Knight Capital hires former WJB corporate access team

Apr 30, 2012
<p>Deena Sullivan and Charles Moreau take over as joint co-heads of corporate access at market maker</p>

Knight Capital has hired WJB Capital’s former corporate access team, members of which were left looking for work when the New York-based firm shut its brokerage operations at the start of the year.

Knight, which makes a market and trades in more than 19,000 US equities, brought in seven of WJB’s former team members to boost its offering in what has become an incredibly competitive market for corporate access.

The move sees Deena Sullivan and Charles Moreau, who shared leadership of the team at WJB, become joint co-heads of corporate access at Knight.

WJB closed its brokerage as it faced up to high debts and a shortage of capital, forcing around 100 employees to look for new opportunities. Sullivan and Moreau met with dozens of Wall Street firms to work out where they wanted to go next before finalizing a move to Knight.

Moreau says he is looking forward to making the most of Knight’s wide account base, which is much bigger than the one he used to work with at WJB.

‘The firm has accounts open everywhere in the US,’ he explains. ‘That flexibility is probably the most important thing to be able to offer to corporate management teams.’

Through its large trading activities, Knight also has the ability to provide a lot of data and intelligence to issuers, points out Moreau. ‘The access to data here on what’s going on in someone’s stock is significantly enhanced [compared with WJB],’ he says.

While the ex-WJB team now has a new home, Moreau says it plans to continue with the approach it developed at WJB. This includes maintaining a dedicated corporate access sales team, which will work in conjunction with Knight’s existing sales effort.

Over recent years, brokers have fought harder and harder over the lucrative commissions available for bringing together investors and management. This has led to a rash of new entrants into the corporate access space, while established players have ramped up their service offerings.

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