By John D'Antona

ITG Canada Shuts Prop Arb Desk

ITG Canada, a subsidiary of broker and technology company ITG, is closing down its inter-listed proprietary arbitrage trading desk.

According to an ITG press officer, the closure was not the result of regulatory inquiries or issues with operation, rather, it doesn’t align with the company’s focus on client execution.

Earlier this year, Frank Troise, the CEO of ITG said that the firm would scrutinize its entire business model as the firm struggled to rebuild trust and its client base after being fined $20 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015 for alleged wrongdoing in its Posit dark pool.

The decision to pull the plug was mentioned in the firm’s 10-Q filing with the SEC.

ITG Canada engaged in proprietary trading, primarily in U.S. – Canadian inter-listed equities arbitrage trading since 2001. This operation was fully disclosed to Canadian regulators and was part of a business unit which is routinely audited by IIROC.

“The arbitrage trading operation did not have any knowledge of, or access to, ITG customer data of any sort. It did not receive any broker-priority benefits when executing in our broker-only Canadian dark pool, MatchNow,” a press officer told Markets Media. “The arbitrage trading operation used separate systems and order routing infrastructure, segregated from ITG’s client business.”

ITG Canada still makes markets on a fully disclosed principal basis in a small number of Canadian ETFs at the request of clients, he added.

“I’d like to address a couple changes we’ve made to hone our focus and exit non-core operations,” Troise said. “Although we are in the midst of our business review, we are not waiting to take action. We have closed our Canadian arbitrage-trading desk and we are closing our U.S. matched book stock loan group. While these were both modestly profitable operations, they were not core to our business. These are early moves to concentrate our time and resources on growing our core scalable businesses.”

David Lauer, co-founder of KOR Trading and Healthy Markets, said that the move to shut the business was a “good move that will give clients more confidence in ITG’s independence.”

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