2016 ATS Risk Assessment

Investors and routing brokers are increasingly focused on understanding and assessing the risks posed by the venues on which they trade. The Healthy Markets 2016 ATS Risk Assessment is designed to help them do that. This Report examines 18 of the leading US equity alternative trading systems (ATSs), exploring how they operate, their trading characteristics, and the risks they pose.

While the full 173-page report is available to only Healthy Markets Members we've made excerpts of the report available below. 

The Report contains three main sections: ATS Risks Comparisons, ATS Quantitative Comparisons, and the Individual ATS Risk Assessments.

The ATS Risks Comparisons Section compares ATSs on overall risks, as well as across four key risk categories:

  • Conflicts of interest risks;
  • Information leakage and counterparty risks; 
  • Technology risks; and
  • Enforcement risks.

The ATS Quantitative Comparisons Section examines ATSs across five key measures of interest to investors:

  • ATS market share;
  • Average trade size;
  • Midpoint execution rate;
  • Percentage of trading, by market cap of securities traded; and
  • Percentage of trading done in blocks.

The Individual ATS Risks Assessment Section takes deep dives into the operations, characteristics, and risks of each of the 18 ATSs examined. 

Information to complete this Report was obtained from public sources, such as ATS websites, FAQs, Forms ATS, and regulators' websites. It also included responses to Healthy Markets' ATS Questionnaire, which includes dozens of detailed, technical quaitons about items ranging from information-leaking order types to smart order router preferencing. 

We found significant variations in ATSs' disclosures, operations, and risks. Based on our scoring methodology, we identified 7 ATSs as posing low overall risks 5 as posing medium overall risks, and 6 as having provided inadequate information to meaningfully assess them. I

The 2016 ATS Risk Assessment is an essential source for any institutional investor. For more information about this Report or Healthy Markets Association, please contact us at info@healthymarkets.org