R.J. O’Brien appoints industry veteran Mark Donlon as head of the new swaps desk

Chicago-based futures brokerage and clearing firm R.J. O’Brien & Associates announced that Mark Donlon joined the firm to lead a newly established OTC swaps sales and trading desk. The desk will be Initially focused on US dollar interest rate swaps then it will expand on the services provided to existing RJO institutional clients as well as introduce new clients to the firm.

Donlon is based in New York and will report to RJO Chief Sales Officer Dan Staniford at his new position of executive director Interest Rate Swaps.

Donlon has nearly 30 years of experience in OTC and listed derivatives with a specialty in fixed income sales and trading at financial institutions. He established and operated large global interest rate swaps businesses for Citigroup Global Markets and RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) Securities (now NatWest Markets Securities) and was a key player in building and leading the rates swap execution facility (SEF) at GFI Group.

Dan Staniford commented:

Daniel Staniford, R.J. O’Brien

Dan Staniford
Source: LinkedIn

Mark is an outstanding addition to our team. He is ideally suited to lead our first foray into the interest rate swaps market, which will be a great complement to our existing institutional fixed income futures and options services. As this business has evolved and matured, many of our clients have expressed interest in our ability to provide them with a swaps offering. We have some of the most highly regarded interest rate futures brokers in the business, and our new desk will offer them a powerful new tool to broaden their investing and hedging capabilities on behalf of our clients. Mark’s extraordinary relationships in the industry will also introduce new clients to the firm, who likewise will then have access to our deep futures expertise.

R.J. O’Brien

Mark Donlon stated:

I’m excited to establish and build out this new swaps desk for one of the world’s premier futures firms. There is a natural synergy that will enable us to leverage RJO’s strong global franchise with a robust OTC offering. We’ll work hand-in-hand with RJO global institutional brokerage teams, as well as bring new clients into the firm through independent sales efforts, with the ability to trade and support sophisticated market participants around the clock. While we intend to focus initially on U.S. dollar interest rate swaps, we expect to branch out over time into other G10 currencies and OTC derivatives including options.

The new swaps desk will initially support on-SEF and off-SEF activities, block trades and basis and cleared swaps at CME Group and the London Clearing House (LCH).

Donlon was previously a principal at a private equity firm for the last two years. He was responsible for forex hedging opportunities. Donlon also served for several years as managing director, global head of US and Canadian Dollar Linear Rates Trading for RBS Securities Inc. (also known as NatWest Markets Securities Inc.) since 2018. Prior to that, he was managing director of the US Dollar Rates SEF at wholesale OTC brokerage firms GFI Group. There, he managed a team in New York and London between 2013 and 2015, working through the regulatory implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Donlon spent around 20 years at Citigroup Global Markets and Citibank N.A. There, he served as Managing Director, Global Head of North American Linear Trading, overseeing a staff of traders in New York, London and Tokyo and leading Citigroup’s US swaps business into the top-ranked position in the industry.

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