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GTS to acquire Cantor Fitzgerald’s ETF and wholesale market making businesses


GTS, an electronic market maker across global financial instruments, is to acquire the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and wholesale market making businesses of Cantor Fitzgerald (Cantor).

As part of the transaction, approximately 35 Cantor Fitzgerald personnel will become full-time GTS employees. The ETF business will be led by industry pioneer Reginald Browne along with his partners Eric Lichtenstein and Darren Taube. Overseeing the Wholesale Market Making business will be Joe Pleffner, Mike Strashnov and Menash Cohen. While at Cantor, the partners perfected expertise to optimally aggregate and execute institutional and retail trades across their extensive network of global clients.
The unique combination of that business with GTS, which on many days trades upwards of six per cent of all US trading volume and is the largest Designated Market Maker (DMM) at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), ushers in a new era of technology access and innovation that will lower the costs of investing.
“For the first time on a scale never seen before, the most sophisticated Wall Street technology is being deployed for mainstream investors, be they institutional or retail,” says Ari Rubenstein, CEO and co-founder of GTS. “Investors around the world can now leverage the very best in machine learning, artificial intelligence and execution technology to help them save money whenever they trade and invest. This is an unprecedented opportunity for investors which unites unrivalled innovation with pioneering client service – while enhancing the capital raising opportunities for listed companies.”
Stacey Cunningham, president of the New York Stock Exchange, says: “The NYSE and our partners embody the synthesis of technology and human judgment, leading to the best possible outcome for investors and issuers.”
Browne says: “We are creating a new standard together that will marry technology and capital deployment to create robust efficiency for client access across all asset classes. Public companies want to be sure there is access to deep pools of liquidity and transparency they can trust. And in a similar fashion, investors want to engage in the capital markets in the most cost-efficient manner possible. GTS responsibly uses technology to deliver positive benefits to the entire financial markets ecosystem.”
Pleffner says: “We are extremely excited to combine our wholesale trading platform with GTS’ world-class infrastructure to provide a holistic, flexible and sustainable offering to enhance the retail client experience.”
At the NYSE, GTS is responsible for the trading in more than 900 public companies that have a total market capitalisation of approximately USD13 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) and AT&T (NYSE: T).
Rubenstein says, “This partnership is another step in GTS’ mission to build out its global capital markets business and to put its premier trading technology to use for all of those who may benefit, in order to truly democratize access to our markets for all who participate.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. Terms have not been disclosed.
Rosenblatt Securities advised GTS on the transaction.

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