Ned Phillips leaves BlocSec for Chi-X

One of the most experienced executives in electronic trading is to lead Chi-XÆs dark pool joint venture in Singapore.

Trading platform provider Chi-X has hired Ned Phillips to run its recently announced tie-up with Singapore Exchange to create a dark pool, a role he will assume in the new year. This follows the hire of two Asia-Pacific sales staff last week.

Phillips has left BlocSec, the proprietary dark pool owned by CLSA, where he had served as chief executive. Launched in 2008, BlocSec has been a pioneer in block trading off-exchange in the region. It is a liquidity aggregator and electronic crossing network for Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Australia equities.

Phillips has also worked at ITG, E-Trade and soft-dollar broker Hoenig.

BlocSec is transferring management of all CLSA dark pool initiatives to Christian Chan, director of electronic execution services in Hong Kong. In a case of musical chairs, he joined CLSA just two months ago, from Instinet. Chan reports to Michael Alexander, group head of sales and sales trading at CLSA.

Chi-X declined to confirm Phillips' appointment or make any comment.

Meanwhile, Christopher Brown and Raks Sondhi have joined Chi-X's Asia-Pacific sales team to drive business development efforts across the region. Brown, based in Hong Kong, will service traditional long-only investment firms, while Singapore-based Sondhi will work with the high-frequency and quantitative investment community. Both will report to Ronald Gould, CEO for Chi-X Asia-Pacific.

Brown joins Chi-X from mergermarket (part of the Financial Times Group) where he was head of sales. He began his career at Multex and later joined Reuters where he sold financial data, research management and trade decision support tools in both London and Hong Kong.

Sondhi joins from Nomura where he worked in its statistical arbitrage prime services business. Before that, he spent nine years at Lehman Brothers in London and Tokyo, first with the equity research department and later with the prime services quantitative services group.

In a separate move, BlocSec said on Monday that it will remove the current minimum $250,000 or 20% of the 30-day average daily volume order size requirement. This will allow smaller orders into the system, increasing both liquidity and matching, says Chan.

The platform has also added the ability for its client relationship managers to accept manual orders and route any balances to the CLSA trading desk if instructed to do so. Chan says the aim is to provide more flexibility for clients and a seamless trade flow process.

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