The BIDS alternative trading system attracted investments from Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Knight Capital Group. The crossing network - which is in beta-testing and should debut this spring - is operated by BIDS Trading, a pure agency broker. It was founded by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS.
BIDS, which stands for Block Interest Discovery Service, will allow institutional investors to cross large orders off-exchange without market impact. Because it is an independent broker without proprietary trading, BIDS avoids the potential conflicts of interest presented by similar facilities of full-service brokers.