Satchit Sagade and Christian Westheide win FESE De la Vega Prize 2019

SAFE academics awarded for a paper on „quasi-dark trading“

Satchit Sagade and Christian Westheide have been awarded the FESE De la Vega Prize 2019 for their paper “Quasi-dark trading: the effects of banning dark pools in a world of many alternatives”. Sagade is an Assistant Professor at the Research Center SAFE; Christian Westheide is an Assistant Professor for Finance at the University of Vienna and Research Affiliate of SAFE. The paper was co-authored with Thomas Johann (University of Mannheim) and Talis Putnins (University of Technology Sydney). The prize of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) was awarded on June 4, at a Gala Dinner of the FESE Convention in Dublin. The annual competition has a focus on research papers on European Securities Markets.

In the paper, the authors show how the often in theoretical and empirical literature explored dichotomy of transparent versus non-transparent trading is an oversimplification of today’s complex trading landscape. The MiFID II ban on dark pools triggered volume spillovers into quasi-dark trading mechanisms, e.g. block trading venues, periodic auctions, and internalizing dealers, that serve as close substitutes for dark pools. The authors find that the ban had a negligible impact on market liquidity but deteriorated short-term price efficiency for firms affected by the restrictions. Consequently, regulators should carefully consider the spectrum of quasi-dark alternatives and the impact of market regulation on equilibrium strategies of investors and venue operators.

Satchit Sagade has been working for the Research Center SAFE since 2013. His research interests are in the area of market microstructure. Specifically, he is interested in topics related to high-frequency and algorithmic trading, optimal execution, market fragmentation and market regulation. He has received his Ph.D. in Finance from the Henley Business School at the University of Reading.

Christian Westheide is Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna since September 2018. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher at SAFE from October 2015 to September 2018. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Bonn. His research interests mainly lie in empirical financial market microstructure. More generally, he is interested in the interaction of market participants that differ in terms of information, ability, and objectives, and in how these interactions affect asset prices and liquidity.


Johann, T., Putnins, T. J., Sagade, S., and Westheide, C (2019): Quasi-Dark Trading: The Effects of Banning Dark Pools in a World of Many Alternatives.