JonesTrading plans to expand its presence in the institutional block-trading arena, particularly its electronic presence. Will Geyer joins the agency brokerage as its new president and COO following a $50 million equity financing investment from Friedman Fleischer&Lowe.
Geyer brings more than 15 years of trading and technology experience from tenures at Citigroup, where he oversaw the development and deployment of the company's front-end electronic trading platform and also managed its Global Alternative Execution business; and Barclays Global Investors, where he managed U.S. equity trading. Having seen both sides of the business — as a customer of JonesTrading while at Barclays and as a competitor at Citigroup — Geyer says he brings insight and expertise that will be instrumental to transitioning JonesTrading into a key electronic block-trading player through a combination of relationship and technology-based services.
"My directive is twofold," says Geyer. "First, I will be working to improve the execution technologies within the firm and to make sure that we have every tool that the best buy-side firms have on their desktops, so we really act as an extension of their trading desks. And second is to leverage the network of customers Jones has developed relationships with over the last 30 years and to explore the electronic opportunities around that network."
Geyer says JonesTrading is looking to leverage its network of relationships and the firm's ability to seek liquidity on behalf of its customers in a more electronic fashion. As Geyer says, the firm is exploring ways to bring in an electronic communication platform that can be leveraged internally and potentially externally as well.
"We want to make the communication side better and Will brings that experience to the party," adds Packy Jones, chairman and CEO of JonesTrading. "The human trader is the most important ingredient in trading these tough blocks, and our job is to empower these traders and make the best tools available to them."
JonesTrading has traditionally prided itself on its human touch and trusted relationships. But with Geyer's appointment and the equity investment, the company is setting a course to expand the electronic realm for block trading.
Geyer also is charged with overseeing the sales and trading operations.