Barclays Sells Options Market Maker To GTS

GTS, a leading electronic market maker across global financial instruments, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Barclays’ equities automated options trading unit’s assets. The transaction is the latest in a series of acquisitions and partnerships that increases GTS’s scope and scale as a top-tier electronic market maker and global broker.

As part of the transaction, approximately 40 Barclays personnel are anticipated to become full-time GTS employees. The unit has grown to be an options market maker quoting in more than 735,000 individual securities across 13 global options exchanges. These comprise the options of 2,000 publicly listed companies, with a specialist appointment in 725 of them. In total, the business trades approximately two percent of all exchange traded equity options volume in the United States.

Ari Rubenstein, co-founder and CEO of GTS said, “The options trading acquisition is another step in GTS’s mission to build out its global capital markets business and to put superior trading technology to use for all who may benefit. The acquisition furthers GTS’s expertise in providing data-driven precision pricing to investors.  Options are an active asset class and important investment tool and are a highly complementary fit to our growing roster of global financial instruments.”

The new GTS options trading business will be led by Kirill Gelman, who has overseen it at Barclays since 2008, who said, “We are grateful to Barclays for the success we had growing the automated options market making business.  As we considered divesting the business over the past several months, GTS proved itself to be the premier partner of choice because of the commitment of its team, its respected reputation and its superior technology offering.”

Since 2016, GTS has been the largest Designated Market Maker (DMM) at the New York Stock Exchange, responsible for the trading of almost 1,000 public companies that have a total market capitalization of approximately $13 trillion dollars. Listed securities include blue chip companies ranging from ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) and Ford (NYSE: F) to international companies such as Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) to leading global technology companies like Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Pinterest (NYSE: PINS).

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.  Terms were not disclosed.

Rosenblatt Securities advised GTS on the transaction.

Source: GTS

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