Liquidnet’s Barker takes new role at Russia’s BCS Financial
Former Liquidnet Europe head John Barker is to take up a new role at Russian financial services firm BCS Financial Group, Banking Technology has learned.
Barker, who left Liquidnet under a cloud of secrecy in May 2012, will take up a role as non-executive director for BCS as the firm plans its push into western Europe.
BCS was established in Russia in 1995 and currently specialises in trading Russia and other emerging markets. The company covers execution services, treasury services, securities lending, financing, technology hosting, networking and research. The firm currently has 100 offices and services approximately 3,700 corporate and 100,000 individual clients globally.
Before moving to BCS, Barker spent 11 years at Liquidnet, taking the platform from its inception by founder Seth Merrin, through to become one of the most prominent dark pools in Europe. By February 2009, the platform had achieved 50% dark market share. The period also saw Liquidnet expand into Asia via Hong Kong.
However, Liquidnet’s market share was subsequently eclipsed by larger bank-owned platforms such as UBS MTF and Goldman Sachs’ Sigma X. By December 2011, Liquidnet accounted for just 3% of European dark market share, according to figures provided by Thomson Reuters. While the overall level of dark trading increased dramatically over the period – from €1.9 billion in February 2009 to €27.8 billion by Barker’s departure in May 2012 – Liquidnet’s turnover grew far less, from €954 million in February 2009 to €1.4 billion in May 2012.
Barker’s previous roles included a ten-year stint at Instinet Europe as director of operations, as well as well as similar roles at Omiris Networks and Yamaichi International.