|NOVEMBER 2, 1999|
|OptiMark Technologies and Knight/Trimark Group Announce Strategic Alliance|
OptiMark Gains Significant Liquidity Boost
JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- OptiMark Technologies, Inc. today announced a strategic alliance with Knight/Trimark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NITE - news), the largest wholesale market marker in U.S. equity securities. Knight/Trimark's ability to create block trades through the aggregation of its significant quantity of retail orders and its willingness to commit proprietary capital will facilitate a continuous market for large institutional orders in the OptiMark Trading System.
The agreement provides Knight/Trimark with an opportunity to earn warrants in OptiMark Technologies stock based on its trade volume through the OptiMark Trading System meeting defined and significant cumulative thresholds within certain timeframes. Through this three-year alliance, Knight/Trimark could potentially earn the largest single ownership stake in OptiMark.
``Knight/Trimark's trading volume will provide a significant boost to the liquidity in OptiMark, benefiting all of OptiMark's customers who are seeking liquidity in a confidential environment and accelerating our overall growth. Knight/Trimark's customers will clearly benefit from OptiMark,'' said Phillip J. Riese, chief executive officer of OptiMark Technologies, Inc. ``This is another major vote of confidence in OptiMark. It also demonstrates how an aggressive player in the continuous market sees benefit from a confidential call market in which orders are aggregated.''
``Knight/Trimark is uniquely positioned to provide OptiMark with the critical mass required to improve its system's matching ability,'' said Kenneth D. Pasternak, president and chief executive officer of Knight/Trimark Group. ``In turn, Optimark's strong desk-top presence among institutions and advanced trading system will deepen our growing presence in the institutional market. The alliance will also bolster our ability to continually refine our best execution capabilities.''
The OptiMark Trading System is an electronic matching system for trading equities in a call market, fully integrated with major continuous markets and exchanges providing a confidential trading environment with the potential for reduced overall trading costs. With optimal matching capabilities, the OptiMark Trading System offers the opportunity for price improvement through enhanced execution to institutions, market makers and traders alike.
OptiMark Technologies, Inc., a privately held transaction services company, offers matching facilities for markets and exchanges globally, designed to benefit buyers and sellers in all markets by increasing efficiency and fairness while lowering the cost of trading. OptiMark Trading Systems operate today as facilities of the Pacific Stock Exchange for trading listed equities and the Nasdaq for trading Nasdaq equities. OptiMark's major shareholders include General Atlantic Partners, Softbank, American Century, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and PaineWebber. OptiMark is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. Additional information on the company is available at http://www.OptiMark.com.
Knight/Trimark, the parent company of Knight Securities and Trimark Securities, is the largest wholesale market maker in U.S. equity securities. Knight Securities makes markets in over 7,300 equity securities listed on Nasdaq and the OTC Bulletin Board of the NASD. Trimark Securities trades NYSE- and AMEX- listed equity securities over the counter -- the Third Market. The four-year old Knight/Trimark Group, as the largest destination for on-line trade executions, is the unseen ``processing power'' behind the explosive growth in on-line securities trading. With its cutting-edge technology, Knight/Trimark has the capacity to handle 1.2 million trades per day. Knight has executed over 55 billion shares in the first nine months of 1999, a share volume second only to Nasdaq and the NYSE. For more information see http://www.knight-sec.com.