Investment Technology Group (ITG) and Merrill Lynch have joined forces to create Block Alert, a global block order crossing service. The service will offer anonymous crossing and will be powered by ITG's POSIT crossing network. Block Alert will tap into Merrill's global distribution.
"Through the new joint venture, ITG's clients will have access to a greater global pool of liquidity made available by Merrill Lynch's distribution network," said Ray Killian, chairman, president and CEO of ITG, in a company release. "This will be a major infusion to our already robust liquidity pool, increasing matching options while maintaining the confidentiality and anonymity to which our clients are accustomed," he added.
"This venture will give the marketplace in the U.S., Europe and Asia access to a unique, independent block crossing service, which is built on the quality foundation of our partners at ITG," said Rohit D'Souza, global head of equities at Merrill Lynch, in the release. According to the companies, the service will be rolled out this quarter.
Other broker-dealers also have created or have plans to create crossing networks and ATSs, including Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Some are being designed to match orders within the firm, while others are open to buy-side clients.
For more on broker-dealers' creation of crossing networks, see Advanced Trading's March-April cover story, "Crossing the Line".