Lehman Brothers signs up to Boat

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LONDON – Lehman Brothers signed up to Boat just two weeks before the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid) went live. The investment bank was the London Stock Exchange’s closest adviser and was the architect of its defence against a number of takeover attempts. This close relationship is perhaps one of the reasons the bank was not invited to join the Boat consortium at its inception in September 2006.

Lehman joins the original consortium of nine banks – including ABN Amro, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS – as well as Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Dresdner Kleinwort, JP Morgan and Royal Bank of Scotland who joined in June. There are now 24 institutions signed up to use the system, including one major fund manager and one other intermediary. It expects to report two thirds of the EU's off-exchange share trades.

Boat has been trialled for the past few weeks by six institutions by reporting all trades through the usual venues as well as Boat. Industry sources suggest there have been no major technical glitches, and volumes have been in line with projections.

Recently Boat fought back against an announcement by new rival Chi-X – a share trading platform owned by Nomura Holdings – that it would offer trade reporting and make its data free, by offering its real-time dataset free of charge to both potential and existing clients until January 1, 2008.

“As part of a marketing initiative to demonstrate the value, accuracy and breadth of its data, Boat will offer its real-time dataset free of charge to both potential and existing clients until January 1, 2008," Boat said in a statement.

"This will give end-users the opportunity to use the data and fully assess its value before it becomes a fee-paying service," Boat said.

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