The mutual fund industry is emerging as a new front in the pitched battle between trading venues as Toronto-based TMX Group Ltd. announced on Monday that it is joining the race to provide mutual funds with the trade execution and clearing that is common for equities.
The news that TMX Group is planning to launch a new trading platform that will allow mutual funds to trade like equities follows the development last week in which industry upstart Aequitas Technology Services Inc. of Toronto, in conjunction with Toronto-based Invesco Canada Ltd., unveiled plans for the launch of a new trading platform for platform-traded funds (PTFs). Aequitas PTF Connect, which will also allow mutual funds to trade and settle like equities, is expected to go live by the end of the first quarter of 2016 and will be available to all mutual fund companies and investment dealers.
The TSX NAVex platform, which it is aiming to launch in the second quarter of 2016, will utilize TMX Group’s existing equities trading, clearing and settlement infrastructure to trade mutual funds, TMX Group says in a statement: “Mutual funds posted on the TSX NAVex platform will be visible to all participants who currently trade TSX-listed equities and ETFs, which coupled with inherent support for bulk trading, creates a new, efficient distribution channel for mutual fund manufacturers.”
To help develop and finalize the structure for the new platform, TMX Group has formed an industry working group, which includes representatives from a variety of mutual fund firms, headlined by major industry players such as AGF Investments Inc., BMO Asset Management Inc., Manulife Investments, Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. and IA Clarington Investments Inc., along with several smaller firms.
“We are extremely excited to partner with a broad set of industry stakeholders and together create an industry-neutral solution that will benefit the whole market,” says Nick Thadaney, president and CEO, global equity capital markets, TMX Group, in the statement.