Global agency broker Instinet has hired William McKeown as head of North American sales for its Meet the Street corporate access platform, launched in March 2010 as part of efforts to broaden its offering and diversify revenues.
McKeown joins from US broker Knight Capital Group, where he served as director in Knight corporate access since 2005. Previously, he launched financial services firm Advest Group's corporate access practice, and before that held various sales and trading roles at Prudential Securities, Cowen Group and Credit Suisse.
The business environment for equity brokers has become increasingly challenging in recent quarters, with both agency and full-service brokers experiencing lower volumes. Instinet, a subsidiary of Nomura, the Japanese bank that bought Lehman Brothers' European and Asian assets in 2008, was among a number of sell-side firms that reduced European headcount earlier this year.
Meet the Street is designed to match corporate management teams with investors. The platform introduces portfolio managers to senior management teams they have pre-selected, while corporates are able to schedule meetings with targeted potential investors.
“While technology has revolutionised many aspects of Wall Street, corporate access has remained one of few relatively untouched practices,” said McKeown. “I've been impressed with Meet the Street's conflict-free, web-based model and am excited to join the firm.”
Instinet has also been expanding its Instinet Access independent research provider service and offering execution services for options, including algorithms, smart order routing and the CBX Options dark pool. In August, the firm became the latest member to join Dutch retail-focused multilateral trading facility The Order Machine.