Glimpse Markets launches data-sharing for buy-side trading desks

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Paul O’Brien, CEO, Glimpse Markets

Glimpse Markets, a new post-trade data sharing platform for fixed income, aims to turn data costs of the buy-side on their head, by providing a free post-trade data-sharing service for bond investors, which is accessible for a fee in an anonymised format to sell-side and market operators.

“The model itself is very simple, it’s totally free for the buy side,” says CEO, Paul O’Brien. “It’s all based around a ‘give-to-get’ model, so as long as a buy-side firm is contributing its trading data above a certain threshold, they will see all of the aggregated and anonymised data from everyone in the network on a T+1 basis for free.”

The firm will set a quarterly threshold for number of trades or total volume traded necessary to receive data on trades for all contributors for free. The initial scope is high yield and investment grade credit, which O’Brien believe is where the greatest demand has been.

“People are looking for an equivalent to [US post-trade bond tape] TRACE in European corporate credit. Our sweet spot is credit in Euro and Sterling currencies, and we only publish data on executed trades,” O’Brien explains. “We are not interested in dealer quotes or indicative pricing or failed request for quotes (RFQs), it’s purely printed trades.”

“The system will always make the price, yield and spread of the trade available to participants, along similar lines to TRACE, but also trying to address some of the limitations of trades that have been raised by buy side firms, specifically around the handling of block trades defined as such by the buy-side trading desk which receives the block order from the portfolio manager. There is size cap for reporting size of 5 million euros or sterling, and block trades are not reported until fully completed

“If you are trading a £30 million order executed in three parts, that will be printed on three trades of £5m+. It telegraphs to the market when a client is working a big order, and this is a serious limitation that I think needs to be addressed in Europe,” he explains. “We have a different solution to that. We delay the reporting of block trades until the order has been fully filled, so only once the final segment of that trade has been executed do we record all the individual parts of that trade.”

The system also flags orders that are part of portfolio trades, process trades, and auto executed trades.

“We have got quite a rich data set in that sense,” O’Brien adds.

The platform is already under review with 15 buy-side firms which would be more than needed to establish a critical mass for launching. By selling data on to market operators and dealers, the platform sees a clear route to commercial success, but data ownership and data quality will be key to success, and as a result the platform will be auditing data to determine there is no gaming of the system.

“We will check the data that has been contributed is accurate and up to date; policing the data is something we are keen to do,” he says.

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