NEO Urges Regulators to Mandate Access to Consolidated Market Data

Canadian investors and public companies are entitled to transparency
and complete information

NEO Exchange Inc.
(“NEO Exchange” or “NEO”) has submitted a formal
request to the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”), the
provincial securities regulators, urging them to address Canada’s market
data issues by mandating access to top-of-book real-time consolidated
market data for all Canadian investors, including retail investors and
their investment advisors. Consolidated market data is important for
investors to see the complete picture of trading activity and enables
them to make fully informed investment decisions. NEO encourages all
interested stakeholders to join this effort by visiting
and make their voice heard.

“Despite a number of innovative and bold initiatives, we have not been
able to make any substantial progress in making real time Canadian
consolidated market data accessible to retail investors and investment
advisors,” stated Jos Schmitt, President and Chief Executive Officer,
NEO Exchange. “Our approach last year focused on providing a low cost
alternative that would eliminate the cost hurdle, but our initiative was
thwarted by the TMX Group. At the time, we communicated our view that it
was a sad day for the Canadian capital markets – and the country as a
whole – when no one was ready to put the interests of the little guy
first. We are now asking the bodies that regulate our capital markets to
tackle this issue once and for all. In line with our continuing efforts
to bring more fairness and transparency to the Canadian capital markets,
we are calling on the securities regulators to step in and ensure that
all investors are provided with an opportunity to make fully informed
investment decisions. The current situation has negative implications
for Canadian investors, Canadian public companies and Canadian
manufacturers of listed investment products.”

Market fragmentation in Canada continues to increase and the market
share of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has further declined due to
increased competition in trading. Reliance on TSX and TSX Venture
Exchange (TSX-V) market data only – which is the situation today for
most retail investors and investment advisors – to represent the current
market for a security was practical when they were the only listing and
trading venues. Now there are 12 other trading venues in Canada that, on
average, account for approximately 65 per cent of all ETF trading in
Canada and 40 per cent of all trading in TSX and TSX-V listed companies.
It is time for a market data solution similar to what is in the United
States: mandated access to real time consolidated market data.

The CSA has analyzed the Canadian market data cost issue and implemented
initial solutions to prevent these costs from becoming even more
egregious. While more needs to be done to bring the costs down, these
laudable initiatives are not addressing the fundamental issue: the vast
majority of retail investors and investment advisors do not have access
to the full set of information, and many of them are not even aware they
have a partial view.

Failing to mandate access to consolidated market data would maintain the
current situation whereby:

  • The least market structure savvy market participants are exposed to
    risks of uninformed investment decisions and lesser quality trading
  • A disservice is being done to TSX and TSX-V listed companies and
    investment products that cannot benefit from all the trading activity
    in their listed securities because it is not fully visible to
  • Canadian investors continue to be exposed to a single point of failure
    if the data they receive from the TSX or TSX-V has a service outage;
  • On top of all of the above, the CSA’s intention of encouraging
    meaningful competition amongst Canadian marketplaces is not achieved.

“We are encouraged by some of the progress made to date”, continues Jos
Schmitt. “But we will not stop pressing the issue until a clear solution
is provided that will address the issues our market, our investors and
our public companies face. It is time for the Canadian securities
regulators to mandate access to top-of-book consolidated market data for
all investors, just like the Securities Exchange Commission did in the
United States.”

to read the full letter NEO sent to the CSA on January 26,
2017, and visit
to learn more about Canada’s market data issues.

About NEO Exchange
Aequitas NEO Exchange Inc. is a new
Canadian stock exchange using a bold new blueprint that puts investors,
businesses looking to raise capital and dealers first. Launched in March
2015, the NEO Exchange currently offers an innovative trading venue and
a value added listing venue for capital raising companies and investment
products. The NEO Exchange is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aequitas
Innovations Inc., a company founded by a diverse group of prominent
investors representative of all Canadian capital market stakeholders.
For more information, please visit:


Media Contact:
Adam Bornstein, 905-505-2540