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An opportunity to capture that all important close price utilising the Turquoise Plato® dark trading service you already value and use today…Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ -

by Scott Bradley, Head of Sales and Business Development, London Stock Exchange Secondary Markets and Turquoise.

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Anonymous, Broker neutral and Conditional functionality.    

Simply put, ABC and that encapsulates much of the simplicity in this latest innovation from Turquoise Plato® which makes it such a compelling proposition. 

We are excited about the launch of Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ on October 19th, our latest innovation in partnership with Plato.   This is the first time that investors have the opportunity to seek further liquidity following the closing auction of the relevant Primary Market via a dark undisclosed execution channel.   Once the underlying Primary Market has completed its natural price formation process and made public the official closing price, both firm and conditional orders can be submitted into Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ (until 16:45 UK time across all 17 EU markets covered by Turquoise Plato®).   

Using the same Turquoise Plato® and Turquoise Plato Block Discovery™ functionality that currently provides award winning mid-point dark block liquidity during continuous trading, the Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ will simply reference the close price instead.   Access to the service is automatically provided through existing connections to Turquoise Plato® and the mic code (TRQM) remains the same, thereby requiring little or no additional operational lift to onboard.   

Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ provides a post-close liquidity opportunity without information leakage due to the nature of remaining a fully dark and undisclosed service which complements existing end of day processes.   This is a new and different offering to those which exist currently on European lit venues, including Primary Market trade at last (TAL) functionality. Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ can be considered an extension to the Turquoise Plato® service.  


From a workflow perspective, consider how this opportunity to seek incremental and strategic liquidity at a known price (official close) can be an incredibly useful tool.   This is especially the case if the monitoring of Turquoise Plato® block fills via Tag30 and Tag851 towards the end of the trading day has shown successful executions and there is still more behind on the blotter to trade…Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ provides a unique service to get your business done, same day as soon as the closing price is known.


“Managing a best in class multi-asset dealing desk, I am highly appreciative of the innovation Turquoise Plato is bringing to market with Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ and am committed to continuing support for such industry solutions to provide Best Execution for my clients.   Sourcing liquidity remains a key challenge and Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ am sure will assist greatly” (Christoph Hock, Head Multi-Asset trading, Union Investment, Chair, BVI “Buy-Side Traders Forum”, co-Chair, Plato Partnership)   

A key innovation of market structure has become mainstream in 2020


For context, the industry leader for midpoint and electronic block trading as a single order book for dark pool matching of UK and European equities is Turquoise Plato®, according to independent analysis published by Rosenblatt Securities.


During the period 2013 to September 2020, members have matched more than €1.2 trillion of equities via Turquoise Plato®.   2020 is the first year that Turquoise Plato Block Discovery™ represents more than half (57.6%) of all value traded in the Turquoise Plato® order book.


 “The insight is that electronic block trading at midpoint has matured to become a mainstream market convention” (Dr Robert Barnes, CEO Turquoise). Read the article "Capital Raising & Trading During COVID-19 in Global Trading here

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Natural Progression

It is therefore a natural progression that the next innovation to come from the Turquoise Plato partnership is the extension of this award-winning and now mainstream functionality into the post-close period.   With industry focus and attention on the concentration of liquidity towards the end of continuous trading and the closing auction period, maintaining simplicity of workflow from the perspective of operational stress was fundamental in the design of this model.   The ability to “do more” with what you already have was the message heard from the Turquoise community as part of an extensive period of client consultation and engagement and so the arrival of Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ from October 19th will provide the industry with that opportunity.

“As parts of the world dip in and out of lockdown and markets continue to be impacted by the high levels of uncertainty, I believe that real innovation in trading and technology is the key to the equities market emerging from the pandemic in a strong position. Plato Partnership’s longstanding relationship with Turquoise has always centred on bringing forward such innovation, and COVID-19 has spurred us on. Earlier this year, we re-introduced the Good-For-Auction (GFA) order type, which provides market participants with a new source of strategic liquidity. Read the article "Innovation through partnership" in The Trade here 

When we were first discussing what our next Turquoise Plato collaboration would be, we were focused on finding an innovation that could bring greater efficiency to trading where it is most needed and have the strongest impact for the market. We found that 24% of daily volume is now trading at the closing auction [across European venues], and so we decided that we would develop Turquoise Plato Trade at Last™ to unlock value where it would be most beneficial. Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ enables access to a previously untapped pool of liquidity at a known price, providing market participants with a powerful tool as they adapt their strategies to account for the unique challenges of COVID-19.” (Mike Bellaro, CEO of Plato Partnership)

There are currently 11 mechanisms for trading around the close or just after the closing auction across Europe (excluding Primary Market closing uncrosses), including both TAL functionality on a regional basis and alternative MTF mechanisms.   In aggregate, these account for just less than 2.5% of total consolidated European closing auction activity (September 2020, source Big xyt) which suggests that the unique functionality of Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ being the only dark undisclosed broker neutral platform in the space shows true innovation and not just replication.

“I am interested to see the progress of this initiative. The close as well as block conditional venues have both become such a significant part of the days trading that it seems perfectly logical that the two could be combined to provide more liquidity opportunities at the end of the trading day” (Simon Steward, Head of Trading EMEA, Capital Group)

During industry consultation it was made apparent that further fragmentation in the market especially at critical periods of the day such as the closing uncross was not something which was being sought.   Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ by its design nature and mechanism timing does not interfere with this robust and well-formed price discovery process.   Complementing the choice of execution channels which Turquoise offers through the trading day, this incremental opportunity to search for liquidity will also be available on Turquoise Europe once this goes live later in the year. Read the article "London Stock Exchange prepares Dutch share trading arm for full Brexit" in Reuters here. Again, keeping workflow simplicity front and centre as all existing Turquoise trading books will be replicated on the European venue.

Support for this initiative has been testament to the collaboration of both buy and sell side customers, working in partnership with Turquoise Plato to deliver a trading solution designed by the industry and for the industry.   As such, it was important that this post close mechanism was implemented with simplicity of onboard and utilisation of existing connectivity in mind but also to fit within current market operating timings.  

Incremental and strategic post close block liquidity, utilisation of existing workflow practices with the assurance of known price through connectivity which is already providing quality outcomes – Turquoise Plato Trade At Last™ its Anonymous, Broker neutral and Conditional…it’s as easy as ABC.

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