Icubic appoints Karsten Sommer as chief operating officer


icubic AG, a leading provider of fixed income e-trading solutions, today announced the appointment of Karsten Sommer as Chief Operating Officer.

Sommer, who was most recently CEO of MTS Deutschland AG, will launch and head up icubic's Systems Integration department.

The new department will combine all roll-out and client- support related activities. It will be dedicated to helping customers get the most from iQbonds, icubic's flagship end-to-end e-trading solution, to ensure their strategic objectives are met quickly and efficiently. Its inception reflects icubic's ongoing commitment to its new and existing customers, which include Bayerische Landesbank, Bundesrepublik Deutschland Finanzagentur and DZ BANK as reference clients.

iQbonds allows fixed income traders to price, quote and trade bonds within multiple markets from a single screen. It provides Direct Market Access to all relevant markets and B2C platforms, including MTS, Eurex Bonds, BrokerTec, HDAT, Eurex, LIFFE, Reuters and Bloomberg.

Sommer brings with him an extensive knowledge of the electronic bond market, with connectivity a particular area of expertise. In his four years as CEO of MTS Deutschland AG, the German subsidiary of MTS Group - the leading market in Europe for the trading of fixed income securities - Sommer was responsible for setting up and running the company, and managing local client and issuer relationships. In addition, he was involved in several cross-border projects with EuroMTS. Prior to MTS, Sommer worked at Deutsche Börse AG, where he worked on the functional and technical development of Eurex and was heavily involved in the creation and advancement of Eurex Bonds.

Sommer's industry and customer knowledge will be deployed to full effect in his new role at icubic, where he will be responsible for ensuring that clients achieve their strategic objectives by implementing iQbonds as quickly and efficiently as possible. As well as guaranteeing a smooth implementation, Sommer will help clients maximise the return on their investment by exploiting all of the operational efficiency benefits iQbonds can offer bond and repo traders.

Speaking about his appointment, Sommer says: "I have been watching the ISV market for several years now and believe that icubic and its products are in pole position to become the market-leader in the fixed income market. The speed with which iQbonds can provide accurate pricing information to the markets is particularly impressive. Being faster than the rest of the market has obvious benefits for fixed income traders in terms of exposure and risk management. On the client side, alongside pricing, it is the only way to differentiate from the competition on the B2C platforms. The fact that the quoting and trading components are seamlessly integrated means that traders can quickly capitalise on these opportunities."

Ralf Henke, CEO, icubic AG, says: "As MTS is one of our strategic partners, we have been working with Karsten for some time and have been impressed with both his knowledge of the electronic bond market and his unerring commitment to his customers. He was the obvious choice to head up our new Systems Integration department, which has been set up to ensure that our customers get the maximum return from our systems in these challenging and competitive times. Since the beginning, we have worked hand in hand with our customers to ensure that iQbonds provides them with the exact pricing, quoting and trading functionality they need to capitalise on new market opportunities and give them competitive advantage."

Francesco Margini, Deputy CEO, EuroMTS, says: "Karsten was one of the key senior managers of the MTS Group, having led the development of MTS in Germany and his contribution to the company has been greatly valued. We understand his desire to take on new challenges and we look forward to continuing to work with him as he joins icubic, one of the ISV partners of MTS."

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