Trading Places: GFI Group hires James Toffey as electronic markets head

GFI to register as swap execution facility

James Toffey, the former chief executive officer of bond- and derivatives-pricing service Benchmark Solutions Inc., has joined GFI Group Inc. as global head of electronic markets, the company said today in an e- mailed statement.

New rules requiring that swaps in the $633 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market be traded on regulated exchanges or similar systems is moving more transactions to electronic venues. GFI Group, based in New York, offers customers hybrid trading via phone or screen-based systems and sees the move to more computer-based executions coming, said CEO Colin Heffron.

“As things go more and more electronic, the e-markets group is becoming a pillar on its own within our business,” he said today in a telephone interview. “We wanted someone at the top of that position to aggregate and execute our strategy.”

Toffey, 51, co-founded Tradeweb LLC, the bond- and derivatives-trading network whose owners include Wall Street’s largest banks.

GFI and Tradeweb have said they plan to register as swap execution facilities, the trading systems created under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, has also said it plans to become an SEF, and could compete for trading with those firms.

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