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Trading systems: Turquoise elephant

The sell side’s failure to engage its clients in plans for Project Turquoise could jeopardize its success.

Tony Whalley, Scottish Widows

Tony Whalley, Scottish Widows: sell side and buy side need to interact better

Since news broke in November about Project Turquoise, the alternative trading system being put together by seven leading investment banks to challenge Europe’s stock exchanges, the consortium has revealed no details of its plans other than the appointment of a clearing and settlement solution led by the US Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation and Citi, in March. It’s hard to know for sure whether the lack of detail is the result of a decision to maintain secrecy or if it’s simply because the consortium of rival banks has made little progress. Either way it’s starting to annoy the investment banks’ clients.

"The sell side needs to interact better with the buy side," said Tony Whalley, investment director and head of dealing at Scottish Widows, speaking about Project Turquoise at Trade Tech, an industry conference in Paris, late this April. "We should be getting answers as, presumably, we’re the ones expected to provide the liquidity. But so far there has been a complete wall of silence.

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