As the credit crisis fall out continues and firms move into the fourth quarter, Steve Swanson, the newly appointed global co head of electronic trading products and services at Citi and former CEO of ATD, gave Advanced Trading an update on Citi's electronic trading efforts.
Swanson says the firm's dark pool volumes continue to increase as they ready to branch out into overseas markets.
"We've seen our dark pool order flow increasing during this volatile period," Swanson says. "When you consider the amount of liquidity coming across our dark pool, it's obvious that the customer base is finding executions there in these times."
The Citi Match dark pool was launched early this year, bringing together Citi's order flow with order flow from ATD, which was acquired in October of 2007. In addition, Citi Match brings in order flow from the retail side with Smith Barneys broker-dealer network, and the Liquidity Ping network, a former ATD offering that lets external crossing systems and other broker dark pools "ping" for liquidity in Citi Match before routing out to the markets.
"September was a record month for us and I would expect October also was a good month," adds Swanson. He says Citi Match was launched in February with about 42 million shares per day and that number has tripled over the course of the year.
As a result, the firm is looking overseas for expansion. "We are turning our focus towards Europe and we're excited by the opportunities we see over there," says Swanson. "We're positioning ourselves to deliver products to take advantage of that marketplace."
Specifically, he says Citi Match will be launched in Europe in early 2009. Citi already has its smart order router product up and running in the region. "We'll be leveraging similar systems and the order flows we have within Citi across Europe," says Swanson. "We'll be partnering with other firms to bring as much liquidity as we can to our algorithms as well."
Beyond Europe, Citi looks to move into Asia with similar products and services. "One of the attractive parts of the Citi acquisition of ATD was the significant number of people they had in Europe and Asia so we'll leverage that knowledge and those capabilities," notes Swanson. "We're sending several people to Europe now and developing plans for Asiait will be a combination of Citi and ATD people."