Knight Capital, a US-based trade execution and asset management service provider, is to offer Knight Link, the firm’s dark pool offering, in Europe. European clients will be able to start trading on the platform during the first quarter of 2009.
According to Jamil Nazarali, managing director and global head of Knight Capital’s electronic trading group, Knight Link’s US track record will provide a good base on which to launch its European operations. “In a year and a half, Knight Link has gone from nothing to one of the largest dark pools in the US,” Nazarali told theTRADEnews.com. “We have built up a deep liquidity pool from market making in the mid- and small-cap sector, automated all our systems to reduce connection costs and will modify our systems around our clients to make it easy for them to connect.”
Although dark pools, such as NYSE Euronext’s Smartpool, have delayed their launch because of unfavourable market conditions, Nazarali thinks the current turmoil could be beneficial to Knight Link. “We have no credit exposure and while many of our competitors have suffered in the last few months we have done well,” he said. “We think it’s a great time to be building, our system thrives on volume and volatility.”
Leading Knight Link’s expansion into Europe will be Kee-Meng Tan, who has been appointed to the newly created position of managing director, head of the electronic trading group in Europe. Tan joined Knight last spring from CQS Management, a London-based alternative asset manager, where he was an equity derivatives trader. Prior to that, he was head of EMEA global execution services at J.P. Morgan.
As part of Knight Link’s European launch, Knight Capital will also become a retail services provider (RSP) in the UK, providing market-making services, initially in FTSE 350 stocks.