Nasdaq Acquires Significant Minority Stake in LeveL ATS, an Independently Operated US Equity Dark Pool Trading Venue

Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) and LeveL ATS have revealed that Nasdaq has acquired a significant minority stake in LeveL ATS, an independently operated US Equity Dark Pool trading portal.

Through this strategic investment, Nasdaq has reportedly joined owners such as Bank of America, Citi, as well as Fidelity. The terms of the deal have not been shared pubclily.

Tal Cohen, EVP and Head of N. American Markets at Nasdaq, stated:

“As one of the most innovative and well recognized broker-neutral trading platforms across US equities, LeveL has demonstrated the ability to consistently meet the evolving needs of investors and serve as an important source of liquidity for its members. We are pleased to join several leading sell-side firms to build on LeveL’s suite of products and current market position.”

Whit Conary, CEO at LeveL ATS, remarked;

“In a rapidly changing market landscape, our independent operating model has given us the ability to scale and expand our product and service offerings. Having Nasdaq onboard provides us with an even greater runway for future growth, innovation and enhanced client experience.”

Established in 2006, LeveL ATS offers a continuous crossing platform, allowing clients the opportunity for engaging in seamless trading in a highly-stable dark pool environment while also minimizing information leakage and overall market impact.

Recently, LeveL introduced three proprietary volume-weighted average price (VWAP) order types, including VWAP Block, VWAP Slice and VWAP Full Day.

Adena Friedman, CEO at Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange with a market cap of nearly $17 trillion, had noted in November 2020 that the COVID-19 pandemic is “fundamentally accelerating” the adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.

According to Friedman, the current environment has also led to the increased usage of Cloud computing platforms and advanced data management solutions.

Friedman had confirmed:

“We absolutely expect this trend to remain as these technologies continue to mature in the years ahead. The reasons for the acceleration are numerous, and include the ability for those technologies together to handle ever-increasing transaction flows while also elevating the integrity, transparency, and inclusiveness of markets around the world.”

Friedman, whose comments came during the Technology for Future (ToF) Conference, pointed out that financial services and capital markets began adopting APIs quite early. She explained that this has enabled many different interactions between firms or businesses and applications that power the global economy.

But Friedman also mentioned that there’s still a lot of room to “reimagine the interactions that take place across financial services, as most of the industry APIs used today are static and lack the flexibility of modern APIs that have helped transform many other industries.”

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