The London Stock Exchange moved a step closer to ending the uncertainty surrounding its proposals to launch a dark pool for pan-European equities trading by naming former Lehman staffer John Wilson as chief executive of Baikal.
The future of the Baikal project has been in doubt following the collapse of the LSE's joint venture partner Lehman Brothers. Slated for launch in the first quarter of 2009, Baikal was to use proprietary technology developed by Lehman Brothers for its LX algo trading system.
Following the break-up and acquisition of Lehman Brothers' businesses, the Exchange says it has received and is exploring "a number of interesting alternative proposals" for delivering Baikal. It hopes to be in a position to say more about these revised plans in the next few weeks.
Wilson, who will lead the effort from dedicated offices at the LSE's Paternoster Square premises, has over 20 years experience in financial markets, most recently as founder and MD of the financial consulting firm, Expert Analysis Group. He has also served on the executive committees for both equities and fixed income and as head of equity and fixed income research at Lehman Brothers.
LSE chief Clara Furse, describes Wilson's appointment as a "key milestone" for the project. "I am delighted that John has agreed to become Baikal's chief executive...I feel sure that he will justify the strong positive response we have had to Baikal particularly from major buy-side institutions."