Credit Suisse to reorganize electronic trading after departure of trading chief

Credit Suisse reportedly plans to reorganize its equities business, separating electronic trading from block trading of large orders. The separation of the trading units comes as word came out that the trading chief under whom the units were united plans to leave the company.

Daniel Mathisson, who joined Credit Suisse in 2000, was promoted to oversee all U.S. stock trading in 2012. At the time he was head of the firm’s electronic trading, called advanced execution services (AES). He retained oversight of AES when he was promoted to oversee the rest of US equities trading.

The plans to separate electronic trading from block trading are reportedly part of broader changes within Credit Suisse. The bank plans to reorganize many electronic trading functions across stock and fixed income securities in a larger reshuffling, the Wall Street Journal reported. Details of that reshuffling are expected soon.

New Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam announced sweeping changed in October that included transitioning the bank’s US private banking business to Wells Fargo, right-sizing the bank’s London footprint, and cutting as many as 5,600 jobs across the U.S., U.K. and Switzerland.

Mathisson reportedly told dozens of employees of his plans to leave the firm late Tuesday afternoon. He is expected to leave the bank next month, and plans to take six months off before starting a business. His new venture will be in asset management, sources told Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

The changes, and Mathisson’s departure, also come amid ongoing settlement talks between Credit Suisse and the Securities and Exchange Commission over potential improprieties with the firm’s dark pool, called Crossfinder. Crossfinder, which is part of the AES business, grew steadily while Mathission headed the division. A 2008 press release from the bank noted that the dark pool’s volume grew an average of 30 percent per month through 2008. The Wall Street Journal reported that Credit Suisse, together with Barclays, could pay $150 million combined to settle investigations into their dark pools.

Mathisson, who worked for D.E. Shaw & Co. before joining Credit Suisse was reportedly called “Mr. Algo” by Credit Suisse executive Bob Jain, because of his innovative work in algorithmic trading, Bloomberg reported. Credit Suisse built market share under Mathisson’s lead, partly by selling algorithms directly to money managers, according to Bloomberg.

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