About Direct Edge
Direct Edge, a BATS Global Markets company, is one of the leading stock exchange operators in the United States and globally. Headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, Direct Edge offers dynamic trading functionality across two distinct exchange platforms, EDGA and EDGX, as well as connectivity and market data services. Its commitment to innovation and superior customer service helps its Members move their business lives forward. Direct Edge and BATS Global Markets merged in January 2014 and are working to combine operations under the BATS Global Markets technology platform and brand.
The firm began in 1998 as Attain ECN. In 2005 it was purchased by Knight Capital Group, re-branded and introduced as Direct Edge ECN. In 2007, Knight spun Direct Edge off as an independent company bringing on Citadel Securities and Goldman Sachs as partners. As part of the spin-off, new management was brought in led by former NASDAQ executive William O'Brien.
By August 2008, Direct Edge had substantially increased its market share, capturing 6% of all U.S. equity execution volumes. That month, the firm announced a deal (that closed in December 2008) in which the International Securities Exchange (ISE) took a 31.5% ownership of Direct Edge, diluting the shares of Knight, Citadel, and Goldman to just under 20%. As part of the deal, Direct Edge took operational control of the ISE Stock Exchange. The Direct Edge brand was retained and management was kept intact. A year following the announcement of the ISE deal, the firm had doubled its market share to over 12%.
On March 12, 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission granted Direct Edge approval to convert both ECN platforms into full-fledged licensed stock exchanges. In July 2010, Direct Edge successfully transitioned to full exchange status, decommissioning the ISE Stock Exchange and the EDGA and EDGX ECNs, moving trading to its brand new exchange platforms.
On January 31, 2014 Direct Edge and BATS Global Markets merged operations placing Direct Edge’s EDGX and EDGA exchanges under the BATS Global Markets brand along with BATS’ BYX and BZX exchanges.
The new EDGA and EDGX platforms were launched using brand new technology designed to reduce latency and increase reliability. But Direct Edge is known for more than the latest technology - it is known for innovation. It pioneered the bifurcated market structure (having two platforms rather than one) and the integration of dark and displayed liquidity. The firm continues to be an innovative leader in new order types and customer solutions.
In the spirit of being a good corporate citizen, Direct Edge has established a "Good DEeds" program. Employees are encouraged to find charities in the surrounding area in need of both time and money. In addition to hours spent volunteering by Direct Edge employees and building relationships within the community, the Good DEeds program has given tens of thousands of dollars to local charities such as the Hudson County Child Abuse Prevention Center, the York Street Project, and the St. Joseph's School for the Blind.