Paritech was formed in 1997 providing ASX End of Day data to chartists and supplying charting software to the retail markets. It quickly became the largest Metastock reseller in Australia and Metastock data supplier.
In 2002, Australia’s largest retail bank based broker, Commsec, asked Paritech to develop a real time ASX trading terminal for its customer base. Commsec’s existing supplier was overcharging Commsec and not being responsive to its needs. Paritech developed the complete brokerage stack: Exchange adapter, OMS, data distribution and a front-end terminal called ProTrader.
The product was very successful. Unfortunately, too successful. Commsec decided that if a small company such as Paritech could develop a trading terminal, they could also do it in house. After several years they decided to develop their own terminal inhouse (called ProTrader 2). However, after completing ProTrader 2, they could not persuade their customers to switch from Paritech Protrader to ProTrader 2; mainly because ProTrader 2 did not have the reliability of Paritech ProTrader.
Commsec eventually resolved this issue by replacing the management of that department and closing down ProTrader and ProTrader 2.
After ProTrader was closed down, Paritech rebranded ProTrader as Pulse and made this available to retail users and provided trading through various non-bank brokers. The main competition was terminals supplied by IRESS. Pulse was very popular with retail investors not aligned with brokers. However, while Pulse generally had the features required by professional investors and was one quarter of the price, it did not have the ‘prestige’ of IRESS. Accordingly it was only taken up by professional investors who were very price sensitive.
In 2012, Paritech decided that it was too difficult selling Pulse to as an independent supplier to brokers and, with some other investors, founded a brokerage firm called OpenMarkets. The vision for OpenMarkets was a low-cost broker specialising in technology services such as APIs for traders and investors. To keep the costs down, Paritech would provide all the technology required by the broker (with the exception of the settlement system which Paritech integrated). OpenMarkets would focus on marketing and brokerage operations.
OpenMarkets was well received in the Australian market and quickly became the largest non-bank broker.
However, as the business grew, the board of OpenMarkets wanted to grow in a different direction. Paritech wanted to continue reducing costs of OpenMarkets with technical automation. The board wished to convert OpenMarkets into a full-service broker using the same technical infrastructure as other brokers (mainly IRESS). Paritech advised the board that there were already many other brokers in this space and OpenMarkets would not have any competitive advantage. Nevertheless, in February 2018, the board decided to pursue their full-service vision and invoked the 12-month separation termination clause. Paritech was provided a new contract to decouple its systems and assist OpenMarkets move to their new technical suppliers. The decoupling took longer than expected as OpenMarkets found it difficult to get their customers to migrate off Pulse. It was completed in May 2019 when this migration was forced.
In 2014, Refinitiv (previously Thomson Reuters) wished to win business in the New Zealand market. While Refinitiv already had New Zealand data, in order to replace IRESS terminals, they would need to display user’s own orders in Depth and Trades. Refinitiv did not have that capability in their systems. Refinitiv asked Paritech to develop a plugin to their Eikon product which displayed real time Quoteline/Depth/Trades with own trades highlighted and some other information. Note that Paritech used its own exchange feeds for this plugin (not Thomson Reuters data)
This product was again well received and is considered one of the most (if not the most) successful Eikon plugin. With it, Refinitiv gained a significant share of the New Zealand market.
After OpenMarkets initiated the decoupling of Paritech, Paritech decided to redirect its focus on developing software for Exchange systems. Its vision was for a complete exchange stack which could be used both in the regulated (Stock Exchanges) space and the unregulated space (Bitcoin exchanges). It commenced development on its Exchange products Motifium and ExchangeStack. It partnered with a company who would use Paritech’s ExchangeStack to launch an Exchange that would bridge the regulated and unregulated marketplace. Unfortunately in April 2019, the partners funding fell through, however by that stage, Paritech had sufficiently completed ExchangeStack to be able to demonstrate it to other potential customers.
In May 2019, it was decided to close down Paritech. Paritech had geared up to service OpenMarkets, including holding many of the contracts for hosting and data services required by OpenMarkets. In addition, it also had a financial service licence to run aspects of this business. This licence was no longer required.
It’s End of Day business was sold to WebLink and Motif Markets acquired its real-time business (including its core development staff).
This above history is based on previous staff’s recollections. It may not be definitive.