Plato Partnership – 2019 Review

It’s been an incredible year here at Plato Partnership. This year, we have expanded our mission to give back to the European marketplace with new partnerships, new events, new products and many new members of the Partnership.


Tradeweb’s RFQ recently marked its one year anniversary and what a year it has been. Tradeweb has demonstrated that the RFQ is not toxic and that it is a stable pricing protocol. One year on, Tradeweb are now supporting both above and below LIS whilst liquidity provision has grown significantly, the average trade size has increased, quoted spreads have improved and the speed of response continues to get faster.

Clients can also create bespoke rules using the AiEX tool (Automated Intelligent Execution) to trade directly from their EOMS. The tool will allow clients to conduct an initial sweep of the market to see if a contra IOI is available and only when it is, will an RFQ be activated.

The cash equity RFQ protocol has established itself as a key tool in the search for principal liquidity, and we are excited about the new developments and to see it evolving over the next year.


Our long-standing collaboration with Turquoise on Turquoise-Plato Block Discovery and Turquoise Plato Lit auctions has hit a number of milestones, with new volume records hit across both platforms.

Dr Robert Barnes, CEO Turquoise“Turquoise Plato Block Discovery™ achieved all-time daily, weekly, monthly and yearly value traded records in 2019, thank you to our customers.”

“Turquoise Plato Lit Auctions™ offers similarly high quality execution evidenced by low price reversion after trade plus many examples of unique liquidity – beyond small size trades normally associated with frequent batch auctions – with unique liquidity in many large trades in UK & European securities from blue chips to small caps, unique liquidity in AIM & IOB stocks, including the Shanghai London Stock Connect. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with Plato Partnership and customers world-wide to deliver innovations that contribute to improving market structure and offering execution channels that deliver the best result on a continuous basis, the very definition of best execution.”

Data Partnerships

We have also placed a far greater focus on building partnerships with data providers. Ensuring transparency of data across the marketplace is already central to improving the market for all its participants, from academics and regulators through to buy and sell side. The importance of freely available data will only become more important as we move into 2020, and Plato is committed to playing a role in moving data forward.

Earlier this year we announced a new collaboration with Babelfish Analytics in the form of Plato Clarity, which will bring much needed innovation to the European venue routing process: a process that has seen very little innovation in over ten years. We have also recently launched Platometrics in partnership with BMLL Technologies – a free tool that provides a full picture of the European equities marketplace, across different venues and regulatory jurisdictions.

Platometrics is free to all market participants. Sign up here

We are in the process of building some new partnerships with some exceptional companies, so watch this space in 2020.


We at Plato believe that enabling open and stimulating discussion between different parts of the marketplace is the key to moving the market forwards. As the impact of rapidly changing technologies and a turbulent political landscape present ever growing challenges for the market, ensuring that options for collaboration are available between different firms and organisations from all ends of the market spectrum is crucial.

This year, Plato have run or sponsored four events in London to bring together participants. AIR Summit – London 1.0, hosted at The Crystal, was the first ever event of its kind in Europe, bringing Alpha into the spotlight and enabling the next generation of fintech firms to connect with the buyside. We have committed to sponsoring a further three years of AIR Summit, and hope that it will continue to keep technology at the front and centre of the marketplace. Special thanks go to Bill Stevenson and Morgan Dunbar at AIR Summit for taking a fantastic idea and turning it into a remarkable event.

The 2019 Plato Partnership MI3 academic conference was held at the Imperial College London Business School in conjunction with Imperial College and the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Seven papers were presented through the day, a panel discussion featuring representatives from Plato, BMLL, and Turquoise was chaired by Plato Sell-Side Chairman Nej D’jelal, and keynote speeches were given by Andrei Kirilenko of Imperial College Business School, Elliot Banks from BMLL, and Dr Robert Barnes from Turquoise.

This year’s Plato Showcase focused on our data collaborations, with presentations from Babelfish, BMLL Technologies, TradeWeb and Turquoise. It offered an excellent opportunity for our partners to demonstrate new capabilities for equity trading market participants.

We were extremely proud of this year’s Plato Debate, with keynote speeches from the Rt. The Hon. Lord Peter Mandelson, former European Commissioner and cabinet minister under Tony Blair, and James Tromans, Technical Director, Office of the CTO at Google Cloud. Topics ranged from the post-Brexit European trading landscape to the implementation of next-generation AI into trading algorithms. A huge thank-you goes to Marc Carolissen and his team at The Trade for making the event possible.

And finally…

Most importantly, we want to say thank you to our members and supporters. Plato is a Partnership, and the collaboration and discussions held between our supporters is what makes our entire industry continue to grow. Thank you for your enduring support, and we look forward to building on the momentum achieved in 2019 as we move into 2020.

“As 2019 draws to a close, I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas. 2019 has been a great year for Plato and I am proud of all we have accomplished. I look forward to even more in 2020, which is going to be a year of innovation” – Mike Bellaro, CEO Plato Partnership