10.13.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Need for Innovation

With an ever-growing number of exchanges and trading platforms, creativity and innovation has become more important than ever.

As the markets continue to fragment amid the abundance of exchanges and alternative trading platforms, the onus is on newcomers to bring new ideas to the table.

“The reality is, there needs to be greater innovation in the industry,” said Shelly Brown, senior vice president of Miami International Holdings. “We really haven’t seen anything extreme since (the International Securities Exchange) came out with all-electronic options trading in 2000. A nimble independent exchange has the ability to bring that to the market.”

Brown’s Miami International is planning on launching a new options exchange in 2012. Pending regulatory approval, the MIAX Options Exchange would be the tenth options trading exchange in the U.S. The New Jersey-based company has also said that it plans to launch an equities exchange as well. There are currently 13 equities exchanges in the U.S., in addition to the estimated 40 or so alternative trading systems. Both platforms are to be located in Miami and would be built from the ground up. They would focus on listing securities and stocks from companies based in Central and South America.

“We want to be new and innovative and nimble,” added Brown. “We want to be able to adapt to a changing environment, to be able to see new opportunities, whether they be on the technology side or regulation side, and be able to implement them in a relatively seamless fashion.”

With the continuing proliferation of exchanges and trading platforms, following regulatory actions that have lowered the barriers of entry, increasing fragmentation is becoming more of a concern.

“I think there’s enough order flow to go around,” said Brown. “There’s a consolidation occurring in the exchange space. Even though there are more exchanges, there are fewer operators. On the options side, Nasdaq owns two, CBOE owns two, NYSE owns two. Pretty soon NYSE and ISE will combine 3 under 1 operator. There are fewer now than there has been in quite some time.”

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