David Lester has been named CEO of the London Stock Exchange’s new pan-European trading platform, which will be formed by merging its Baikal dark pool with the newly-acquired Turquoise multilateral trading facility (MTF).
John Wilson, Baikal’s current CEO, and Turquoise chief Eli Lederman will both relinquish their roles to make way for Lester, who will run the new MTF in addition to his existing role as director of information services at the exchange.
Wilson, a former Lehman Brothers executive who took the helm of Baikal in October 2008, has been named executive chairman of ETX Capital, a provider of financial spread betting and contracts for difference to retail investors, professional traders and financial institutions.
The announcement follows the LSE’s completion of the Turquoise acquisition after receiving regulatory approval from the UK’s Office of Fair Trading and Financial Services Authority. The deal was first revealed in December 2009. The combined Turquoise/Baikal MTF will keep the Turquoise name and will be migrated to the new Millennium Exchange trading platform that is being developed for the LSE by Sri-Lankan technology firm MillenniumIT, which the LSE expects to roll out before the end of September 2010.
The LSE acquired MillenniumIT in October last year for US$30 million.
An LSE spokesman told theTRADEnews.com that the work to integrate Turquoise and Baikal is now fully underway, but the two platforms will continue to be operated separately in the short term. Both entities, for example, still have separate MTF licences. Turquoise is the only one of the two actively trading, as the launch of Baikal’s order book, originally scheduled for November 2009, was stalled by the Turquoise deal.
“We will keep the existing Turquoise systems running until we can migrate them onto Millennium,” the spokesman said.
Turquoise’s current trading platform is provided by IT company Cinnober.
Baikal was first unveiled in June 2008 as a joint venture between the LSE and investment bank Lehman Brothers. It was intended to be a dark trading and liquidity aggregation venue with routing capabilities connections to numerous external dark pools. Following the collapse of Lehman in September 2008, the LSE continued with the Baikal project and launched its routing functionality at the end of June 2009.
Turquoise, established by a consortium of nine of Europe’s biggest brokers, officially started trading in September 2008, and now trades equities listed in 16 European countries.
Turquoise had a 2.9% market share of value traded across Europe in January 2010, according to figures from data vendor Thomson Reuters.