Tom Daniel joined equity broker CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets last week as Asia head of electronic trading in Hong Kong, replacing Bruce Benson who has left the firm.

Benson joined in 2004 and had been based in Tokyo, but Daniel says the change of location simply reflects his preference to be in Hong Kong rather than any shift in focus for CLSA.

Daniel moved from Macquarie in Hong Kong where he had worked since 2006, most recently as head of electronic trading IT, covering algos and direct market access (DMA). Before that, he was Asia head of algo development at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong from 2001 until 2006.

Macquarie declined to confirm whether they've replaced Daniel. But the Australian firm did recently strengthen its electronic trading team with the hire of David Klinger from e-trading platform provider Liquidnet.

Reporting to group head of sales and sales trading Michael Alexander, Daniel's remit now is to make CLSA's electronic trading system number one in the market. "We have a very good DMA product here," he says, "and a good algo system, which is available for direct use for clients in Hong Kong and Japan."

Daniel plans to roll out the platform to all other Asian markets, while improving the algos and range of algos on offer. Complete rollout will take "upwards of a year", he says, adding that he's likely to increase the size of the electronic trading team over the coming months.

As for areas with the biggest potential, Daniel sees particularly strong growth in markets such as China, India and Taiwan, but says electronic trading volumes are increasing across the board in Asia.

Among the biggest players in this space are Credit Suisse, Macquarie and UBS, he adds.