It's an apples and oranges comparison with regard to prop vs retail but, when Instinet bought Protrader in Oct of 01 the first thing they did was start closing down locations. By the last count on their website Protrader was down to just three "true" locations. Denver, Irvine, and Austin. I'm not saying it was all about the buyout, because the all retail firms have had a lot of attrition but certainly when the deal first closed the first closings came down via a mandate from the top from what I understand and it affected quite a number of their traders. That begs the question, why did Instinet or Reuters pay so damn much for Protrader? The bubble had already deflated to a large extent. For that kind of money you would certainly think they could have built their own software but who knows? Maybe Sunguard wanted Andover for the Hammer? They (Sungard) are pretty much a software type firm right? (I know very little about Sunguard). We traders all figured some of it had to be that they were paying for getting all the daytraders (the clearing bucks) which would would also send more trades through gr8trade which would probably integrate well with INCA (instinets ecn) but then they started rapidly closing up places. Note: Instinet did integrate some type of proprietary routing into Portal (gr8trade) a few months ago. Note also however that at the time INCA was losing a lot of ecn volume to island, they ofcourse since bought or merged with island. Anyway, I don't know anything about Andover/Sunguard but just thought I would mention the buyout above because it certainly affected traders with that firm and what they did didn't really make much sense and to me still doesn't make that much sense. Maybe these trading platforms are a lot more expensive to develop and get people to trade on than I think. I know that instinet wanted their own platform however to tie into their clearing operation and apparently from that standpoint they got what they wanted as ETG recently switched and they will probably add more clearing with daytrading type firms going foward because of it. Andover ofcourse already has a platform that ties into their clearing. That begs the question, is Sungard anything like instinets parent reuters? Not at first glance but maybe their are some parallels there. Just rambling on here folks. As I said I don't know much at all about Sungard so I could be totally of base. Just pontificating (or whatever the word is).