UBS China Head of Electronic Trading Quits to Start Fintech Firm

  • Qu Hongjie left this year and was replaced by Kitty Li
  • UBS block trade execution strategy is popular in China

UBS Group AG’s head of electronic trading in China, who helped make the Swiss bank’s equity algorithmic trading strategy among the most popular in China, has left the company.

Qu Hongjie was a managing director at UBS Securities Co., heading the firm’s electronic trading business on the mainland. He left earlier this year to start his own financial technology firm, Qu said by phone on Wednesday. He declined to provide further details.

A spokesman at UBS Securities confirmed Qu’s departure, but wouldn’t give his leaving date. Qu was replaced by Kitty Li, according to a person familiar with the matter.

UBS Securities is a brokerage joint venture UBS Group set up with four Chinese investors in 2006. The bank has a 24.99 percent stake in the venture and has management control.

Block-order execution is one of a few areas where algorithmic trading is applicable in China’s equity market. The country’s stamp duty on stock sales and prohibitions on buying and selling the same shares on the same day make many other strategies unusable.

Prior to joining UBS, Qu worked as an executive director at Beijing Gao Hua Securities, a Chinese firm that has a joint venture with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he set up and ran its China electronic trading unit, according to his biography posted on Fudan University’s Hult Prize website, for which he was a judge. He also worked at Goldman Sachs in New York for nine years, according to the biography.

— With assistance by Gary Gao

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