And now there are 41...Pulse Trading has entered the fray of dark pool trading with the launch BlockCross, which had its first day of trading today (May 23). I talked to Mark Enriquez, managing partner of Pulse a few weeks ago and he told me a little about the system. He was hesitant to say too much because it had not yet launched. What he did tell me is that the system is open to both buy and sell side traders and they can determine with whom they want to cross. The system is geared toward block trades and is for US equity trading only. It will compete directly with Liquidnet and Pipeline, as well as some of the other dark pools in the market.The system is based on technology developed by Preston Ford, who used to own LongView and Bob Russell, the ex CIO of ITG. Enriquez said the firm has been working on building the system since early last year and has gone out to its 100 best customers to refine the offering. The company has been gaining feedback over the last four to five months-asking specific questions about what their clients like and don't like about the existing block trading systems. "Our customer base is tech savvy and have been great sounding boards," he said.
The systems differentiators? It will be tightly coupled with the firms commission sharing program, which helps customers manage their commission sharing arrangements, allowing them to pay for reseach via block executions. He also says the interface is a differentiator as it is "very pleasing visually." "It's the first thing people notice-the overall presentation," he says. Lastly the system is using patent-pending methodology to scrape traders' blotters, but he emphasizes, "Our blotter scrapping is optional, not mandatory."