A pioneer of electronic stock trading is moving to the bond market.
Chris Concannon is joining bond-trading venue MarketAxess Holdings Inc. as president and chief operating officer, the company said. He comes from Cboe Global Markets Inc., CBOE which operates stock, options and futures exchanges, where he held the same positions.
A spokeswoman for Cboe declined to comment.
An advocate of electronic trading since the 1990s, Mr. Concannon, 51, is making the move in the relatively early days of the corporate bond market’s transition to automation.
While stock trading has become nearly automatic, taking place primarily in central online markets, corporate-bond trading remains a largely manual process. Bond traders still negotiate deals over the phone or via electronic messages.
Yet the market is changing quickly, driven by regulation, upstart platforms and new technology. A recent survey by Greenwich Associates, an industry consulting firm, found that 26% of corporate bond volume was traded electronically in the third quarter of 2018, up from 19% in the first quarter.
“I see the corporate-bond market evolving, and it’s following a pattern I’ve seen before in my career,” Mr. Concannon said in an interview.
A lawyer by training, Mr. Concannon joined Cboe in 2017 after it acquired electronic stock exchange firm Bats Global Markets Inc., where he was chief executive. Mr. Concannon also served as president and COO of Virtu Financial Inc., a high-frequency market-making firm that trades stocks, currencies and other assets.
Mr. Concannon said he expects the move to electronic trading to accelerate as rising interest rates continue to roil the markets. “We’re approaching the end of a 10-year bull market,” he said. “There will be active trading in fixed income while the volatility of the transition occurs.”
About 85% of electronic corporate-bond trading by institutions in the third quarter was on MarketAxess, Greenwich’s survey found.