DEFINITION of 'Instinet'

A global financial securities company that operates an electronic securities order matching (trading) and information system that allows members (primarily professional traders and investors) to display bids and offer quotes for stocks and to transact between themselves. As a global securities broker, Instinet enables institutional customers to trade securities in global markets.


Instinet was founded in 1967 as Institutional Networks. It is Wall Street's oldest electronic communications network (ECN), and after it was acquired by Reuters Group in 1987, it and other ECNs evolved into major threats to the established stock exchanges. The company split its ECN and its brokerage business into Inet ECN and Instinet, respectively, in 2003. NASDAQ then acquired Inet ECN in 2005 and Instinet was sold to a private equity firm. In addition to sales trading, Instinet provides front-end technology, algorithmic trading, liquidity sourcing, independent research, commission management and transaction analysis.

  1. Electronic Communication Network ...

    An electronic system that attempts to eliminate the role of a ...
  2. Broker-Dealer

    A person or firm in the business of buying and selling securities, ...
  3. Trade

    A basic economic concept that involves multiple parties participating ...
  4. Institutional Investor

    A non-bank person or organization that trades securities in large ...
  5. Broker

    1. An individual or firm that charges a fee or commission for ...
  6. Wall Street

    1. A street in lower Manhattan that is the original home of the ...
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Wall Street Writers: A Behind-The-Scenes Career

    Regulators, sales people and clients all look to communications professionals to help them navigate the markets.
  2. Investing Basics

    Why You Should Understand The Stock Market

    Even if you don't invest a cent in stocks, you should still understand how the stock market works. Find out why.
  3. Options & Futures

    The Kingpin Of Wall Street: J.P. Morgan

    From robber baron to the hero of the Panic of 1907, this man helped shape Wall Street as we know it.
  4. Trading Systems & Software

    The Global Electronic Stock Market

    The way trading is conducted is changing rapidly as exchanges turn toward automation.
  5. Options & Futures

    Brokers and Online Trading

    How do you find the right broker for your investment needs? Start by reading our broker tutorial.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Funds Are Not FDIC Insured: Here Is Why

    Find out why mutual funds are not insured by the FDIC, including why the FDIC was created and how to minimize your risk with educated mutual fund investments.
  7. Professionals

    How to Sell Mutual Funds to Your Clients

    Learn about the various talking points you should cover when discussing mutual funds with clients and how explaining their benefits can help you close the sale.
  8. Professionals

    Tax Efficient Strategies for Mutual Funds

    Before you sell mutual fund shares, consider these tax strategies first.
  9. Investing

    How to Win More by Losing Less in Today’s Markets

    The further you fall, the harder it is to climb back up. It’s a universal truth that is painfully apparent in the investing world.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Is Your Financial Advisor Picking the Right Mutual Funds?

    Learn about the different types of mutual funds and how to know if your financial advisor is choosing the right funds for you based on your investment goals.
  1. I'm new to this. Can I sell or buy stock by myself?

    In order to buy stocks, you need the assistance of a stock broker since you cannot just phone up a company and ask to buy ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Mutual funds are legally allowed to invest in hedge funds. However, hedge funds and mutual funds have striking differences ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the risks of annuities in a recession?

    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do financial advisors get paid by mutual funds?

    Financial advisors are reimbursed by mutual funds in exchange for the investment and financial advice they provide. A financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is fiduciary duty so important?

    Fiduciary duty is one the most important professional obligations. It basically provides a much-needed protection for individuals ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When are mutual funds considered a bad investment?

    Mutual funds are considered a bad investment when investors consider certain negative factors to be important, such as high ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!