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BGC Partners Hires Trading Tech Veteran as CIO

The interdealer broker hired fixed income technology expert Eric Hirschhorn to serve as chief information officer to expand its hybrid and electronic trading businesses.

With a bidding war going to acquire a rival broker, BGC Partners said it hired trading technology veteran Eric Hirschhorn for the role of chief information officer of the global brokerage firm. 

Hirschhorn joins BGC from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he held various positions, including Global Head of rates and fixed income, currency, and commodity (FICC) eTrading Technology.

At BGC Hirschhorn will assume global responsibility for maintaining and expanding the technology running the company's growing portfolio of products related to hybrid and fully electronic trading, market data, and software solutions. He reports to Shaun Lynn, president of BGC, effective immediately.

On the same day, BGC announced the departure of Yevette Tierney, its former CIO stating that Tierney left the company to pursue other interests, effective immediately. Tierney joined the firm in 2007 as CIO of eSpeed and then upon the merger of eSpeed into BGC Partners in April 2008, she joined the management of BGC Partners according the firm's website.

The company declined to comment on why it was changing its CIO.

Meanwhile, BGC Partners is involved in a bidding war to acquire rival GFI Group, the New York-based global brokerage and clearing firm. On September 8, BGC offered $675 million in cash to acquire the firm, reported The New York Times. The counter-offer could scuttle an all-stock deal between CME Group and GFI's management. BGC already own 13.5% of GFI's common stock. 

Both BGC and GFI are wholesale brokers through which banks and other firms trade bonds, derivatives, currencies, and other instruments. If BGC Partners prevails, the size of the firm and product portfolio could grow dramatically. "On a combined basis, BGC and GFI are expected to become one of the world's leading financial services brokers, with enhanced global reach and expanded capabilities," stated Howard Lutnick, CEO and Chairman of BGC Partners in the release.

In the release, Lynn cited Hirschhorn's "combination of computer science prowess, understanding of how global capital markets function and long history of matching the needs of those who sit on trading desks with the solutions developed by technologists."

"As we continue to innovate and expand BGC's hybrid and fully electronic solutions for our customers and brokers in financial services, as well as expand our offerings in real estate services, we need executives with an established track record of addressing complex technologies and businesses on a global scale."

With 25 years of experience in technology roles across the financial services industry, Hirschorn brings substantial experience to the position. In his recent roles, he has managed global teams of more than 500 people and was responsible for "hundreds of millions of dollars in technology-related investments," stated the release. Prior to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he was chief technology officer (CTO) of fixed income at Morgan Stanley. Before that he held various senor trading technology positions at Citigroup including global head of FX Technology, global head of electronic credit, and Chair of the Capital Markets eCommerce Technology Working Group. Earlier in his career, Hirschhorn was an SVP at Lehman Brothers in fixed income technology area. He also spent 12 years at Chase Manhattan Bank and its predecessors where he built and managed technology-related businesses and functions. Hirschhorn earned his Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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