Citigroup Hires Former Chi-X CEO Lowrey for Electronic Execution

Citigroup Inc. hired John Lowrey to be global head of cash electronic execution as the bank invests in a stock-trading business ranked last by revenue among the five largest Wall Street firms.

Lowrey, former chief executive officer at stock-market operator Chi-X Global Inc., started Tuesday and will assume his title once he receives regulatory approval, according to a July 17 memo from Derek Bandeen, the New York-based bank’s head of equities. Scott Helfman, a Citigroup spokesman, confirmed the contents of the memo and declined to comment further.

Bandeen is working to revamp a unit that’s seen uneven results and executive departures over the last 18 months. Citigroup aims to make its revenue more consistent from one quarter to the next, Jamie Forese, the firm’s president and head of the institutional business, said in June.

“We’re not going to set a silly, unrealistic goal of trying to be in the top three in 12 months time,” Forese said. “That’s not credible. But we do think that we can move from our current position just gradually up with some solid, steady investment.”

Lowrey will be based in New York and report jointly to Kevin Russell, global head of trading for the unit, and Murray Roos, hired earlier this year as head of sales for equities and prime finance. This year’s notable hires also include Adam Herrmann from UBS Group AG to lead prime finance.

During a 35-year career in finance, Lowrey supervised European electronic-trading services at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. before moving to Chi-X and then Marex Spectron Group Ltd., where he ran electronic markets and data services for the commodities broker, Bandeen said in the memo. He’s also worked at Nomura Holdings Inc. and a predecessor to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to his LinkedIn profile.

Citigroup is looking to regain its balance in electronic trading after closing its LavaFlow venue earlier this year. The system was the sixth-biggest in the U.S. for trading larger stocks, according to data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.