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Morgan Stanley Said to Hire Asia Head of Electronic Trading

Morgan Stanley hired Bank of America Corp.’s Gabriel Butler as head of electronic trading for Asia excluding Japan, according to two people familiar with the move.

Butler, who was head of electronic trading sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he worked until last week, will start at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong by August, the people said, asking not to be identified because the move hadn’t been announced. Butler replaces Joseph Sarcona, who was promoted to global co-head of listed derivatives for the electronic trading team in New York, the people said.

The equities trading division at Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s largest brokerage, increased revenue 6 percent from a year earlier, the company said on April 19. Morgan Stanley’s electronic trading unit manages areas including algorithmic trading, direct market access and dark pools.

Butler and Sarcona declined to comment when reached by telephone. Nick Footitt, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, and Mark Tsang, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch spokesman, also declined to comment.

At Morgan Stanley, Butler will report to Zach Tuckwell, Asia head of electronic trading, listed derivatives and program trading. Oliver Farrant, based in London, will run the global listed derivatives unit with Sarcona at the New York-based brokerage. They will report to Andrew Silverman and Bill Neuberger, global co-heads of electronic trading.

Bank of America hired two senior executives from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in electronic trading within the past year. Ryan Holsheimer, joined in May as head of Asia Pacific equity execution services in Hong Kong, after 10 years at Goldman in a similar role. Kim Man Li, former head of Asian electronic trading sales at Goldman, joined as a director and head of product development for Asia-Pacific equity execution services in Hong Kong in September.

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