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Instinet is an institutional, agency-only broker. As such, it executes trades for roughly 1,500 “buyside” clients such as asset management firms, hedge funds, insurance companies, mutual funds and pension funds. Headquartered in New York and with offices in 13 other cities around the world, Instinet provides sales trading services and a range of trading technologies such as the Newport EMS, algorithms, trade cost analytics, commission management, independent research and dark pools of liquidity.
To many, Instinet is best known as one of the original off-exchange trading alternatives, as its “green screen” terminals were extremely prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, and, more recently, as the founder of Chi-X Europe.

Instinet was founded by Jerome M. Pustilnik and Herbert R. Behrens and was incorporated in 1967 as Institutional Networks Corp. The founders aimed to compete with the New York Stock Exchange by means of computer links between major institutions, such as banks, mutual funds, and insurance companies, with no delays or intervening specialists. Through the Instinet system, which went live in December 1969, the company provided computer services and a communications network for the automated buying and selling of equity securities on an anonymous, confidential basis.
Uptake of the platform was slow through the 1970s, and in 1983 Instinet turned to Bill Lupien, a former Pacific Stock Exchange specialist, to run the company. Lupien decided to market the system more aggressively to the broker community, rather than focus exclusively on the buyside as his predecessors had.