As MDG has noted this deal is about adding value to core price data without purchasing third parties by creating a joint venture between the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and an independent solutions provider, big xyt. The partnership is based upon leveraging the existing big xyt ‘Trade Explorer’ platform that targets the core of the pre-trade workflow. Indeed, Robin Mess, CEO and Co-Founder of big xyt summarises it succinctly when discussing how it will function:

“Trading venues can rapidly realise additional revenue streams by leveraging their unique datasets without making heavy investments in new technology. For market participants, this offers greater accessibility to data analytics for firms of all sizes as there is no longer the need to develop such capabilities in-house.”

This encapsulates the rationale for the joint venture:

  • It emphasises the need for trading venues like exchanges below the big global groups, i.e. JSE, to expand their information services business beyond price data in order to grow
  • Offering such value added services means investment, seeking partners, or a combination where resources maybe limited
  • Recognition that exchanges are data businesses but not technology companies
  • Many financial market participants and investment houses do not want to process data in-house because there are potential third parties which can offer alternatives reducing their costs
  • Increased automation of the trading workflow is opening up increasing opportunities for analytics providers and data processors, i.e. big xyt, to offer their services to a wider and global audience by working with trading venues


For JSE, the JV allows them to integrate their data more firmly into trading workflows especially when clients are using the JV’s own applications which are critical to pre-trade decision tools. It increases JSE data usage, and by extension subscriptions, plus generating new cash flows. It also makes it harder for competitors to move onto their turf.

For big xyt there appears to be two impacts:

1.Opens up access to new markets with a strong local brand as partner, and,

2.Provides a template for working with other trading venues around the world


The big xyt ecosystems joint venture is a recognition that:

1.Exchanges must move beyond just being the place of execution and providing prices to becoming embedded across the trading workflow process

2.Smaller exchanges must be more adaptive and seek creative ways to add value services into the trading flow where simply purchasing third party providers is not an option owing to lack of available local partners, cost, resources, and integration requirements

3.For analytics, trading and data processing solutions providers exchanges offer ready made access to local markets that otherwise would be time consuming and challenging to enter, plus provide a competitive edge

This deal offers the opportunity to demonstrate that collaborations and partnerships between exchanges and analytics providers can mean one plus one equals something greater than two.

Keiren Harris 08 August 2023

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