Chi-X Ex-CEO Tal Cohen to Head Nasdaq's North American Equities

  • Walt Smith will move to role in access services, development
  • Nasdaq announced purchase of Chi-X Canada in December

Nasdaq Inc. hired the former head of Chi-X Global, Tal Cohen, to run its equities business in North America, according to a company spokesman.

Cohen will report to Tom Wittman, Nasdaq’s global head of equities, according to company spokesman Joe Christinat. Cohen will take over the role from Walt Smith, who will move to a business development position and lead the portion of Nasdaq’s business that charges market participants to connect to its trading systems. The changes will be effective April 12.

Earlier in his career, Cohen was a managing director at Instinet, Nomura Holdings Inc.’s brokerage unit. Cohen declined to comment on his new position.

Cohen’s hire comes after the exchange operator purchased Chi-X Global Holdings LLC’s trading business in Canada in December. Chi-X Global, owned by a group of financial institutions, was one of several electronic trading venues founded over roughly the past decade as global markets began to open up to electronic trading. The company ended up selling off all three of its geographic units, most recently its Australia and Japan operations to J.C. Flowers. Bats Global Markets Inc. bought Chi-X’s European division in 2011.

Nasdaq plans to move the trading platforms it acquired from Chi-X Canada to its own technology, and change the names of its Canadian venues to Nasdaq CX and Nasdaq CX2, according to Christinat.

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