Euronext Block – the hub for SME Block Trading
The Buy-side Trading Community recently caught up with Guillaume Battini, Head of New Projects and Advanced Solutions at Euronext, to understand his ambitions, vision and goals for the newly developed Euronext Block – the hub for SME Block Trading.
Guillaume has spent three years at Euronext and twenty-three years in the capital markets, on the sell-side, in sales trading and in block trading technology. He feels he is perfectly placed to shape the core functionality of Euronext’s block trading hub for SMEs, and is keen to ensure that dedication and commitment to the community remain the core focus of the service in the short, medium and long term.
This enhanced solution is a continuation of core Euronext themes, such as concentrating on SME growth and development – a dedicated focus and a desire to offer a very efficient business and service around the existing solutions available on the market today.
Guillaume’s ambition to create a genuine SME Block trading tool for the community is one of the main reasons he has been involved with Euronext Block since its inception. The objective is to grow and evolve this service around the customer’s needs and requirements and to continue to improve the product. He believes there is a strong demand for trading solutions for European SMEs, and as a market infrastructure provider, Euronext is in a position to respond to that demand and close the gap.
Guillaume’s vision is clear:
Capture new liquidity through a new trading tool and a new approach.
Build a bespoke tool that Euronext customers actually need, designed around their specific requirements and with a unique focus: improving liquidity in the SME space by making it easier and safer than ever to source untapped liquidity on the platform.
Ensure that clients’ requirements are always at the heart of the platform so that it supports Euronext’s trading community.
Enable targeted counterparty selection, designed with Euronext members to make sure the solution matches their needs exactly.
Offer new SME features that will empower market participants in ways that no other platform does.
Anita: There is a plethora of well-established block trading venues – why has Euronext chosen to redesign and relaunch Euronext Block?
Guillaume: Euronext Block was originally created in 2017, when the MiFID II regulations unlocked new opportunities for block trading. Now we see there is a gap in the market for SME block trading, and we have totally redesigned and relaunched our platform to offer a tool that facilitates our members’ block trading on small and mid-caps. We are confident that our unique ties with the local brokerage communities across Europe will help us understand how best to help them, with our local geographical approach supporting our research about what will work best for each community.
Guillaume’s view is that Euronext’s listing capacity is superior to other exchanges, and Euronext has both significant market depth and a deep understanding of the culture of local market participants. He knows his clients are very interested in the listing activity that Euronext offers and believes that this tool will help newly public companies to better benefit from the advantages listing brings, whilst helping investors source the liquidity they are looking for, and which is notoriously difficult to find.
Guillaume firmly believes that Euronext Block will become the new link between financial communities.
Anita: What was the background to redesigning Euronext Block?
Guillaume: After a long period of consultation and numerous local broker meetings across Europe, it became very clear that local brokers would benefit from being able to leverage the Euronext network of counterparties. With the redesigned platform, Euronext wants to enable local brokers to reach more customers and access unique and untapped liquidity without information leakage.
We want to create an ecosystem that works for our clients and the clients of our clients. We have ensured we look at all aspects so we can add value and optimise costs. When developing the platform we have taken our time to extensively consult with our partners and to clearly understand what is missing in the marketplace, to identify our strengths and to define how we can help attract liquidity onto the platform to make this service successful for our customers.
There is a clear interest from our communities in this service from Euronext. The platform has evolved over the past years and will continue to do so. All we need is a good quality of liquidity and flow from our local clients who trust us thanks to the in-depth relationships we have with them. Today more than ever, there is a great opportunity to support local businesses.
Anita: How do you anticipate the development of Euronext Block?
Guillaume: Our aim is to build liquidity locally, starting with clients in Paris and Lisbon, always with a long-term view and assessing on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Then we will start to grow into more client segments – directly through the sell-side and indirectly with the buy-side, to eventually expand geographically to other Euronext markets and beyond.
The buy-side message:
Guillaume encourages the buy-side to reach out to their brokers and ask them to have their orders executed on Euronext Block. The buy-side will become part of the network and can exchange ‘smart’ Indications Of Interest (IOIs) through the platform’s unique ‘Wave for Liquidity’ functionality to fully benefit from the multiple innovations the platform has to offer.
In the future, Euronext will actively seek to add value through new functionalities and firmly believes that the defined working group will make sure the platform clearly delivers what the clients want to achieve.
“The most important for us is to add value for our clients and we want this product to work in their best interests. We have local offices across our Euronext communities and our clients have open conversations with us. Each region has a different culture and a different way to trade, so we aim to ensure our platform caters to local needs by tailoring it to each geographic region. We are very keen to help the buy-side with our services, and also to help the sell-side in talking to their clients about our platform in order to create a successful ecosystem when trading with their counterparts.” Guillaume Battini.
Guillaume has a strong interest in business development, product innovation to help users navigate the competitive capital markets, and designing client-centric solutions. He is the bridge between the front office and technology and aims to act as the interface to obtain what the trader wants for best execution from a technology perspective. He enjoys working with different types of clients – tier 1, 2 and 3 brokers – and he thrives on the breadth of experience of his colleagues and clients at Euronext. Outside of work Guillaume is a keen triathlete and pre-Covid he enjoyed travelling around the world and exploring new places.
Euronext Block Overview:
Leverages a network of counterparties to cross blocks for clients, with a single focus: improving liquidity and overall market quality in the SME space by making it easier and safer than ever to source liquidity on the platform
Ongoing development of functions and features for the sell-side and their buy-side clients to create more trading opportunities
Buyside firms will be able to indicate interest across the counterparty network through the unique ‘Wave for Liquidity’ functionality to access hard-to-find liquidity
Only Euronext Block can offer its members access to targeted counterparty selection based on historical data for products listed on Euronext regulated markets
A platform designed with a focus on the trading community’s needs and requirements, developed with direct feedback and input from Euronext members, including local user committees/working groups, and flexible to adapt with changing market trends
Euronext Block is easily available to all members already trading on Euronext regulated markets, and they can benefit from synergies on technology (Optiq), clearing (LCH SA) and membership (no extension required)
Euronext Block is regulated by the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA).