INTL FCStone launches European equities desk

INTL FCStone is the first firm to establish a European equities desk since the implementation of MiFID II regime.

The UK subsidiary of securities and commodities broker INTL FCStone has launched a new European equities trading desk in London, as it looks to provide an alternative for banks and other research firms operating within the MiFID II regulatory regime.

The new business will be led by Jason Keogh, a 25-year equities trading veteran, to help build out the desk and provide access to 25 cash equity markets.

Keogh joined the broker in March as head of UK sales trading. Prior to that, he was a European equity sales trader for Raymond James for over five years, and was also a director of European sales trading at Oppenheimer.

“Leveraging INTL’s 24-hour global trading, the team provides clients access to over 25 cash equity markets plus ETF and ADR execution with no involvement in research, allowing us to provide execution, block and liquidity sourcing perfectly conforming with MIFID II, giving clients an alternative to banks and research houses,” said Keogh.

INTL FCStone already has a strong US securities business, but is a dominant market maker in global commodities and FX markets.

The launch of the new business shows how the European equities space is still an important growth area for US firms, despite the challenging conditions of MiFID II.

“As MiFID II swept through Europe in early 2018, INTL FCStone made the decision to enter the disrupted market and bring an expertise in execution and liquidity to an unbundled environment,” said Jacob Rappaport, head of equities, INTL FCStone Financial.

At the beginning of the year, US broker and research firm Evercore ISI decided to shut its European trading desk two weeks after MiFID II came into force.

Best execution and unbundling requirements under the new regulation are widely expected to impact smaller businesses and could prompt consolidation among sell-side firms.

However, INTL FCStone will look to leverage its presence in London with their global payments, commodities and London Metal Exchange (LME) business to help take off the equities trading desk.