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MarketAxess to Acquire Quantitative Trading Tech Provider Pragma

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MarketAxess Holdings Inc., the electronic trading platform operator for fixed-income securities, has agreed to acquire quantitative & algorithmic trading technology specialist Pragma.

Pragma provides broker-neutral, multi-asset trading & execution solutions across equities, FX and fixed-income, and is used by asset managers, hedge funds, broker-dealers, banks, and exchanges across the globe. It managed over $2 trillion of algorithmic order flow in multiple asset classes for its clients across more than 50 venues last year, according to the company.

The acquisition marks the latest step in MarketAxcess’ partnership and acquisition strategy. Earlier in the year, MarketAxess joined forces with Bloomberg and TradeWeb to bid for the role of fixed income consolidated tape provider (CTP) for the European Union, building on infrastructure from FINBOURNE Technology. The company also recently unveiled Adaptive Auto-X, an automated execution solution that is currently undergoing pilot testing.

This acquisition will enable MarketAxess to fast-track the development of execution algorithms and data-driven analytics across all fixed-income products, by leveraging Pragma’s deep neural network-based execution engine, algorithmic platform and technology expertise.

Chris Concannon, Chief Executive Officer of MarketAxess, stated: “Our acquisition of Pragma underscores MarketAxess’ commitment to innovating, integrating, and providing our clients with quantitative, AI-powered technology solutions powered by proprietary data designed to simplify and enhance their workflows. Pragma’s years of expertise with FX algos provides a unique opportunity for FX hedging solutions for our Emerging Market clients.”

David Mechner, Pragma’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Pragma and MarketAxess share a common mission of using technology and automation to improve trader efficiency and generate superior trading outcomes for investors. MarketAxess’ scale and resources will amplify the results we can deliver for clients with the cutting-edge technologies we’ve built.”

“This acquisition represents a major milestone in our tech story,” added Nash Panchal, Chief Information Officer of MarketAxess. “The Pragma team brings invaluable technology assets and deep expertise in execution algorithms and automation. We look forward to building upon those capabilities to enhance the services we provide our clients in fixed-income.”

The deal is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter, pending the fulfilment of standard closing conditions.

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