Plato is taking shape

Plato is a consortium that is planning to launch a not-for-profit trading venue next year. The platform intends to become a one-stop shop for anonymous block trades and will be open to all interested market participants. The vision and values are stated clearly and look like they are aimed at providing a better fit to the regulatory climate of the future. General aims are: reduce cost, simplify market structure, creating liquidity, and an equal experience for all participants. 

The consortium consist of many important players such as:  Fidelity, Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. Any revenue generated will be used to commission academic research through its Market Structure Innovation Centre.

A major step has been taken by selecting Turquoise as the technology partner, and it looks like the project will be ready to take on the existing venues in 2016. You could wonder how facilitating a not-for-profit competitor makes sense for LSE group .

While the soundbites are all about stewardship, equality, trust and collaboration at the end of the day it's a dark pool operated by a number of large players. It will be up to Plato to show that it is really different rather than another platform in a fresh package.