finra

FINRA

For Release:
Contact:
Wednesday, September 9, 1998
Reid Walker - (202) 728-8243

NASD Announces Final Agreement with OptiMark Technologies

Washington, D.C.—The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD®), today announced that The Nasdaq Stock Market® and OptiMarkTM Technologies, Inc., have formally agreed to offer the OptiMark Trading SystemTM as a "facility" of Nasdaq® beginning in the summer of 1999, subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Under the agreement, the OptiMark system will be adapted to trade Nasdaq securities and will be offered as a new service of Nasdaq, providing NASD members with another execution service option.

 

The OptiMark system is an electronic equity trading process that offers traders and investors a "third dimension" to their trading criteria. Instead of entering trading interest at only one price and size, traders would be able to indicate their interest in trading across a range of prices and sizes. Using powerful supercomputers and patented algorithms, the OptiMark system matches profiles of buying and selling desires in a manner that maximizes the mutual satisfaction of all buy and sell interests.

 

Integrating OptiMark’s technology into the Nasdaq system will continue Nasdaq’s effort to improve opportunities for investors to receive the best available prices in the marketplace and reduce broker/dealer trading costs. NASD members and investors will be able to take advantage of anonymity and electronic trading benefits offered by Nasdaq’s new OptiMark facility; companies listed on Nasdaq will also benefit through enhanced liquidity and flexibility offered to their shareholders.

 

"The agreement to integrate OptiMark technology into Nasdaq is part of an ongoing effort to offer investors and the trading community increased access to the market through innovative technology. We believe that this service will prove to be of great benefit to all market participants by increasing access to a broader range of trading interests and by lowering costs," said Frank G. Zarb, Chairman and CEO of the NASD, the parent organization of The Nasdaq Stock Market.

 

"We are very pleased that plans to make the OptiMark system a facility of Nasdaq have progressed to this significant next stage," William A. Lupien, Chairman and CEO of OptiMark Technologies, said. "We anticipate that the OptiMark system will enhance numerous opportunities in the Nasdaq market, increasing the likelihood, for example, that Market Makers can reliquify their positions more frequently than is possible now," he added.

 

Founded by Mr. Lupien—a former securities trader—and Dr. Terry Rickard, OptiMark Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Durango, Colorado, is the creator of the OptiMark System. OptiMark was developed by experts in electronic trading after extensive consultation with institutional investors, brokers, and stock markets. For more information on OptiMark Technologies, see www.OptiMark.com.

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market is the fastest growing stock market in the United States and the world’s first and largest electronic market. It is among the world’s best regulated stock markets, employing the industry’s most sophisticated surveillance systems and

regulatory specialists to ensure investor protection and a fair and competitive trading environment. Nasdaq is a subsidiary of the NASD, the largest securities-industry, self-regulatory organization in the United States. For more information on the NASD or Nasdaq, visit www.nasd.com and www.nasdaq.com, respectively. All briefing materials related to this announcement are available on the Nasdaq NewsroomSM at www.nasdaqnews.com.