JP Morgan has hired Moses Lee from the futures AES team at Credit Suisse in order to run their electronic futures business in Asia. He will start in August 2013 and will be based in Singapore. He will head the existing team, which will be built up further with a number of additional hires in due course.
He will be reporting to global head of electronic futures Peter Ward and Frank Troise, the managing director and global head of ECS. In his new job he will take responsibility for the JP Morgan electronic futures product in Asia.
Lee will focus on product capabilities, the game-plan of how to sell it, and will try to connect JP Morgan to various lines of new futures business in equities, commodities, fixed income and rates. He will also seek to trace potential developments that arise from market structure changes and seek new opportunities in China and Japan.
“Futures are exchange traded. Equities concepts around smart order routing or off-exchange crossing systems are not applicable. It is all exchange based except for the rolls where you can put up some differentiated block trades,” says Frank Troise. “The progression in futures trading will trend towards more client self-directed electronic trading in Asia. As customers become more familiar with the electronic tools, they will be able to start pushing the buttons themselves.”
JP Morgan had been something of an industry laggard in electronic trading until deciding to make a major investment in building its operations three years ago. Since then it has completely overhauled its electronic platform. The firm says that since then it has quadrupled its volumes in that segment, though it declined to say what that equated to in dollar terms.
It is targeting long only, long/short hedge funds and passive index investors in its expansion of electronic trading capabilities in Asia.
“Clients have adopted electronic trading at different rates across the globe,” says Troise, pointing out that whilst elsewhere in the world, 60% of business is conducted electronically, that number is significantly less in Asia. “In Asia, electronic liquidity is growing and the tools are being enhanced all the time. We’re big believers in electronic trading in Asia. The client energy is tremendous.”
There is a triumvirate currently running the Asian electronic business for JP Morgan. Marcus Consolini is head of Asia electronic client sales and trading, Kathryn Zhao is head of Asia linear quantitative research and Shilesh Shekhawat is head of Asia electronic trading solutions and product management.