Nov 11, 2004
BondDesk Grows Up
Copyright 2004 Euromoney Institutional Investor plc. www.iimagazine.com
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Online trading platform BondDesk Group is beefing up its executive ranks -- and experience level. The 100-employee company, owned by 14 major banks, including Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs, last month brought in Tony Miscimarra, 52, as president of its flagship BondDesk Trading subsidiary, and Peter Harker, 39, as his No. 2. Brad Wendt, 49, a former Goldman executive who had been BondDesk's president since 2000, was named president of a new unit, BondDesk Ventures, which will pursue partnerships and acquisitions.
"You'll see some additional new faces coming in," declares Miscimarra, who in a 30-year career has held senior positions at Drexel Burnham Lambert; Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette; UBS Securities; and now-defunct Instinet Fixed Income. Harker, a 15-year industry veteran, spent the past four years with White Plains, New York¬based technology supplier Communicator. Charles Almond, who started BondDesk in 1997 as a 35-year-old broker-turned-entrepreneur, continues as CEO, based in Mill Valley, California. He has been ceding day-to-day management to the New York office, where, Miscimarra says, "I'm in charge of the client-facing parts of the business." The newcomers may also be part of an exit strategy. MarketAxess, an institutional platform for corporate bonds, has filed for an IPO, and the more-retail-oriented BondDesk arguably has the critical mass to do the same: It's online to 100,000 brokers' and financial advisers' desktops, processing some 14,000 tickets a day. "We could be attractive as either an IPO or acquisition," asserts Wendt. For now, however, Miscimarra says he's focused on "opportunities to grow in terms of clients, new markets and asset classes. We're building a stronger team to capitalize on that."