Interdealer ICAP has announced the launch of live trades on its EBS Direct platform. EBS Direct is ICAP’s new ‘relationship’ based trading platform that was created to be offered alongside its multi-dealer platform EBS Markets. The launch of EBS Direct is part of a slate of changes that are being initiated at ICAP following multi-year contraction of volumes in its FX trading offerings which culminated in six year lows during December 2012.
Specifically, the product is aimed at competing with similar platforms like FXall which has integrated both ECN and relationship pricing within a single interface. The appeal for traders is the ability to source liquidity from dealers that they have relationships with and often offer tighter pricing, along with the more diverse and greater market depth available from an ECN.
The initial live trades are part of the platform’s live beta program, and include liquidity from four providers: Commerzbank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley. According to ICAP EBS Direct has already signed up more than 200 customers in 44 countries and has commitment from a further 20 liquidity providers.
In addition to the progress with the launch of EBS Direct, ICAP has announced that EBS is continuing to develop a new order routing infrastructure which will “enable EBS to further leverage its wide distribution and global footprint to offer customers a flexible, cost-effective and feature-rich solution which meets the expanding needs of the FX market.”
Commenting on the EBS Direct announcement:
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Giovanni Pillitteri, Managing Director, Global Head of ecommerce trading at Morgan Stanley, said: “We are excited to be one of the first providers of liquidity on EBS Direct, further cementing our partnership. We look forward to continuing to deliver the benefits of this new platform to our clients.”
Paul Scott, Managing Director, Global Head of eFX, at Commerzbank, said: “EBS Direct provides excellent distribution in a cost-efficient solution through a trusted platform. We are going to continue working closely with EBS to ensure we maximise our reach to serve our broad range of customers.”
Christopher Chattaway, Managing Director, FX Trading at Goldman Sachs said: “Our implementation of the EBS Direct solution represents an important step in increasing liquidity distribution to our customers. We are looking forward to working closely with EBS to further develop this innovative platform.”
Svante Hedin, Managing Director, FX ecommerce trading at J.P. Morgan, said: “We are pleased to be working with EBS Direct to provide liquidity to our customers on a disclosed basis. Our initial trades have gone well and we look forward to increasing the volume of trades with EBS.”
Jeff Ward, Global Head of EBS Direct, said: “We have reached an important milestone in the development of this innovative, cost-effective disclosed liquidity solution. EBS’ global presence, robust footprint and trusted relationship with the market have enabled us to attract great interest in the offering, and we are excited to begin moving into live, active trading. Having now established a solid framework for EBS Direct we will work closely with our customers to ensure we continue to deliver a differentiated offering that meets the market’s evolving needs.”