UBS hires algo expert Pierre Vermaak from Barclays for FX e-trading role

Algorithmic trading within the world’s largest financial institutions is in full swing, despite the European Commission’s regulatory onslaught, as it has emerged today that UBS has recruited Pierre Vermaak, a former quantative analyst within Barclays’ fixed income, currencies and commodities unit.

Mr. Vermaak commenced his position at UBS earlier this month in a senior position within the bank’s newly established FRC division.

Supplanting Thomas Klocker, who previously held the position of Head of Algorithmic Trading for fixed income, currencies and commodities, Mr. Vermaak has assumed the same title and responsibilities in which he reports directly to UBS Global Head of Electronic Trading Chris Purves.

Mr. Klocker moved from UBS to Bank of America Merrill Lynch in June this year where he was appointed Global Head of e-trading Strategy for fixed income, currencies and commodities.

Mr. Purves and Mr. Vermaak were professional acquaintances prior to Mr. Vermaak’s new appointment, having worked together at Barclays at the time when Mr. Purves was Managing Director, a role in which he played a key role in establishing and developing the bank’s FX and algorithmic trading team.

Mr. Vermaak’s appointment represents the third ex-Barclays senior executive that has been recruited to a position at UBS by Mr. Purves, following Mark Meredith who is now Head of FX e-trading Quantitative Analytics and Parwinder Sekhon who was recruited as Head of FX Algorithmic Technology, these three executives having moved to UBS despite Barclays’ high remuneration packages and staff reluctance to move elsewhere regardless of Barclays’ recent poor commercial performance and shrinking of payroll.

Mr. Meredith did not stay at UBS however, having left in October last year in order to pursue a position at Citigroup.

As well as forging ahead with its algorithmic trading business, UBS is another institutional firm which has followed the lead of CME Group and NASDAQ OMX by rolling its exchange-traded derivatives division into the new FRC division, paving the way for more FX order flow to head onto exchanges.

This move, coupled with last year’s release of its new trading platform which was introduced under the designation of Neo, highlights efforts being made by banks to create multi-asset class trading divisions amid tougher capital requirements and global reforms to OTC derivatives markets which are promoting electronic trading and agency execution.

Single dealer platforms are continuing to be developed and utilized by banks, as they allow greater contact with clients and order flow, especially in the advent of European institutions having to follow the American lead by processing all order flow via central counterparties and trade depositories.

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