Alasdair Haynes, the former chief executive officer of Chi-X Europe - established in 2007 - was behind the pan-European exchange’s growth into the largest equities trading platform in the region. Under his leadership, the exchange became profitable in just four years and was sold to Bats Global Markets for $300 million in 2011.
Following the transaction, Haynes departed Chi-X to form his own alternative trading system in 2013, which was in direct competition with Chi-X and other large exchanges. Aquis Exchange hit headlines in 2016 when it made dramatic changes to its execution rules in what was considered by many, a controversial move. Haynes had decided to ban proprietary traders from using ‘aggressive’ techniques to attain execution, although they could become members of the exchange if they agreed to be totally passive.
Haynes’ controversial move paid off when just three weeks after its implementation, Aquis reported its market share had more than doubled from 0.47% to over 1%. Speaking to The TRADE in summer this year, Haynes explained the next shift for Aquis is towards technology, following the launch of Aquis Technologies.
“Technology is certainly a growth area, but we do not expect the growth in market share and increase in users to slow down, and although it took a long time for Aquis to get to this stage, there is much more to come from ‘little old Aquis’,” Haynes said.
Robert Barnes has worked his way up the career ladder to become chief executive officer of one the largest block trading venues in Europe, Turquoise Plato. He joined the London Stock Exchange’s Turquoise in 2013, having built his career at UBS over 19 years, holding several senior positions from managing director of equities to chief executive officer of UBS MTF.
In 2016, Turquoise announced the rebranding of its block trading services as part of a partnership with industry led initiative, Plato Partnership. Under Barnes’ leadership Turquoise Plato has seen tremendous growth, with a third of the €6 billion that has been traded in the two years since Turquoise’s launch, occurring in the month immediately after the announcement of the partnership.
Speaking to The TRADE in September this year, Barnes said: “We are listening and implementing innovation and from our view, innovation is about more than just ideas, it’s about execution.”
Barnes has been heavily involved with industry associations and thought leadership, having served as chairman of the Securities Trading Committee of the London Investment Banking Association between 2004 and 2009. He has held several non-executive director roles for NetOTC, BIPB and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. Barnes holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard.
Fabien Oreve is one of the most well-known faces in the buy-side community. He currently heads up global trading for the €100 billion asset management firm, Candriam Investors Group, centralising orders from different business units and various locations in Europe across asset classes.
Oreve spent 16 months in Morocco before joining Cheuvreux in 1996, working within the securities lending department during the time the firm could trade as a principal. He soon joined the front office helping to create a program trading division, armed with a technical background and sound knowledge of managing data.
Since joining Candriam, Oreve has built up a multi-asset desk that experiments with traders crossing into various asset classes to improve working relationships within his team.
The experiment has been a success, according to Oreve who explained to The TRADE in April this year: ”Our productivity ratio has grown amazingly and I’m very proud of that, but it’s reached a point where we have to hire.”
His top priorities at the moment of course includes reinforcing his multi-asset integration, but also finding liquidity more efficiently, minimising trading costs and improving performance across portfolios.
Anyone who has read Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys will have heard of Brad Katsuyama. He began his career at the Royal Bank of Canada in 2001 as a program trader and over 10 years, he worked his way up to become global head of electronic sales and trading for the bank. Katsuyama was tasked with leading the stock trading business and understanding the equity market structure.
He hit headlines after claiming US markets were ‘rigged’ and then founded the Investors Exchange (IEX) in 2011. Following a rigorous and controversial process, IEX was officially registered as a trading venue by the US financial regulator. Citadel, the New York Stock Exchange and Bats Global were among the large institutions that slammed IEX for its introduction of speed bumps and ‘ploy’ to slow down high frequency traders.
The TRADE spoke with Katsuyama in November this year - alongside his former Royal Bank of Canada colleague, president and co-founder of IEX, Ronan Ryan - and he explained the exchange will continue to focus on execution quality and listings in the near future. “I think people will be surprised at the poor execution quality on the exchanges that pay the highest rebates,” he said.
IEX now holds 2% of market share, compared with the largest exchange which holds 14%. Katsuyama said he is happy with the direction the exchange is going and concluded: “At the end of the day, the originator of the orders - the buy-side and the brokers - is the most important player in the ecosystem.”
Michel Barnier has been heavily involved in two market-defining moments over the last decade - the financial crisis in 2008 and Brexit. He is a politician for the French parliament and has been foreign minister for the country between 2004 and 2005.
Bernier played a key role in reforming regulatory market structure after the financial crisis in 2008. He was appointed as head of banking legislation in 2010 and has issued around 40 proposals which have revolutionised the banking industry since. Barnier controversially argued against short selling and promoted the idea of a cap on banker bonuses, which didn’t go down well with the industry.
These days, Barnier has been tasked with leading the UK’s negotiations with the European Union following the referendum result. When he was initially appointed to lead the negotiations, he understood many thought that due to media speculation and his reputation as a tough regulator in London, he would drive a ‘hard bargain’ for Britain.
He said in July this year: “I know what’s written in some British newspapers, I used to read the same thing seven years ago when I was Commissioner in charge of the single market and financial regulation. At the time I was called the ‘Most dangerous man in Europe.’”
He began his role in October this year and has built a team to help him disentangle Britain from the EU budget, trade and foreign policies.