New York Stock Exchange’s next-generation trading floor goes live

New York Stock Exchange’s next-generation trading floor goes live

08/03/10

The first phase of New York Stock Exchange’s next-generation trading floor went live today, with traders working for the first time from a workspace custom redesigned for the NYSE’s blend of high-tech, high-touch trading.

“We’re creating an environment where brokers can serve customers in multiple markets and multiple asset classes – more efficiently and effectively – right from the NYSE trading floor,” said NYSE Euronext Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Leibowitz.  “Our member firms see this as an opportunity to integrate their off-floor and on-floor operations, and locate them at the central point of liquidity and price discovery.” *

New Network Supports Brokerage Firms’ Own Trading Applications, Plus NYSE Broker Systems

The transformation provides modern, seated workspaces with room for multiple computer screens, to replace crowded, wooden booths where brokers and their assistants stand elbow to elbow.  The project also includes a new, more robust network that supports the member firms’ own trading applications as well as NYSE broker applications.  This enables the firms to use the same systems and personnel on and off the trading floor.  

The broker workspaces along the two longest walls of the NYSE trading floor’s main room – the east and west walls – are being renovated in phases that began in July 2009 and will conclude at the end of 2010.  The project will result in approximately 200 individual broker stations. 

The design, by the architectural firm of Perkins Eastman, uses sleek, curved, translucent glass walls and new lighting to brighten the room and recapture the marble walls and original windows that were obscured earlier.   

The project also includes streamlining the large, circular desks throughout the trading floor where the designated market makers are located, as well as updating the electronic wallboards into color, high-definition, flexible-content displays.

Strong Interest and Participation

The new spaces in the main room already are oversubscribed by member firms wishing to participate.   Some are existing NYSE member firms that are expanding their presence on the trading floor, while others are firms looking to establish a new presence.  Discussions are underway about the possibility of extending the project into another room of the trading floor known as “the garage.

Floor brokers are one of three core liquidity providers in the NYSE market model; the others are designated market makers and supplemental liquidity providers.  There are approximately 100 NYSE floor broker firms, which accounted for 156 million shares of NYSE daily trading volume on average in January 2010.  Nearly 60 percent of floor brokers’ trades were liquidity-providing (as compared with liquidity removing) in January 2010.

In addition to their activity on the NYSE trading floor, approximately 60 percent of the floor broker firms are permissioned to trade in other venues and financial products from the NYSE trading floor.

Floor brokers differentiate the NYSE market model by blending sophisticated automation – such as uniquely engineered algorithms in their hand-held order-management systems – with human expertise and value-added service to offer a highly managed solution for a very large and diverse community of customers. 

Ongoing Transformation

The remake of the main room of the world’s best-known trading floor is the latest major component of an ongoing transformation at the NYSE Euronext in New York , including:   

  • Adopting in 2008 the high-tech/high-touch market model, providing customers with the benefits of both fast, automated trading and value-added human interaction to add liquidity and dampen volatility;
  • Upgrading NYSE trading systems to improve speed, capacity and functionality – round-trip latency has decreased from 350 milliseconds in 2007 to 3 milliseconds currently;
  • Following NYSE Euronext’s acquisition of the America Stock Exchange, moving the renamed NYSE Amex’ equities and options businesses into other areas of the NYSE trading floor in December 2008 and March 2009, respectively, and reinvigorating their competitive positions with new technology; and
  • Planning to trade Nasdaq-listed issues for the first time from the NYSE floor, under the NYSE Amex platform, pending approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission.