Knight Trading creates institutional options and ETF team

US equity and derivatives market-maker Knight Trading has established an institutional options and exchange-traded funds (ETF) sales and trading team with six new appointees, mostly from Merrill Lynch.

Kevin Klenke, previously a managing director of Merrill Lynch’s listed options and ETF business, was made senior vice-president and head of institutional options/ETF sales and trading. Stephen Arellano, who spent the last four years as a vice-president on Merrill Lynch’s institutional options desk conducting sales support, was made a vice-president and operations manager.

Knight hired former Merrill Lynch American Stock Exchange (Amex) options floor broker Dean Brown as a senior vice-president. He has more than 20 years' experience on the Amex floor and worked for Cantor Fitzgerald before he moved to Merrill. George Glaraga spent four years in business support at Merrill Lynch and was responsible for the administrative functions of, among other areas, quantitative analytics, derivatives sales, index product trading and the strategic risk group. Knight has made him vice-president of administration.

Knight also hired Scott Goldberg as senior vice-president. Goldberg previously spent three years at Merrill Lynch, most recently as an options and ETF sales trader.

Also joining the team is Douglas Smoot, formerly a senior derivatives trader for non-dollar products at Chilton Investment. He has spent 10 years on the Amex floor and seven years at Salomon Smith Barney as a listed options trader. Smoot was named a senior vice-president. Meanwhile, Jeffery Christian, a former manager of options trading and operations at Knight’s San Francisco office, has been promoted to vice-president to join the team.

“Knight already has the options footprint, technology, program trading capability and modelling expertise to build a leading institutional options and ETF sales and trading operation," said Thomas Joyce, Knight’s chief executive. "Our clients now have one more incentive to tap Knight for comprehensive execution services, and Knight has another channel for attracting institutional order flow."

Merrill Lynch has paid off many staff in recent months to cut costs. A number of senior employees have subsequently found themselves looking for new jobs.

The new Knight team is based at the company’s Jersey City headquarters. Sales staff will report to Gregory Voetsch, senior vice-president and head of the institutional client group. Traders will report to Peter Santoro, senior vice-president and head of risk management and options.

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