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Luminex announces speed upgrade to matching engine for block trading

Luminex Trading & Analytics, a buy side-owned trading venue delivering efficient, low-cost block executions, has launched a ‘dramatic’ speed upgrade to the matching engine behind its unique buy side-only dark pool.The enhancements represent a significant performance upgrade to the platform and were developed in consultation with clients to achieve unprecedented execution when trading large numbers of shares. The Luminex ATS now operates at a rate exponentially faster than before the upgrade. The more efficient technology will lead to cost savings that will help Luminex keep its commissions among the lowest in the industry.

To design and implement the speed upgrade, Luminex hired LeveL ATS, whose own venue processes more than 100 million shares a day. Launched in 2006, LeveL ATS does not compete directly with Luminex, though the venues share many common characteristics and goals: both platforms strive to give customers the opportunity for seamless trading in a highly stable dark pool environment while minimising information leakage and market impact.

“Luminex is both a trading venue and a trading community,” said Jonathan Clark, Luminex Chief Executive Officer. “While most trades on our platform still involve a human in the process, electronic interaction is how trades are executed. Until now, trading blocks has been among the slower processes on a trading desk. Luminex has been a pioneer in bringing safety to block trading, and today we’re introducing unprecedented speed to the process as well.”

“At launch our platform was cutting-edge, but today every millisecond is an eternity to a matching engine,” adds David Hagen, Head of Product at Luminex. “With this upgrade to microseconds, the technology behind our venue is operating faster and more efficiently for traders. On the back end it’s simpler as well, with a smaller footprint that’s easier to manage, support and upgrade, reducing our costs and leading to savings for our participants.”

The unique partnership with LeveL is a testament to Luminex’s commitment to building bridges across the financial services industry, fostering a community that can serve as a model for cooperation that benefits the end investor.

“LeveL was very excited to work with Luminex to help build and launch their new upgraded trading platform,” says Whit Conary, LeveL Chief Executive Officer. “We believe this upgrade will further Luminex’s commitment to providing safe and transparent trading in an efficient and stable environment. Although LeveL and Luminex may offer differentiated sources of liquidity, we are completely aligned in our pledge to offer our customers an industry-leading trading experience.”

Luminex is celebrating its 5-year anniversary this November and is fulfilling its promise as a dedicated buy-side owned and operated block trading destination. The venue’s average natural block trade size is regularly among the leaders in FINRA’s 10k block trading category, including 51,000 shares in September 2020 (the most recent full month available)1.

Since its inception in 2015, Luminex participants have traded more than 7.7 billion shares totalling more than $536 billion in value. Average orders per day have grown by approximately 30% in that time, and the number of Luminex clients has nearly tripled, from 73 at launch to more than 200 currently.

“Our flexibility and adaptability have been key to our growth,” says Clark. “Whether it has been adding conditional orders, completely redoing our user interface or upgrading our speed, our team has come through each time, and our clients have responded each time, with our average daily volume going up in each case. We’ve kept true to one end goal – creating a safe and clean environment to do one thing: trade the largest blocks in the industry. The program is working and we couldn’t be prouder.”


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