CITI EXPANDS THEIR TOUCH.
Citi is launching Total Touch, a block equities offering designed to make it more efficient for institutional investors to execute block trades in the European market. The product suite, which already supports over 3,000 securities worth $20bn in the Americas, will initially start with 560 symbols in Europe.
Total Touch re-aggregates liquidity at the block level, making it easier for institutional investors to execute large orders at better prices. The service enables buyside firms to leverage the experience of human traders while also having the advantages of electronic trading.
The US banks said the decision to launch in Europe is to meet increased client demand for block trading. With the electrification of markets, there has been a decline in the average order execution size in equity markets around the world. Citi said buyside firms in Europe are focused on finding opportunities to execute in size. They are looking to block trade in response to regulatory changes that will place restrictions on dark trading and encourage more use of blocks via the large-in-scale waiver.
“The evolution in the European equity markets creates an opportunity to add more sophisticated trading practices to the region,” said Steve Garrard, head of execution services for Citi in EMEA. “Leveraging Citi’s execution capabilities and local footprint, we are able to respond to client demands for electronic execution with price protection and ultimately help prevent slippage in fast moving situations.”
“The European equities market is at a crucial and unique phase in its evolution,” said Sean Shanker, Citi’s Global Head of Total Touch Products. “The intersection of experienced human trader expertise and robust electronic capabilities creates an opportunity for market participants to take advantage of a unique approach to trading.”
Separately, the London Stock Exchange made recent changes to its auction process for smaller stock in order to better facilitate investor demand for block trading and improve liquidity.
© BestExecution 2014