Date
17 January 2020
An AI-driven stock trading venue operator in the US aims to become an exchange or partner with an existing bourse to serve investors better. Photo: Bloomberg
An AI-driven stock trading venue operator in the US aims to become an exchange or partner with an existing bourse to serve investors better. Photo: Bloomberg

AI-driven stock-trading venue eyes US exchange status

Imperative Execution, an artificial intelligence-driven US stock trading venue operator, is going after the business of the New York Stock Exchange and other bourses by adopting their pricing models and may soon register as an exchange, Reuters reports, citing the firm’s CEO.

Imperative Execution runs IntelligentCross, a trading platform known as an alternative trading system (ATS) that uses AI to measure its own performance in real time and then make adjustments aimed at improving the quality of stock executions to help investors save money.

IntelligentCross plans to either become an exchange, or partner with an existing exchange, to distribute its quotes to the public so it can better compete with the likes of Nasdaq and NYSE, CEO Roman Ginis was quoted as saying. 

“We’re offering products that none of the exchanges are currently offering,” Ginis said. “We demonstrated that we’re creating value, we’re growing, and now we’re graduating to offer this product to the broader market.”

Since its September 2018 launch, IntelligentCross has become the 16th-largest ATS out of 31, trading 52.5 million shares the week of Sept. 9, according to the latest Financial Industry Regulatory Authority data.

ATSs are government-registered, broker-run trading venues that have less regulatory burdens than stock exchanges, allowing them more room to innovate, but their bid and offer quotes do not appear on the public data feeds, limiting their reach to subscribers.

In March, IntelligentCross launched an order type called the Adverse Selection Protection Engine, or ASPEN. Adverse selection refers to trading against market participants who have more information than you, potentially leaving you on the wrong side of the trade.

ASPEN’s AI queues up displayed orders and matches them 150 microseconds to 300 microseconds apart. Not matching them immediately gives automated systems a chance to adjust the quotes if necessary, depending on what the market does in the interim.

Users of ASPEN currently pay a flat fee on either side of the trade. But at the end of October, they will be able to choose one of three pricing systems: a flat fee, a rebate for adding liquidity, or a rebate for taking liquidity, depending on the order.

“We believe we can offer ASPEN as a product wherever people want to trade, at every price schedule, and we believe this product can improve the liquidity for all of these use cases,” Ginis said.

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