Liquidnet, an institutional trading and equities network, has promoted its current president Brian Conroy to take on an expanded role as the company’s chief executive officer. Conroy remains based out of New York and steps into the role with immediate effect, according to a group statement.
Conroy replaces Liquidnet founder and outgoing CEO Seth Merrin, who faces a sexual harassment lawsuit in New York. Mary Corradino, former head of talent acquisition at Liquidnet, alleges she was fired after complaining about sexual harassment from Merrin and other high-ranking execs for many years.
Merrin will continue his role as executive chairman of the board, while Conroy will lead all three Liquidnet business verticals.
Conroy joined Liquidnet in 2019 following a career in the financial services industry that has spanned over three decades. He has relocated from London for the job and has been responsible for overseeing Liquidnet’s growth, which consists of building out new businesses organically and through acquisition, as well as expanding its buy-side member network.
Prior to this appointment, he served as president of Bermuda-headquartered asset manager Fidelity Worldwide Investment, which manages around $300 billion in assets. Before that, Brian had taken on the role of president of Fidelity Capital Markets, which is the institutional trading arm of Boston-based Fidelity Investments.
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Additional stops also include positions at JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, ABN AMRO, and SAC LLC, among others, dating back to 1987, according to information made public on his Linkedin profile.
Conroy already leading since 2019
The fixed income market is undergoing dramatic changes, as the applicability of electronic trading across the sector has been much slower than the equity and forex markets. In the best case, it is still largely limited to the most liquid parts of the market.
Since launching in September 2015, Liquidnet’s community of fixed income asset managers has grown to 200 active firms, around 70 of which are in Europe, who have traded some 17,000 different ISINs to date. This growth has been fueled by members’ ability to trade in institutional size, with an average execution of $2.4 million.
Commenting on the recent appointment, Seth Merrin said: “Brian came on board a year ago as part of our plan to deliver the capabilities that clients will need to compete in a market that’s undergoing yet another technology-driven transformation. Over six months ago, Brian took on the responsibility of managing all our businesses globally, with all units reporting to him, and Brian reporting to me. I couldn’t be happier with our progress and the strong partnership that Brian and I have developed. Now is the right time for me to formally recognize his role and responsibilities with the title of CEO.”