Concerns about conflicts of interest have long been top of mind for players in the equity trading space. There's been no shortage of discussion around protecting the interests of end-investors and rooting out conflicts in broker routing. Much of the industry's regulation aims to address those conflicts, including the SEC's proposed Transaction Fee Pilot. Had the pilot received approval, it would have studied how exchanges' pricing may create conflicts of interest for broker-dealers, which in turn may harm investors.
In our initial observation of the Tick Size Pilot*, we found a shift in liquidity from off-exchange venues to exchanges in G3 and a shift from maker/taker to inverted exchanges across all test groups. However, we did not observe the same increase in impact costs that other studies found. We concluded that the pilot may be showing signs of improved liquidity capture for institutional investors and we committed to measure and report the results of the pilot in the future.
We’ve released our insights on the Tick Size Pilot (TSP). We’ve analyzed our data to assess market structure changes as a result of the pilot, as well as the performance of our algorithmic strategies.
This week an article in the Wall Street Journal, “High-Frequency Traders Fall on Hard Times - Once- lucrative business is now fighting unfavorable market conditions, brutal competition and rising costs”, paints a picture where high frequency trading is no longer the business that it used to be due to less volatility in the market and access to speed for those willing to pay.