“For the operators this is an opportunity to finally come clean about what’s going on in the pools,” said Dave Lauer, chairman of Healthy Markets Association, an advocacy group whose members include Janus Capital Group Inc. and Boston Company Asset Management LLC. “Some have been very transparent, and some haven’t been at all.”
It remains to be seen how much new information the SEC will require dark pool operators to provide. Lauer’s group has advocated for brokers to disclose quality metrics that would foster comparisons between dark pools, such as how often brokers send clients’ orders to their own dark pool rather than competing venues.
“That is an area in desperate need of transparency and is the main topic underpinning almost every enforcement case — this relationship between the routing desk and the dark pool,” Lauer said.