Jan 18, 2015 (LBO) – Tony Weerasinghe a founder of software company MilleniumIT has launched a low-cost U.S. online retail brokerage, Ustocktrade.
Ustocktrade, which generates revenue from a one-dollar-a-month membership fee and a one-dollar-per-trade fee, aims to “bring Wall Street to Main Street” Weerasinghe said.
Part of the firm’s goal is to encourage non-traditional investors, such as university students and low-income earners, to take part in the stock market, according to a Reuters report.
Ustocktrade is a private stock trading platform, also known as an alternative trading system.
The value of orders on Ustocktrade is capped at 10,000 dollars and high-frequency trading firms are kept out. It needs 20,000 users to break even, Weerasinghe said.
The brokerage does not send orders to other trading platforms. To help get trades get done, Ustocktrade is enlisting “superusers,” that will be the counterparties to trades that do not have a natural match.
There is only one superuser so far, but Ustocktrade is currently in talks with two or three others, Weerasinghe said. He declined to name of the superuser, but said the person or firm is obligated to not let any transactions fail during trading hours, and will trade for free in return.
Daniel Ham, a former chief operating officer of eBX LLC, the parent of trading venue Level ATS, and long-time Boston Stock Exchange executive, heads the company’s brokerage arm, Ustocktrade Securities.
An added product, Ustocktrain, is a free trading simulator, providing virtual cash to practice investing using real-time market data to prepare for the real stock market.
Weerasinghe said the firm will help fund a non-profit organization called the Cainan Foundation set up to build schools for disadvantaged children.
Profits from the brokerage will fund the foundation’s first school in Sri Lanka.
Weerasinghe continued to work as head of global development for the London Stock Exchange Group after selling MilleniumIT to the London Stock Exchange for around 30 million dollars.