Forex Datasource


 Upon request, Forex Datasource offers this report at no cost to select buy-side firms and FX price takers 


2018 E-FX MDP Ranking: The Pursuit of Platform Scale

Executive Summary

The world of multi-dealer platforms (MDPs) continues to evolve and, with it, capital markets microstructure. Recent merger and acquisition (M&A) activity requires that we expand our notion of what are MDPs and with whom they compete. FX price takers looking for multi-dealer liquidity in any number of FX marketplaces: over-the counter (OTC) venues, regulated exchanges, electronic broking venues, swap execution facilities (SEFs), multi-lateral trading facilities (MTFs) and select nontraditional venues like Bloomberg FXGO and FXSpotStream. 

Recent M&A activity has occurred in response to strategic threats posed by large firms growing trading volume at double digit rates annually, while another known goal was for major stock exchange groups to own a piece of the OTC FX marketplace. Examples of the M&A trend include: Cboe Group’s acquisition of BATS (which includes Hotspot, now known as Cboe FX), Deutsche Borse’s purchase of 360T and Gain GTX, Euronext’s acquisition of Fastmatch, and CME Group’s acquisition of NEX Group. 

The top three FX MDPs in the space (Bloomberg FXGO, State Street’s FX Connect, and Refinitiv’s FXall) have their respective “sticky glue” to draw in / retain coveted buy-side clients. The Bloomberg FXGO franchise has been on a tear in recent years while the largest E-FX firm (Refinitiv) is having a banner 2018, a reality not lost among anxious peers. 

Select questions answered in this study include: 


  • What is the market share of MDPs in the electronic FX (E-FX) space today?
  • How do different business models, particularly the one based on transaction-fees, fare in today’s M&A-prone environment? 
  • What regional trends exist relative to MDP adoption?
  • What longer-term stats can the E-FX industry show in terms average daily volume (ADV) growth, number of MDPs, and FX product offering? 


 This report relies on the latest trade activity data either publicly-available or made known to Forex Datasource by E-FX firms mentioned in the report, while also bringing to bear the author’s 13-year experience professionally researching FX MDPs. Prior to this report’s publication, midsized and large E-FX firms were given the opportunity to provide color/corrections of our estimates of their firms’ respective historical ADV growth and FX product adoption path. The list of firms mentioned in the report include: B3, BGC (also owner of GFI), Bloomberg, Cboe, China Foreign Exchange Trading System (CFETS), CME Group, Cürex Group, Deutsche Börse, Euronext, FX Spot Stream, Integral, LMAX Exchange, Moscow Exchange, NEX Group, R5FX, Refinitiv (owner of FXall, Reuters Conversational Dealing, and Refinitiv Matching), State Street Bank (owner of FX Connect and Currenex), Tradition (owner of its own SEF and ParFX), and Tullett Prebon (also owner of ICAP).  


OTC FX markets are notoriously opaque and this poses a challenge to executives needing to carry out investment decisions involving M&A activity, or revamping FX product choice and functionality. This report offers the needed visibility into the OTC FX MDP space to justify high-value investment decisions. 

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