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‘The one place to go for liquidity'

Author: Tessa Oakley

It's finally official. Atriax, the long-awaited partnership between Citigroup, Chase Manhattan, Deutsche Bank and Reuters has launched. That the three banks would join forces has been an open secret since rival FXall was announced in May without these three banks, the top three in Euromoney's annual foreign exchange survey. Each had been in the initial discussions for FXall in the six weeks before the launch, with Deutsche rumoured to be involved in even earlier exploratory talks which began about 18 months ago. Deutsche pulled out because it felt that it could not contribute the required resources and time to the FXall venture.

Unlike other multi-bank internet trading platforms, Atriax has not appointed a banker as the CEO. Instead the board has chosen someone from the buy side, Dan Morehead, formerly the chief Financial officer of Tiger Asset Management, who was First approached by Citigroup's then forex chief, Guy Whittaker, in April. It's a simple and effective way of reassuring potential clients that Atriax won't become a cartel defending the interests and profits of the banks involved. And Morehead is backed up by an advisory board of 21 buy-side clients.

It's a combination others have found hard to resist: 49 other banks - 35 from the Euromoney top 100, 14 outside it - have decided to join the platform, which makes Atriax almost twice as large in potential liquidity provision as any of its rivals.

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