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Trading platforms: Hunter quits FXMarketSpace

Many participants in the foreign exchange market were shocked by the sudden departure of nascent trading platform FXMarketSpace’s chief operating officer, Bryan Hunter, on February 12. His exit came just days after he had helped present details of FXMarketSpace to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt with his long-time colleague Rick Sears.

Sources say that Hunter helped deliver a slick and professional presentation. Less than a week later, before news of his departure leaked out, FXMarketSpace, which is a the 50/50 joint venture between Reuters and the CME, announced that it had received its authorization from the UK’s Financial Services Authority as an alternative trading system.It also trumpeted the news that it had successfully completed its testing programme for customers, which included a bout of live trading.

What the company noticeably failed to mention was that Hunter had left the day before. Sources in FXMarketSpace describe his departure as a major surprise. Hunter was one of FXMarketSpace’s original triumvirate, who relocated to London along with former CME colleague Sears. The third member of the team is Mark Robson, who crossed over from Reuters to act as chief executive and who remains based in New York for the time being. One well-placed source described the Hunter and Sears combination as being like Jagger and Richards, which makes his sudden exit even more surprising.

The company remains tight-lipped about why Hunter left, although some people familiar with the CME say his reputation was tarnished by the failure of an earlier initiative he apparently masterminded, which was to display CME futures on Reuters in spot format.

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