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Founded 2009
Key People Pasquale "Pat" Cestaro, CEO
Products Automated marketplace for securities lending and borrowing

Automated Equity Finance Markets, Inc. (AQS) is a FINRA member broker-dealer and a SEC regulated alternative trading system (ATS). Upon being purchased by EquiLend in August 2016, the company rebranded as EquiLend Clearing Services.[1]

Automated Equity Finance Markets, Inc. operates AQS and AQS Direct, automated marketplaces for securities lending and borrowing, which centrally clear transactions through the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC).[2] AQS has the only securities lending markets to be based around a central counterparty.


AQS was a wholly owned subsidiary of Quadriserv, Inc., before being sold to PDQ in August 2015.[3]

In August 2016, EquiLend acquired AQS as well as PDQ's technology that allows AQS to connect to the OCC's Market Loan Program.

CEO Pat Cestaro and co-founder Greg DePetris remain as a consultants for EquiLend regarding clearing topics. Cestaro was formerly the chairman of EquiLend's board of directors.[4][5]

Products and Services[edit]

AQS has two trading venues, AQS (available to clearing members and non-clearing members) and AQS Direct (available only to clearing members).

Each venue has two trading "modes." In continuous trading: price discovery is market driven and completely anonymous. In negotiated transaction facility (NTF) mode: price discovery is through negotiations with another party (or multiple parties). NTF mode allows parties to decide on anonymity and lend to specific parties. Generally, NTF mode is used for block or term trades.[6]

AQS's platform uses two main technologies: Cinnober's TRADExpress and AQS Middle Office software.

Key People[edit]