Joseph Mecane, head of U.S. cash markets at NYSE Euronext, said specialist operations on the exchange's floor are still viable despite the exit of LaBranche & Co. Meanwhile, interest in the designated-market-maker program on NYSE Euronext's Amex platform has increased, partially because of a planned addition of Nasdaq OMX-listed shares. "The NYSE designated-market-maker model is one where a lot of firms who have established robust trading infrastructures can leverage that and establish themselves in a new market," Mecane said.

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