The Russian headquartered multi-asset broker with significant market share of trading volumes in Forex and equities on the Moscow Exchange, has bolstered its efforts in the UK further, with the latest appointment of an Executive Chairman held by ex-Liquidnet Europe Chief John Barker, as BCS looks to build out its London operations.
The FCA regulated subsidiary of BCS, under the name BCS Prime Brokerage Limited, obtained membership on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), as noted in the official press release. Regarding the executive move, Mr. Barker was said to have started his new role at BCS Financial Group in January 2014, yet has acted as a non-executive director at BCS since January 2013, nearly a year (as the official commencement date in January was not readily available in the press release).
Formerly the Managing Director and Head of International at Liquidnet Europe Ltd., Mr. Barker was also described as having held various senior positions at Instinet Global Services Ltd., including Director of Operations, Head of Trade Support and managing the membership of multiple exchanges, clearing and settlement systems. During this time, John was also a board member at Instinet. Clearly the experience gained in the execution space, and during its ever-evolving microstructure since then may have been key attributes that BCS looked for in a candidate to help take its UK business to the next level.
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Accordingly, the new Executive Chairman role at BCS will primarily focus on driving the business strategy for the international business, and for overseeing corporate governance issues such as the regulatory, risk management and compliance systems, as noted in the press release.
Commenting in the official announcement from BCS, Tim Bevan, Managing Director of BCS Prime Brokerage, who also is a member of the board of directors said, “Since receiving FCA approval in June last year, the BCS international business has gone from strength to strength. It is crucial that as we continue to expand we have the right people and infrastructure firmly in place. John’s leadership skills, knowledge of the buy and sell-side, and his reputation and credibility in the market will add significant value to the firm as we seek to build on our early successes.”
Mr. Bevan concluded in the press release, “Receiving membership for the London Stock Exchange is a statement of our intent internationally, and a clear and positive demonstration of our ambition to become a major player in the market.”
As major dealers and executing brokers compete fiercely over institutional and retail order flows aggregated by their clients, often on prices as low as tenths of a penny per share or fractions of a basis point in (percentage of) nominal trade value, the background of key management persons and their experience in such a complex space (of execution brokers) can be instrumental, as well as in building out the firm’s forex offering.