Clear Street hires ex-ED&F Man Capital Markets chief Smith

Clear Street hires ex-ED&F Man Capital Markets chief Smith

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Clear Street has hired the founder and former chief exec of ED&F Man Capital Markets Chris Smith to develop and run the US prime broker’s nascent futures clearing arm.

Clear Street, which has filed an application with the US regulator to launch a futures clearing business, said on Tuesday it has hired Chris Smith as chief executive of Clear Street Futures, reporting to Clear Street chief executive Chris Pento.

Pento said: “We’re confident that Chris is the right person to lead the growth of Clear Street’s futures clearing business. With his deep industry expertise and extensive connections, Chris will be an invaluable addition to our leadership bench."

The appointment comes less than one year after Chicago-based Smith left ED&F Man Capital Markets as part of the deal to sell that business to British rival Marex.

Smith said: “I am delighted to be joining the impressive team at Clear Street, a firm powered by the latest technology, with world-class infrastructure to give its customers the edge when trading across today’s complex markets. Clear Street’s plan to move into futures clearing signals its ambitions to provide a comprehensive offering in capital markets, and I look forward to helping achieve its goals.”

Smith founded in 2012 ED&F Man Capital Markets, the brokerage arm of the commodities giant, and ran the firm as global chief executive until its sale last year. Previously, Smith was chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of MF Global.

New York-based Clear Street signalled in July its plans to move aggressively into futures clearing as the US group acquired fintech React Consulting Services.

Smith’s job is to leverage React’s technology to develop a futures clearing service that will initially focus on US futures before moving into the international markets.

Clear Street sees the futures clearing business as a core component of its proposition – to offer a full service, multi-asset prime broking service to support clients who have been squeezed out by the investment bank prime brokers.

The firm’s chief operating officer Andy Volz explained last month the company’s strategy as he confirmed Clear Street had applied to the National Futures Association for approval to launch a futures clearing service.

After launching the futures business, Clear Street plans to offer clients the ability to clear, custody and finance US equities, options, fixed income and futures.

Clear Street secured in April a $270m (£217m) investment from private equity firm Prysm Capital, the second tranche of a $435m Series B funding round.

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