|JULY 14, 1999|
|Knight/Trimark Group Opens London Affiliate to Serve European Institutions - Gordon C. Connell to Head New Operation|
JERSEY CITY, N.J., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Knight/Trimark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NITE), the largest market maker of U.S. securities, announced today the opening of its London affiliate, Knight Securities International Ltd. The new office, which received regulatory approval from the United Kingdom's Securities and Futures Authority, will arrange U.S. securities transactions between European institutions and Knight Securities, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Knight/Trimark. This operation will serve as Knight/Trimark's foundation for a broader pan-European strategy.
Gordon C. Connell will run Knight Securities International as Managing Director of Institutional Sales. Connell, 54, most recently was employed by Prudential Bache Securities (U.K.) Inc., where he started in 1978 as Senior Vice President. In 1987, he was instrumental in developing the firm's successful U.S. Equities Sales Trading Desk for the European region. He managed this endeavor until his departure this past May. At Knight Securities International, Connell will report to John P. Leighton, Senior Managing Director, Global Institutional Sales.
"U.S. securities continue to grow in importance for European investors," said Connell. "Starting today, European institutions will be able to take advantage of Knight/Trimark's superior sales trading and market making capabilities. The firm's unsurpassed technology and customer service, which have already established it as a dominant market maker in the U.S., will provide European institutional clients trading in U.S. equities with the best and most efficient trade executions in the industry."
Knight/Trimark's focused business model enables the firm to provide all of its customers with immediacy, enhanced liquidity and price improvement --above and beyond the national best bid and offer (NBBO) -- on all transactions. Key to the firm's competitive advantage is a combination of human capital, scale and its leading-edge technology. In short, Knight/Trimark makes markets in almost all publicly traded U.S. equity securities and handles more volume than its two closest competitors combined. The firm's large trading volume allows it to access the best price available for its customers. Knight/Trimark also provides institutions with on-line access to its trading systems and has the capacity to handle more than 1.2 million trades per day.
Knight/Trimark selected London as its first European office because the U.K. is the largest market for U.S. equities outside of the United States. The move also is an integral part of Knight/Trimark's long-term international growth strategy since London is the financial center of Europe in terms of volume and diversity of securities transactions.
"With London as our platform, we have made our first step toward establishing a significant presence in the global equities marketplace," said Kenneth D. Pasternak, president and chief executive officer of Knight/Trimark. "As evidenced by our recent appointment of John G. Hewitt, formerly head of Electronic Trading at Goldman Sachs, Knight/Trimark is committed to international expansion and fulfilling our goal of becoming the largest global market maker. Our strong corporate culture and entrepreneurial spirit form the backbone of our business model. We believe that our business model --driven by our superior execution and customer service; technology; innovative trading methodology; and scale -- will prove successful in Europe and other international markets."
Knight/Trimark, headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, is the parent company of Knight Securities and Trimark Securities. Knight Securities makes markets in over 7,100 equity securities listed on Nasdaq and the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). Trimark Securities trades NYSE- and Amex-listed equity securities over the counter -- the Third Market. The four-year-old company, the number one destination for on-line trade executions, is the unseen "processing power" behind the explosive growth in on-line securities trading. It employs more than 550 people worldwide with offices in Jersey City, N.J.; Jericho and Purchase, N.Y.; Boston, Mass.; and London, England.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
As a market maker, Knight/Trimark performs the essential task of buying shares when retail or institutional customers want to sell and selling shares when they want to buy. Orders are sent via computer or phone to Knight/Trimark -- all of which are processed in a matching environment where incoming orders are compared against the company's large limit order book. If Knight/Trimark holds a matching order (e.g., sell order for a buy order and vice versa) a trade is made.
If no match is found, Knight/Trimark provides liquidity by committing its own capital and trading on a proprietary basis. For example, if a customer wants to buy 1,000 shares of XYZ stock at $100 apiece, and only 100 shares are for sale at that price, a Knight/Trimark trader will fill the order by selling the remaining 900 shares out of the company's inventory.
Knight/Trimark generates much of its profit through volume of trading --the larger the volume, the greater the opportunity for net trading revenue. The firm has a market making capability in almost all publicly traded U.S. equity securities and can commit capital in all of them.
With its cutting-edge technology, Knight/Trimark has the capacity to handle 1.2 million trades per day. In the first quarter of 1999, the company executed on average 306,000 trades per day, a 147 percent increase over the prior year's first quarter.
For the fiscal year ending December 31, 1998, Knight/Trimark recorded $355.7 million in revenues, a 57 percent increase from $226.7 million in revenues in 1997. Since going public in July 1998, the company's market capitalization has grown from $750 million to approximately $6.6 billion.
Information about Knight/Trimark Group can be obtained via the Internet at http://www.knight-sec.com.
SOURCE Knight/Trimark Group, Inc.