Nasdaq fixed income unit down but not out, says CEO

Firm admits fixing US Treasuries business is "biggest area of challenge".

Nasdaq’s chief executive, Adena Friedman, believes it can turn around its waning fixed income unit by integrating it with its other trading businesses.

Her comments follow the departure of John Shay, the former global head of fixed income and commodities, last week after just ten months in the role.

Speaking on the exchange’s earnings call, Friedman said: “Specific to our US Treasuries business, we continue to find ways to enhance that platform and try to drive more volume back into the platform. It has been our biggest area of challenge, I would say, within Nasdaq.”

The fixed income and commodities business recently became integrated with the equities and options trading arm, creating a consolidated group headed up by Tom Wittman.

Freidman said on the call it will be able to use its expertise across those asset classes, as well as its derivatives business in Europe, to those areas which have challenged the fixed income business.

“One of the great things that John did coming in was really bring a client orientation to that business. So we want to continue that and to try to drive progress,” added Friedman.

“We had an enhancement that we brought in in June that basically created new functionality around off-the-runs, as well as creating more functionality in our Elect offering, and we do hope that will drive more volume back onto the platform in the coming quarters.”