballista offers anonymous, electronic access to qualified buy-side initiators and sell-side liquidity providers that trade in large block sizes.
The platform provides a rules-based forum for matching buyers and sellers of block-sized directional option and volatility/delta-neutral orders.
Users seeking liquidity can submit an order hosted for a timed auction of up to five minutes, whereby any unexecuted liquidity at the end of the auction phase will result in a direct, anonymous, negotiation between counterparties.
Trades matched on Ballista are being executed at the International Securities Exchange (ISE) or the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).
"We have been very pleased by the reactions of the options exchanges, especially the ISE and the CBOE, each of whom has been very receptive to our needs and those of our customers," says Keith Landsberg, EVP, business development, Ballista. "We are pleased to see them offer the electronic crossing mechanisms that make us a powerful ally in the fight to bring more listed options volume back to the exchanges."