Portware Names Eskandar as Chief Executive
Traders Magazine Online News, February 29, 2012
Trading solutions provider Portware has hired Liquidnet alum Alfred Eskandar as its new chief executive, effective today.
The firm has made other changes, too. Chief operating officer Scott DePetris was given an expanded role and he is also its new president. Portware founders Eric Goldberg and Ary Khatchikian will chair a newly formed board of directors. Eskandar reports to them.
No stranger to the equities market, Eskandar is an 18-year veteran of securities trading. He was most recently Liquidnet's head of U.S. equities. He started at the dark pool as head of marketing, where he helped shape the firm's global brand identity. Then he ran global corporate strategy, overseeing all strategic initiatives, alliances and investments. During his tenure, he led Liquidnet's acquisition of Miletus Trading, a quantitative and program trading broker-dealer. There, he served as president and chief executive during its integration.
Eskandar resigned from Liquidnet in December and was replaced by Lugene Forte.
Given his tenure at Liquidnet, Eskandar will be tapping into his long-time relationships with the buyside to help grow Portware's global client base. He plans to get to work fast. He acknowledged that there are challenges, as the buyside has tightened its belt since commissions have tightened in the current low volume trading environment.
"I want to continue to work with our partners and clients to feed our demand," Eskandar said. "Portware is buyside focused, just like Liquidnet. Portware customers know me and that helps in flattening out the learning curve here. When a customer knows and trusts you, it allows you to hit the ground running. I've already gotten calls from Portware customers from a past life looking to do business."
Scott DePetris, a 15-year market veteran who's spent his last 10 years at Portware, served as chief operating officer since 2009. Moving forward, DePetris is charged with growing the firm's presence into new markets and asset classes, as well as running day-to-day operations. He reports to Eskandar.
"We'll be growing our presence in global equities, foreign exchange, options and futures," DePetris said. Portware also will consider exploring opportunities in the fixed-income markets in the next 12 to 24 months, he added, but declined to say which sectors.
Aside from the hiring of Eskandar and promotion of DePetris, the new board of directors structure, which includes the chief executive and chief operating officers, will help centralize and streamline global operations to better manage the firm's growth and expansion.
"We need to have a board and proper management structure in place," said Eskandar. "As the company expands, we need good corporate governance."
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