Peter Randall, chief executive officer of Equiduct Systems Ltd., plans to leave the London-based alternative trading system after three years as shareholders weigh closing the firm, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
The company held a meeting to debate his future on Feb. 7 and plans to meet again to discuss funding for Equiduct, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Jake Ford, sales and marketing executive for Equiduct in London, declined to comment.
Randall, 56, brought alternative trading systems to Europe in 2007 as CEO of Chi-X Europe Ltd., and expanded the firm into the largest pan-regional venue. His success encouraged others, including Turquoise and Bats Europe, to enter the market as European Union regulations opened the door to competition. The former Instinet broker once wore boxing gloves to give a speech on competition and was known to leave phone messages for rival executives when Chi-X posted record trading days.
Equiduct is a trading platform for retail brokers, owned by Citadel Investment Group LLC and Knight Capital Group Inc. and operated by the Berlin bourse. Randall became chief executive in December 2009 and worked to take market share from incumbent exchanges such as Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1), London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) and NYSE Euronext. (NYX)
Citadel, which is closing its direct-execution services business in Europe, has pressed for clarity on Equiduct’s future, the people said. Katie Spring, a spokeswoman for Citadel, declined to comment.
Equiduct last year began talks with securities firms and exchanges about selling a stake or adding partners, people familiar with the situation said in June.
In January, Randall persuaded Winterflood Securities and Virtu Financial Ireland to make markets on Equiduct and the trading system reported record monthly trading volume of 4.2 billion euros ($5.7 billion).
Multilateral trading facilities such as Chi-X Europe and Bats Europe emerged after new rules in 2007 facilitated competition with traditional exchanges. Plataforma Alternativa de Valores Espanoles, or PAVE, which sought to create an alternative trading system in Iberian markets, halted operations last year due to the difficult financial environment in Europe and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s Neuro unit closed after failing to gain market share. Bats Europe eventually bought Chi-X Europe.
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