New Jersey-based OptiMark has taken an 80% stake in electronic trading systems vendor Ashton Technology Group.
OptiMark - operating through a subsidiary, OptiMark Innovations, established in association with Softbank Capital Partners - has placed a $30 million investment in Ashton, including $10 million in cash, as well as intellectual property, licenses and management expertise. The company has also secured $500,000 in bridge financing from HK Weaver Group.
Ashton will use the investment to offer sell-side firms a service to guarantee volume weighted average price orders for clients. The company will continue to operate its eVWAP facility for orders submitted anonymously from buy-side institutions.
As part of the financing, Robert Warshaw, OptiMark’s chief executive, will become interim CEO of Ashton, replacing Fred Rittereiser; Trevor Price, OptiMark’s executive vice president for product strategy and marketing will be installed as Ashton’s chief operating officer; amd James Pak, OptiMark’s executive vice president for strategic development will assume the role of Ashton’s chief financial officer.
Fred Weingard, Ashton’s chief technology officer, will retain his position and board seat. Additionally, William Uchimoto will continue as Ashton general counsel and a member of the executive management team. Jennifer Andrews will keep her current responsibilities and will assume the title of executive vice president, finance.
The company has begun a search for a permanent CEO and a sales and marketing executive.