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April 1, 2003

The Long Road Back at Schwab

By Peter Chapman

It's no accident Schwab picked Larry Leibowitz to turn around its bloated equity trading operation. The 42-year-old has spent much of his career in electronic trading. He began his professional life automating executions at Morgan Stanley and then became head trader at the quant shop Tech Partners. (Robin Jackson, a senior vice president at Schwab, also worked at Tech Partners in portfolio management.)

Tech Partners was bought by Credit Suisse First Boston in 1991. At CSFB, Leibowitz was head of program and proprietary trading as well as director of global equities technology. It was at CSFB that Leibowitz began his long association with Lon Gorman.

Leibowitz and Jackson later bolted CSFB along with trader and technologist Elie Spiesel. They formed a hedge fund called Bunker Capital Management. From 1999, Leibowitz was chief executive of the REDIBook ECN, which was partly owned by Schwab.

All three pros joined Schwab in October 2001. That's when the brokerage bought Bunker.