Leading market participants join to form new Canadian stock exchange

     Leading market participants join to form new Canadian stock exchange

PR Newswire

TORONTO, June 25, 2013

Aequitas seeks broad support to build innovative and cost-efficient exchange
that levels the playing field for all market participants

  *A marketplace that protects investors against predatory and opportunistic
    trading strategies, and where all Canadian-listed securities can be
    traded.
  *A senior listing service for companies ready for public listing.
  *Technological solutions and fee structures to reduce the financial burden
    on investors, issuers and dealers.
  *An exempt market centralized capital-raising platform to provide early and
    mid-stage companies with access to capital and liquidity.

TORONTO, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/  - Aequitas Innovations Inc.  ("Aequitas") 
is today proud to announce its intent to enter the Canadian capital markets by
establishing a  new stock  exchange that  will seek  to restore  the  original 
purpose of an exchange - the  efficient allocation of capital between  issuers 
and investors as a  central force driving the  Canadian economy. Aequitas  was 
founded  by  a  diversified  group  of  Canadian  corporations,   representing 
professional money managers, pension  fund managers, institutional and  retail 
brokers, and Canadian issuers.

With a balanced, broad and  open ownership structure, the founding  investors, 
Barclays  Corporation  Limited;  CI  Investments  Inc.;  IGM  Financial   Inc. 
(Investors Group  and  Mackenzie  Financial); ITG  Canada  Corp.,  PSP  Public 
Markets Inc.;  and Royal  Bank of  Canada, are  seeking to  apply  innovation, 
technology and competition to improve  fairness and efficiency in the  markets 
with particular attention to the benefits of traditional investors and issuers
- the cornerstones of the Canadian economy.

The Need for Improvement

"Through Aequitas, we have a compelling opportunity to create a level  playing 
field for  both  retail and  institutional  investors by  challenging  certain 
predatory high frequency trading strategies which have impacted the quality of
existing equity markets," said Greg Mills, Chairman of Aequitas, and  Co-Head, 
Global Equities, RBC Capital Markets.  "Marketplaces in Canada and around  the 
globe are  increasingly out  of  sync with  their  traditional users  as  they 
attract and cater  to volume and  revenue-generating trading over  traditional 
investors and true market  makers. Aequitas is designed  to promote true  and 
reliable liquidity, and will provide an operating model more aligned with  the 
interests of investors and issuers to support market quality."

Aequitas believes  that, while  there  are acceptable  high-frequency  trading 
(HFT) practices that  can contribute  to market  quality across  a variety  of 
asset classes, certain  predatory HFT strategies,  such as latency  arbitrage, 
rebate arbitrage and exploratory trading, impair the quality of execution  for 
retail investors and for institutional investors representing the unit holders
of pension plans and mutual  funds. Additionally, these strategies  negatively 
impact the liquidity of listed securities by discouraging true market  makers, 
and result in excessive costs falling  squarely on investors, issuers and  the 
networks that support them.

"As marketplaces cater to volume, they can damage the quality of execution for
those who actually want to  hold something at the  end of the day,"  commented 
Scott Penman, Vice-Chair of  Aequitas and Executive  Vice President and  Chief 
Investment Officer  for  Investors  Group,  a wholly  owned  division  of  IGM 
Financial Ltd.  "With assets  of over  $125 billion  and a  traded volume  of 
Canadian equities  in excess  of  $25 billion  in  2012, Investors  Group  and 
Mackenzie Financial are significant long term participants in Canadian  equity 
markets. A new  and different exchange  that serves long  term investors,  one 
that strikes the  right balance  between liquidity, price  discovery and  cost 
efficiency, is very exciting for us."

Aequitas is  also  concerned  about the  impact  certain  trading  strategies, 
coupled  with  prevailing  market  conditions  and  the  lack  of   innovative 
solutions, have on early and  mid-stage companies seeking to access  capital. 
New solutions, focused on making the  capital formation process for small  and 
mid-cap companies more viable, need to be developed to nurture those companies
that will fuel the growth of the Canadian economy.

"We are at  a critical  crossroads for  our markets  and we  are committed  to 
bringing solutions to enhance trust  in capital markets, challenge the  status 
quo, and foster  an exchange  framework that will  help support  and grow  the 
Canadian economy," added Mills.

The Aequitas Mandate

"We have been given a  clear mandate by our  founding investors: to serve  the 
collective interests  of  investors,  issuers and  intermediaries  and,  as  a 
result, the  public  at  large,"  stated  Jos  Schmitt,  President  and  Chief 
Executive  Officer  of  Aequitas.   "We  believe  competition  will   enhance 
confidence in Canada's capital markets, but more of the same won't address the
issues that exist. Instead, we will  tap innovation and technology to  promote 
liquidity, fairness, cost  savings and  economic growth. This  is the  vision 
upon which Aequitas has been founded."

Aequitas will deliver on its mandate by meeting four key objectives:

1.Always put the investor and issuer first, as directed by our balanced,
    broad and open ownership structure;
2.Ensure quality markets and allow for sustainable market making;
3.Introduce innovative and affordable services that foster meaningful
    competition, reduce costs and improve market efficiency; and
4.Provide all types of issuers with solutions to access the capital they
    need to grow.

The Aequitas Value Propositions

Schmitt continued:  "Our solutions  will  be a  highly differentiated  set  of 
services to meet the needs of  the traditional investors and issuers. We  seek 
to build a strong partnership between the exchange, issuers and market  makers 
to promote true liquidity."

The Aequitas solutions will include:

  *New market structure solutions that seek to restrict predatory and
    opportunistic trading strategies while challenging the dominant make-take
    fee model;
  *Best-in-class smart order routing solutions available to all investors and
    dealers;
  *Liquidity through sustainable market making;
  *Highly competitive fee models across innovative trading, listings and
    market data offerings; and
  *A centralized platform for exempt market securities focused on providing
    liquidity and strengthening the capital formation process.

To   learn    more    about    the   Aequitas    solutions,    please    visit 
www.aequitasinnovations.com to read our Position Paper.

Moving Forward

Aequitas' proposal to operate an exchange is subject to regulatory review with
a formal  exchange  recognition  application  to  be  filed.  This  filing  is 
currently planned towards the  end of 2013. In  the mean time, the  immediate 
next steps for Aequitas can be summarized in one word - dialogue:

  *Dialogue with investors and issuers to obtain further insights and ensure
    that our solutions truly address their issues and challenges;
  *Dialogue with dealers, in particular the smaller and mid-size firms, to
    ensure that our solutions will provide them with the relief they need;
  *Dialogue with regulators to explain our solutions and the benefit of
    enabling commercial solutions that will ensure more balanced and efficient
    Canadian capital markets that ultimately will lead to a stronger economy.

"Our ultimate objective  is to  improve market quality,  promote fairness  and 
foster economic  growth  with  all market  stakeholders  in  mind,"  concluded 
Schmitt. "To  allow  us  to  successfully  execute  upon  this  plan,  market 
stakeholders' input  is critical.  We  are looking  forward to  obtaining  the 
industry's input and encourage  all market participants  to make their  voices 
heard."

About Aequitas Innovations Inc.

Aequitas Innovations Inc. is a company founded by a diverse group of Canadian
corporations, representing all market participants, working together to create
a new user-focused Canadian exchange. Founding shareholders of Aequitas
include: Barclays Corporation Limited; CI Investments Inc., IGM Financial;
ITG Canada Corp., PSP Public Markets Inc; and Royal Bank of Canada.

SOURCE Aequitas Innovations Inc.

Contact:

Joanne Kearney
416.804.5949
joanne.kearney@aequin.com
 
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