Electronic Platform Direct Match Hires Former Citi Leader

An electronic Treasury-trading platform that plans to open later this year hired the former head of sales for a competitor run by Citigroup Inc.

Kristi Neller will start at New York-based Direct Match LLC on May 26, said Jim Greco, Direct Match chief executive, by phone. Neller confirmed the hire. She was previously head of sales for the CitiVelocity electronic U.S. government-bond-trading platform. She comes from a sales position at WBI Investments, which didn’t respond to requests for comment by phone. Citigroup spokesman Scott Helfman declined to comment by phone.

Direct Match is part of a growing roster of electronic-trading venues that are vying for a bigger presence in the $12.6 trillion U.S. Treasury market. It plans to compete with platforms such as ICAP Plc’s BrokerTec and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s ESpeed, which offer their service to banks and high-frequency trading firms.

Electronic trading has played a bigger role in the Treasury market as regulations prompt primary dealers to retreat from the market. Direct Match plans to market its services to traditional investment managers as well as brokers and high-frequency trading firms.

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