What Is Autex?

The term Autex refers to an electronic platform from Thomson Reuters that gives brokers a place to advertise pre- or post-trade liquidities for equities to their buy-side clients. As a result, buyers or sellers of a large block of shares are able to identify other large traders on the bid and ask side of a particular stock.

The interface presents indications of interest among traders who wish to get a feel for the market liquidity before executing a large trade by showing trade advertisements in a stock issue. The platform is now part of the Refinitiv banner and is branded as Refinitiv Autex.

Key Takeaways

  • Autex is an electronic platform that gives brokers a place to advertise pre- or post-trade liquidities for equities to their buy-side clients.
  • Originally developed by Thomson Reuters, it is now operated by Refinitiv.
  • The interface presents indications of interest and trade advertisements.
  • Traders can use the system to get a feel for the market liquidity before executing a large trade.
  • The Autex Trade Route system is a related product that helps ease the adoption of new asset classes, broker relationships, and algorithmic trading methods.

How Autex Works

Buy-side investing allows brokers to create value for their firms' clients. This is done by identifying and buying assets that are generally underpriced. The financial professionals involved often believe these securities have the potential to appreciate over time. By doing buy-side investing, brokers make purchases in large blocks.

This kind of investing activity can be challenging. In fact, buy-side investors often face a variety of complexities. These hurdles can be brought on by a number of factors, including the increased demand for many asset classes by other brokers and through various trade venues.

The Autex system is a series of tools that allows brokers to break through some of these challenges. It was launched by Thomson Reuters. It is now operated by Refinitiv, which operates financial market data and infrastructure programs. Brokers who use the Autex network are able to advertise both liquidities for their buy-side clients' pre- and post-trade activity. Traders can use this liquidity information to execute the trades they need.

The system is set up to provide investors with the following tools needed in their day-to-day trading activity:

  • Real-time indications of interest
  • Trade advertisements according to brokers, sectors, and symbols
  • Real-time and historic data
  • Broker rankings by volume on an intraday basis

Thomson Reuters owns a 45% stake in Refinitiv.

Special Considerations

The Autex Trade Route system is a related product offered by Refinitiv. It helps ease the adoption of new asset classes, broker relationships, and algorithmic trading methods by managing connectivity for routing order flow across global markets. The biggest selling point is its ability to eliminate technological barriers while allowing asset managers to do what they do best—to allocate capital.

The Autex Trade Route system is among the largest in the world. It boasts order flows of 40 billion equity, options, and futures shares every day. It also includes fixed income and foreign exchange trades. The system connects more than 850 firms on the buy-side to more than 600 brokers.

Institutional investors use the Refinitiv Autex Trade Route system for its:

  • Multiple asset classes with equities, options, and futures including foreign exchange and fixed-income trades
  • Unrivaled network visibility of connections, utilization, and order metrics, which enables a one-stop-shop for session monitoring and order flow metrics
  • Access to the widest range of order types from standard FIX messages to lists and broker-supplied algorithms, and Good till date/Good till cancels
  • Operational resiliency with regional public offering prices (POPs) and dedicated disaster recovery management
  • Easy onboarding thanks to a tightly integrated community of order management systems (OMSs) and execution management systems providers

Example of Autex

Here's a hypothetical example to show how Autex works. Let's say there are two traders in Company XYZ stock where one wants to sell 100,000 shares and another is looking to purchase the same number of shares. By showing interest through Autex, each trader can identify each other without the risk of placing a large market order that could push the stock higher due to the immediate share imbalance. Once the interest is established on both sides of the trade, the transaction can be executed in the standard manner, whether it be on the stock exchange or over-the-counter (OTC).