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Future Finance

Robots Conquered Stock Markets. Now They’re Coming for Bonds and Currencies

  • New breed takes over to accelerate electronic-trading efforts
  • BofA, Morgan Stanley, UBS are among firms enlisting their help
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Robots could soon do 1 in 4 U.S. jobs

Ashok Krishnan’s colleagues at Bank of America initially brushed off his pitch to automate trading. He recalls how some barely acknowledged him in the halls. But before long their aversion gave way to requests for help.

As head of electronic trading in the bank’s global markets division, Krishnan is among a group of Wall Street equities veterans -- including Phil Allison at Morgan Stanley and Mark Goodman at UBS Group AG -- promoted in recent years to take on a delicate assignment: Build machines to handle trading in other markets such as bonds and currencies. They’re convinced it’s possible after watching computers take over stocks.