Exchange listing is costly and, when reporting and other management burdens are factored in, unattractive for many small public companies. OTC Markets Group offers an alternative path to visibility and liquidity and, for some, a stepping-stone onto an exchange. Some 10,000 securities trade on the New Yorkbased company's three platforms. The top-tier OTCQX, marking its tenth anniversary in 2017, serves 399 domestic and global issuers with an aggregate $1.4 trillion in market capitalization. Its $36.8 billion in annual dollar volume represents 20 percent of the total for all over-the-counter securities.
That market, the middle-tier OTCQB Venture Market, and OTC Pink are more than just trading venues. OTC Markets Group, led by president and CEO R. Cromwell Coulson since 1997, aims to create favorable conditions for trading, transparency, disclosures, and analytics. The strategy is increasingly data-driven; 2016 saw the introduction of an online Research Marketplace to encourage independent analysis of OTCQX and OTCQB companies; a Compliance Analytics offering; and execution-quality and market maker performance metrics on the company's OTC Link alternative trading system. "The fastest execution is not always the best execution," Coulson, 50, notes. Armed with the data, "broker-dealers might tell market makers to slow down to get better execution quality."
The 2017 Trading Tech 40Click below to view profiles