The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has recruited Kiri Self - former head of operations at Nyfix International - to advise on post trade issues relating to Baikal, the dark pool it is establishing with Lehman Brothers.
Self - who was at Nyfix for two years - was heavily involved in the vendor's recently launched Euro Millennium dark liquidity ATS, where she was responsible for back office processing of trades.
She has previously worked for the Bank of New York and brokers Cantor Fitzgerald and Easybroker.
Baikal - slated for launch in the first quarter of 2009 - is an off-bourse, pan-European equities trading facility that combines a dark liquidity pool with algorithmic trading functionality.
The joint venture will be chaired by LSE chief executive Clara Furse but will operate as an independent, standalone business and other companies can buy into the venture.
The decision to launch the dark pool pitches the LSE directly against a host of competitive start-ups launching in its core markets following the introduction of the European Union's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) last year.
One major rival, Turquoise, the bank-backed equities trading facility established by nine investment banks, finally went live on 15 August, although initially only offering trading in just 10 stocks from two markets.
Since then Turquoise has been adding new markets. The London-based firm said yesterday that all of the 13 markets available for trading have now concluded settlement cycles. Following this, the full universe of 1300 stocks across 13 European markets is available on Turquoise from today.
"As we enter full production trading we will continue the process of connecting software and market data vendors, enabling new trading members and working with EuroCCP to bring on new clearers and ensure a wide member base can access Turquoise efficiently," says the firm in a statement.
Meanwhile, the platform's CEO, Eli Lederman, has told Dow Jones he hopes to have around 70 trading members by the end of the year as well as additional stocks.
Lederman also told Dow Jones that he expects incumbent exchanges to have less than a 50% market share within a year as they suffer from the influx of new MTFs.
Turquoise and Instinet-subsidiary Chi-X are set to be joined in Europe by Bats Trading, Equiduct and the Nasdaq OMX Europe platform. The Financial Times reported last week that there are two or three more MTFs still "waiting in the wings".
Interview: Turquoise eyes more than 70 members by end-2008 - CNN Money