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02:52 PM
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ITG Buys Merrill's Stake in BlockAlert

ITG announced it will become full owner of BlockAlert, acquiring Merrill Lynch's stake in the joint venture.

The service will be called Posit Alert from now on and will be merged into ITG's Posit crossing suite. The U.S. Posit Alert service will now have the same brand name as ITG's Posit Alert offerings in Europe and Australia.

"BlockAlert has always been a natural extension of the ITG Posit crossing suite," says Chris Heckman, managing director at ITG. "The only thing that will change is that users will no longer have the ability to credit Merrill Lynch on the Posit Alert trade."

Heckman adds that Merrill Lynch won't be a broker of choice on the Posit Alert software and clients won't be able to designate the firm as an executing broker. He says that Posit Alert is tightly integrated into ITG's crossing products as well as its direct market access products, the Triton EMS, OMS products and ITG Channel.

"At the end of the day it was clear to us that the product was so integrated with our front end products and crossing products that it felt like it was evolving into an ITG product so this was a natural next step to take," explains Heckman, adding that there will be no difference in the Posit Alert liquidity.

Heckman says the deal was a "no fault divorce" and that "we have a lot of respect for the folks at Merrill Lynch they have a multi-faceted business and at ITG we're all about agency execution, it's in our DNA."

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