A commercial initiative to build an industry-led consolidated tape for European equities has been abandoned after the backers of the project failed to gain a consensus among disparate market participants.
The Coba Project - set up Graham Dick, former head of business development at Chi-X Europe and Mark Schaedel former global head of market data at Nyse Euronext - says it has suspended operations after spending almost a year trying to win support for the initiative from exchanges, market data vendors, regulatory bodies and buy and sell-side participants.
Dick and Schaedal issued an open letter to the industry in November last year laying down the collaborative efforts required to achieve implementation and requesting written confirmation of support. But a stakeholder working group convened to discuss proposals failed to reconcile a clash between exchanges and market data vendors over the inclusion of pre- and post-trade data, with the former concerned with pre-trade risks and the latter questioning the value of a post-trade only solution.
Among brokers and institutional investors, the deal-breaker related to the costs associated with the achievement of adopting best practices for OTC trade reporting and the incremental costs implied by a phased implementation.
Dick and Schaedal were also stymied by the reluctance of regulatory bodies and policy makers to endorse any single commercial initiative.
"Due to increased political pressure to revert to a single tape provider solution, there is significant execution risk for any commercial solution," they conclude.