The NYSE’s high-stakes software upgrade

Mark Garrison Feb 24, 2016
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The NYSE’s high-stakes software upgrade

Mark Garrison Feb 24, 2016
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The world’s most famous trading venue, the New York Stock Exchange, is making a big change in how it does business. The NYSE Group rolled out a new software platform on Feb. 22 called Pillar. In a world where trading is more digital and complex than ever and software glitches can shut down whole exchanges, new software is no small thing. Roping all of the NYSE’s trading — in stocks, options and bonds — into one program is a challenging task.

“It’s a very big deal,” said Larry Tabb, CEO of market research firm TABB Group. “It’s like changing an Indy race car engine in the middle of the race.”

The last thing NYSE wants is another high-profile outage like the one that locked up trading back in July. On an earnings call in February, the company repeatedly promised the rollout of Pillar will be “deliberate.”

“We have a heightened sense of caution,” said Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of NYSE owner, Intercontinental Exchange. “But the system looks good.”

NYSE began the gradual rollout on Arca, its electronic exchange. It plans to bring Pillar to its other markets through 2017.

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