Agora-X, which is creating a new electronic trading and negotiation platform for commodities, has opened a New York office to facilitate interaction with institutional market participants.
Kevin G. O'Brien, a seasoned investment executive, has joined Agora-X as Managing Director of New York Operations and Marketing.
O'Brien has been active in the financial services industry in New York in various capacities including institutional sales, capital markets management, and senior marketing roles. He has been a Managing Director with Bank of America and Banc of America Securities since 2001. Most recently, he founded and headed the Banc of America Securities PEFCo (Pensions, Endowments, Foundations & Consultants) unit. Additionally, O'Brien played an instrumental role in development of an innovative private equity product, The New Century Fund, which allowed institutional investors to acquire seasoned, top-tier private equity funds via a ``second look'' after origination. Previously, O'Brien served in increasingly responsible roles with Lehman Brothers for more than 10 years, in the global fixed income credit markets and alternative investment arenas. He is a graduate of Baylor University.
"We are very pleased that Kevin O'Brien has joined us to expand our relationships with institutional market participants," said Brent M. Weisenborn, Chief Executive Officer.
The Agora-X New York office is in the NYMEX Building.
Agora-X is preparing to host institutional trading and negotiation in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives contracts on a range of energy, metals and agricultural commodities. The company expects to launch its electronic communications network (ECN) in late 2008. This platform is designed to enable institutional participants to obtain best prices in a more liquid and transparent OTC marketplace. In addition, Agora-X is developing a separate component that will qualify as an exempt commercial market (ECM) to handle option ``look-alikes'' in energy, as well as commodity swaps. The ECM is expected to launch in early 2009.