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November 1, 1998

OTC Desk at Bear Stearns Short Two Senior Traders

By Michael L. O'Reilly

With the recent resignation of its most tenured market maker, and a career switch for its co-head, the over-the-counter trading desk at Bear, Stearns & Co. is operating without two long-time leaders.

James Martello, the most senior market maker at New York-based Bear Stearns outside top management resigned from the firm in September. It could not be learned whether Martello landed with another firm.

Earlier this year, 34-year trading veteran Arthur Pacheco, Bear Stearns' co-head of OTC trading, left the firm to serve as president and chief executive of STRIKE Technologies, which is based in New York.

STRIKE was created by a group of partners, led by Bear Stearns, to launch and operate an electronic communications network (ECN).

"We haven't filled any positions yet. We're going to see how things pan out," said Aldo Parcesseppe, head of OTC trading at Bear Stearns. "Luckily, the desk hasn't been too busy. You are either too busy or too slow. Now we're a little slow."

Parcesseppe added that fall is always a time of change at Bear Stearns, as the Wall Street firm ends its financial year and hands out year-end bonuses in June.

Pacheco did not leave Bear Stearns until early this year, but he has been working on the conception of STRIKE since 1996.

He said STRIKE was planning an early November launch with initial participation of a few of its equity partners.

The remaining STRIKE partners will be phased in periodically after the early November launch. Pacheco said a full launch was planned for late November.

Partners in STRIKE include Wall Street giants Cantor Fitzgerald, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Herzog, Heine, Geduld, Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities and Salomon Smith Barney. The firm currently has 20 full-time employees.

"My work so far has been tedious when you compare it to trading. Dealing with regulators. Learning about the technology. But it feels good to be going live," Pacheco said. "I do miss the desk from time to time."

Pacheco said Bear Stearns plans to eventually hire a replacement to co-manage the desk with Parcesseppe. "But I think Aldo misses me," he joked.