Chi-X acquires exchange technology specialist Cicada

Chi-X acquires exchange technology specialist Cicada

Electronic trading platform Chi-X has acquired dealing technology outfit Cicada, with the aim of creating a new exchange services business unit.

The acquisition, which is effective immediately, includes Cicada's entire global employee base, comprising some 75 staff in London, New York and Hong Kong. Cicada founder and CEO Gregory Smith will head up the newly-created exchange services business unit, Chi-X Global Technology, which will operate separately from Chi-X's regional trading platforms.

The Cicada technology platform addresses some of the industry's most pressing challenges, including: market and reference data management, algorithmic trading infrastructure, client on-boarding and regulatory compliance.

In creating the new business, Chi-X will be looking to emulate the success of Nasdaq OMX, which sells its trading technology onto other third party exchanges, and Nyse Euronext's Advanced trading Solutions unit. Indeed, Cicada references Nasdaq OMX as one of its key alliance partners.

Tony Mackay, CEO of Chi-X Global, says Cicada's development expertise will bolster Chi-X's own inhouse software resources, while expanding its business into new areas by serving the technology needs of new MTFs and other exchange venues.

"The market efficiencies created by Chi-X and others have not only dramatically lowered costs for our participants and their end customers, they have also helped to greatly increase the liquidity and trading volumes found on the primary exchanges," says Mackay. "We believe that by leveraging the expertise of our newly-created services business, trading venues around the world will be able to create similarly efficient marketplaces, which at the end of the day benefits everyone - exchanges, brokers and investors - involved in the trading process."

FT Partners acted as strategic and financial advisor to Cicada in the transaction. Financial details were not disclosed.

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