Nasdaq Targets London Stock Exchange With 15 Percent Stake
The Nasdaq Stock Market has acquired a 15 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange after being rebuffed two weeks ago when its bid was rejected.
The electronic U.S. exchange aggressively purchased over 25 million shares from U.K. money manager Threadneedle Asset Management Limited, which represented the fund manager's entire holding in LSE. Nasdaq paid $20.47, according to published reports.
Nasdaq purchased an additional 2.7 million shares taking its total holding to 38.1 million shares or 14.99 percent of the LSE. According to Nasdaq, the LSE stake is valued at $781.7 million.
Reacting to the move, Tabb Group's Larry Tabb issued a commentary suggesting that other U.S.-based exchanges will jump into the game. "We expect that there will be continued interest in owning the LSE by U.S.-based exchanges, namely Nasdaq and NYSE, as the pending SEC NMS Regulations portend to disrupt the U.S. equity marketplace," Tabb stated in a commentary e-mailed to reporters. However, Tabb cautions in the e-mail that "Nasdaq has not acquired enough of LSE to make this a strategic investment. It does get them into the game ... and it does get them a seat at the table."
Tabb predicts that by the end of the year, a U.S.-based exchange will obtain over a 50 percent ownership in the LSE. However, he cautioned the wildcards are the regulatory authorities, namely the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Services Authority.
Even if other exchanges do jump into the fray in pursuit of the LSE, "this (Nasdaq) acquisition makes much more sense than an NYSE investment," contended Harrell Smith, manager of the securities and investments practice at Celent Communications, in an e-mail commentary, also sent to the media. Smith reasons that the NYSE is still grappling with the integration of its Arca platform and the scheduling of its Hybrid Market. "Should Nasdaq ever take a controlling interest in LSE, the technology synergies between the two exchanges would be much greater than they would be between NYSE and LSE," he stated in the commentary. "
Interactive Brokers Announces Winner of Trading Olympiad
Interactive Brokers Group named the winner of its first electronic trading Olympiad for colleges. Patrick Christmas, a graduate student at the University of Texas, started with an account of $100,000 in phantom money and earned an additional $120,000 in 10 weeks using computer algorithms. He developed the algorithms using IBG's Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation Application Program Interface.
Christmas was awarded $50,000, and IBG will match that amount as a donation to his college, the University of Texas-Austin.
IBG created the Olympiad to highlight the growing need for engineers and computer science professionals in the financial services industry. "We have been a leader in electronic trading since 1977 and we want to help the next generation of technology engineers advance their careers and learn about more opportunities in capital market," states Steve Sanders, Interactive Brokers Managing Director, Business Development and Marketing.
Trades were generated by student-created computer algorithms in any asset class, including equities, options, futures, warrants, bonds and currencies, that are directly accessible from Interactive Brokers direct access trading platforms. Various programming languages were allowed, including Java, C++, C, DDE, and Visual Basic.
IBG also awarded two students second-place prizes of $25,000 each, 10 students third-place prizes of $5,000 each and 8 students placing prizes of $1,000 each. IBG is awarding $158,000 in prizes to students and another $150,000 in matching prizes to the students' colleges.
RedSky Financial Taps Fitzsimmons as CEO
RedSky Financial, a Chicago-based broker-dealer and futures commission merchant (FCM) specializing in direct-access for multi-asset trading, named Robert Fitzsimmons as CEO.
Fitzsimmons, 43, is responsible for developing and implementing RedSky's strategic and financial planning. He will report to RedSky's board of directors and co-founders, Brent Starck, Joseph Perry and Stefano Durdic.
Recently, Fitzsimmons served as CEO of NQLX (2003-2004), a joint venture between Nasdaq and Euronext.liffe to enter the U.S. single-stock futures market. He joined NQLX from the Nasdaq Stock Market, where he was an executive director. Prior to Nasdaq, Fitzsimmons was a managing director with Nomura Securities International. He created the financial futures group at Nomura in 1990 and built it into one of the leading FCMs, said the release.
"Bob brings deep experience from the exchange, trading technology and regulatory perspective," commented Starck in the release.
Fitzsimmons stated in the release: "RedSky has a superb technology platform in R3 and multiple, robust, yet extremely low-latency, APIs that we will continue to improve upon. I'm excited to lead a dedicated and skilled staff in offering clients the best combination of service and technology solutions," he stated.
Pipeline's Volume Surpasses 35 Million Shares
Pipelinethe electronic block trading marketplacerecorded a record 35.3 million shares on April 5, 2006, according to Pipeline Trading Systems LLC, a registered broker-dealer that operates the alternative trading system (ATS). The previous volume record, 24.2 million shares, occurred on Jan. 24, 2006.
The company says that 99.6 percent of the shares traded within the best-displayed prices nationwide, and the average trade was over 42,000 shares.
For the first quarter of 2006, average daily volume climbed 17 percent above the previous quarter and 312 percent above the prior year's first quarter, the company reports.
"Traders are finding that Pipeline is an impact-free tool to generate large block naturals," stated Fred Federspiel, president and founder. "There are real cost savings when a trader can execute a mega-block agency trade inside the best market prices."