Browne’s ETF Team Said Close to Joining Cantor Fitzgerald

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) — Reggie Browne, who left KCG Holdings Inc. last week as head of exchange-traded funds, is close to an agreement to join Cantor Fitzgerald LP, the trading firm led by Howard W. Lutnick.

Darren Taube, Eric Lichtenstein and an undetermined number of traders from Browne’s former team at KCG will also join New York-based Cantor in similar roles, said two people with knowledge of the talks who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. Online records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority listed Cantor as the employer of Browne, Lichtenstein and Taube.
Browne, 45, helped make KCG, formerly known as Knight Capital Group Inc., the biggest lead market maker for ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange, backing more than a third of the funds listed there. He has a reputation for supporting innovation in the industry, helping smaller providers reach the market with new products since joining Knight four years ago.
Cantor Fitzgerald marks the third stop for Browne, Taube and Lichtenstein as a team. The trio came to Knight from Newedge Group SA in June 2009, where they had been co-heads of ETF trading, bringing 10 colleagues with them.
Browne, Taube and Lichtenstein were unable to come to terms on a renegotiated employment contract with KCG, two people familiar with the situation said earlier this month. The company said Sept. 4 it had ended its employment agreement with them, with the trio staying until Sept. 13 to ensure an “orderly transition.”

Reuters reported yesterday that Browne was joining Cantor’s ETF market-making team.