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On Brink of Expansion, Liquidnet Hires Bob Garrett as Head of Technology

As Liquidnet expands into fixed income, Garrett will focus on integrating the pending acquisition of Vega Chi into its ATS technology.

Alternative trading system operator Liquidnet has hired Bob Garrett as head of technology and member of the leadership team for the global institutional trading network.

Garrett is based in New York, reporting to Liquidnet’s Chief Operating Officer, John Kelly. Garrett replaces Neal Goldstein who left at the end of 2013. Goldstein is now CTO of AIG.

Garrett joins Liquidnet from Wells Fargo Securities where he was head of equity trading and prime services technology. Prior to Wells, Garrett was chief technology officer at Merlin Securities, which was acquired by Wells Fargo, and supported all aspects of the business including the platform used by Merlin’s 500 plus hedge-fund clients.

In his new role, Garrett is responsible for establishing the technology direction of the company and coordinating with business leaders and product managers on the development of products, solutions and processes that align with Liquidnet’s core mission to make markets more efficient.

In an interview today, Garrett said it was a little too soon to discuss specific projects. “As we all know the world of ATSs and electronic trading is an advanced technology world. I’ll be evaluating what we have against the state of the art, and looking for innovation everywhere I can.”

Once he is integrated into the company, Garrett will focus on understanding the business vision. “There’s a lot of business planning going on right now. I definitely think the business is looking to expand and diversify and fixed income is one example,” said Garrett in an interview today.

Initially, Garrett said he will be focusing on theacquisition of Vega Chi, a fixed-income bond-trading platform, which is still subject to regulatory approval. “I’m going to have to dig in there, into how we integrate the fixed income ATS capability with the already successful platforms to support equities,” said Garrett today in an interview. Liquidnet announced an agreement to acquire the corporate bond trading platform in mid-March.

With recent moves to grow and expand its business, Garrett said his role is to ensure that Liquidnet maintains world-class technology platforms. “But we’re also expanding and maintaining our existing business,” said Garrett, adding that it was his job to “maintain state of the art and fit–for- purpose technology.”

“Technology is at the core of all that we do for our community of 740 of the world’s leading asset managers," said Kelly in a statement, adding that Liquidnet is bringing Garrett on board at the point of its expansion. "We continue to accelerate the growth of our businesses including the rollout of new technologies and solutions, expanding into fixed income and opening up new markets," said Kelly. "Bob is a proven technology leader who stood out for his extensive technical expertise, industry knowledge, and his varied experience at large and smaller firms," stated Kelly in the release. "He has the right skillset and he will be a strong partner in collaborating with our business leaders to help us achieve our strategic and tactical goals.”

As a life-long technologist for 24 years, Garrett has worked on and off Wall Street, including roles at Bank of America Securities, Sapient and AT&T. From his prime brokerage days at Merlin, Garrett can bring experience with hedge funds and electronic trading technology to bare with the technology that is needed,” he said. “I have relationships with technology companies that support cutting edge use of technology on Wall Street, but I also have relationships with hedge funds themselves,” he said.

Prior to Merlin, he was global head of execution services technology at Deutsche Bank, where he went to rebuild the Autobahn platform. “It was an algorithmic trading platform globally and an ATS globally so that was similar business to what we do here,” explained Garrett, who has a background in equities and equity derivatives.

While Garrett is located in Liquidnet’s New York headquarters with his technology team, he plans on meeting with clients and staff in all regions of the globe.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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