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With $325m Tora buyout, LSEG eyes crypto trading opportunities

London Stock Exchange buys Tora for $325m to add digital asset trading.

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has agreed to buy Tora, a cloud-based trading technology platform, in part to add digital asset trading to the exchange’s capabilities.

Tora provides an AWS-based order and execution management system (OEMS) and portfolio management system (PMS) to trading platforms and firms, across a range of financial products including stocks, foreign exchange and derivatives, as well as crypto assets.

Its platform for the latter, "Caspian", provides a single interface into all major crypto exchanges; a suite of trading algorithms and post-trading reporting tools. That addition was particularly welcomed by Dean Berry, LSEG's group head of trading, who noted on LinkedIn that that "the addition of digital assets to LSEG’s trading capabilities strengthens its presence in this rapidly expanding asset class, at a time when institutional market participants are increasing exposure to crypto and other digital assets."

Founded in 2004 and based in California, Tora has nine offices around the world. Its platform provide execution, allocations, risk control, order management, real time general ledger, positions-keeping, P&L monitoring and SWAP finance modelling. The platform also provides reporting, compliance management and analytics capabilities -- integrating with brokers, trading venues, custodians, prime brokerages and other capital markets actors.

LSEG, which operates the UK’s main share market (including the FTSE indices) along with the international Alternative Investment Market, has been increasingly acquisitive as it aims to keep a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving market. Last year LSE Group closed its $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv, one of the largest fintech deals to date and in December 2021 also invested in SparkLive -- a platform for on-demand access to corporate earnings calls, AGMs and capital markets and investor roadshows that attracts over two million visits each month.

It also invested in FINBOURNE, another AWS-native investment data management platform, saying in October 2021 that the latter's APIs will help it continue building out an "open, transparent and interoperable ecosystem across the group".

See also: UK fintech deals accounted for 10% of all global activity in 2021

“Combining Tora’s multi-asset technology and global expertise with the strength and breadth of LSEG’s Data & Analytics division will create a compelling customer proposition. This acquisition is a great example of LSEG’s strategy to provide customers with a global, multi-asset class financial infrastructure that operates across the capital markets and investment lifecycle as an open ecosystem. I look forward to working with the team at Tora to support customers in their trading activity and grow our businesses together,” said Andrea Remyn Stone, group head of data and analytics at LSEG in the press release.

Tora CEO Robert Dykes added: “I’m delighted that Tora will become part of LSEG. We see this combination as an incredible opportunity to create additional value for clients. Bringing together Tora’s compelling trading solution with LSEG’s wealth of data has the potential to create a powerful toolkit for our customers, enabling them to trade more efficiently. I’m confident that by collaborating with the wider Data & Analytics team, we will innovate further and continue to deliver best-in-class solutions for our customers.”

The two pointed to the deal's ability to bolster LSEG’s Trading & Banking Solutions business via TORA’s "established presence in Asia and North America" pointing to synergies between the "multi-asset class capabilities of TORA’s software with the Group’s rich data and analytics services."

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