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Exchanges: Nasdaq reels from double blow

Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld’s head must be spinning. Just as the exchange was mounting its fightback from losing the iconic Twitter listing, the key architect of its move away from equities markets has upped and left the firm for a rival. Will Nasdaq stay on its diversification course?

When Euromoney visited Nasdaq in New York in early November, Eric Noll did not sound like a man with his eyes on pastures new.

Noll was expounding eloquently about a range of opportunities for the exchange in fixed income, following the $750 million acquisition of bond trading platform eSpeed that he had engineered in April from BGC Partners.

"We’d been looking at eSpeed for a while, including whether we could build something similar, as it hits our sweet spot in terms of central clearing, providing data feeds and a central limited order book – like our other transaction platforms," Nasdaq OMX Group’s then executive vice-president of transaction services said. "We think we can improve the technology performance of the platform and introduce new products to meet the demand of the dealer community."

Nasdaq OMX Group CEO Bob Greifeld

Noll was seen as the key architect, alongside CEO Bob Greifeld, of Nasdaq’s expansion away from its core equities trading platform – a business that had stalled with the equity markets. As well as buying eSpeed, he had also been behind the launch of Nasdaq NLX, a platform for trading interest rate derivatives, in May.

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