Credit Suisse has appointed Michael Mollemans to head its advanced execution services platform in Japan – Asia’s biggest market for high-frequency trading.

Mollemans recently located to Tokyo from New York where he was head of electronic trading sales at Daiwa Capital Markets. He replaces Christina Makiguchi who joined Goldman Sachs earlier this month as head of electronic trading for Japan and China.

In his new role, Mollemans will oversee market share growth of Credit Suisse's advanced execution services division, which encompasses electronic equities, multi-asset and high frequency trading. He reports to Tokyo-based Martin Keeble, the bank's head of equities for Japan, and Hong Kong-based Hani Shalabi, Asia-Pacific head of advanced execution services.

Mollemans’s experience with clients in the US – a mature market for electronic trading – who invest in Japan will be an asset to the Tokyo team, says Shalabi. “US institutions are major investors in Japanese equities and recognise the advantage that electronic trading can deliver for them in that market.”  

In advanced markets such as Japan, Credit Suisse executes more than half of its self-directed client flow electronically. Tokyo is the biggest high frequency trading hub in Asia, accounting for about 45% of trading volumes, the bank estimates.

Yet regionally there is much room to grow, with only 15% of Asia-Pacific equity trading volumes attributed to high-frequency traders, according to Boston Consulting Group. This compares with the estimated 70-80% of daily trading volumes in the US.

The advanced execution services platform is primarily used by long-only institutional investors, says Shalabi, “but we do serve hedge fund clients and other client segments as well”. 

Aside from Tokyo, Credit Suisse has advanced execution services desks in Hong Kong, London and New York from which it facilitates trades on more than 60 global exchanges.

Crossfinder, Credit Suisse’s off-exchange dark pool, falls under the advanced execution services division, as does Pathfinder – its proprietary routing system that selects the best exchange to execute an order. They will play a central role in the unit’s future business growth in Asia, says Shalabi. “We aim to carry on growing their scale as the regulatory environment permits.”