DEFINITION of 'Jobber'

A slang term for a market maker on the London Stock Exchange prior to October 1986. Jobbers, also called "stockjobbers," acted as market makers. They held shares on their own books and created market liquidity by buying and selling securities, and matching investors' buy and sell orders through their brokers, who were not allowed to make markets. The term "jobber" is also used to describe a small-scale wholesaler or middleman in the retail goods trade.


Little is known about jobbers' activities because they kept few records, but in the early 19th century, London had hundreds of jobbing firms. Jobbers' numbers declined dramatically over the course of the 20th century until they ceased to exist in October 1986. This month was when the "Big Bang," a major shift in the London Stock Exchange's operations, occurred. London's financial sector was suddenly deregulated, fixed commissions were replaced by negotiated commissions and electronic trading was implemented.

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