TRADING UP: Point72 Nabs Algo Head; Pershing Names COO


Point72 has snagged a new head of algorithmic trading from Citadel – Jerrell Watts. Watts was the former head of algorithmic execution and order routing at Citadel, who has worked across both its hedge fund and securities business. He onboards as head of algorithmic trading earlier this month, according to efinancialcareers.com. Watts has a PhD in computer science from the California Institute of Technology and has held various senior quant roles at both investment banks and hedge funds during a 19-year finance career. He spent eight years at Citadel and one year on gardening leave. Prior to that, he worked as portfolio manager and quantitative researcher within Merrill Lynch’s high frequency market making business. Prior to this, he established Lehman Brothers’ equity options automated trading operation in New York.

Relatedly Point72 has also hired Raghav Misra for a trading analytics role. He was previously at J.P. Morgan in New York.

If you have a new job or promotion to report, let me know at jdantona@marketsmedia.com

Jerrell Watts, Point 72

Pershing has named a new Chief Operating Officer – Jim Crowley. Crowley takes on the role left vacant since February when the former COO, Lori Hardwick, resigned. Crowley was formerly the firm’s Chief Relationship Officer and will continue to manage Pershing’s strategic relationships with BNY Mellon, as well as managing reporting and administrative procedures, and operational controls across the firm.

Claudia Rola, the former global head of valuation methodologies at UBS in London, has now joined Deutsche Bank as a managing director. While not formally announced yet, sources suggest her title will be Global Head of Valuation Models and Methodologies. Prior to this, she worked at UBS for nearly seven years, having joined from Morgan Stanley where she held various senior risk positions including global head of the equity validation review group. She has also worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Societe Generale.

Rola’s appointment follows the departure of Andrew Lyon, its former head of methodology for its global valuation group, who left for Citigroup in July as its new global head of valuation methodology.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has made several appointments. First, Dr. Jeffrey Harris has been named Director of the agency’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA). He replaces former director Mark Flannery who left the agency to return to teaching.

As Director, Dr. Harris will lead DERA’s team of experienced economists as they are involved across the entire range of SEC activities, including policy, rulemaking, enforcement, and examination. Harris is currently a professor and the Gary D. Cohn Goldman Sachs Chair in Finance at Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. He has an extensive background in market microstructure and regulatory issues. He recently served as Chief Economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with prior experience as Visiting Academic at the Nasdaq Stock Market and at the SEC. He has previously held faculty appointments as the Dean’s Chair in Finance at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, as the Collins Chair of Finance in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (visiting), and at the University of Delaware, the University of Notre Dame, and The Ohio State University.

Also, the regulator has announced Dalia Blass has been named Director of the agency’s Division of Investment Management. She returns to the SEC after previously serving in a number of leadership roles in the Division of Investment Management, most recently as Assistant Chief Counsel. Blass joins the agency from Ropes & Gray LLP, where she advised on a broad range of investment fund, private equity, and regulatory matters. She previously practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and began her career in the London office of Shearman & Sterling LLP.

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