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Seth Merrin
President and Chief Executive Officer
Liquidnet Holdings
Last year: 11

Liquidnet Holdings founder and CEO Seth Merrin is not just a serial entrepreneur. He is also a relentless disrupter of costly trading practices. His 1985 start-up, Merrin Financial, invented the buy-side order management system, bringing much-needed automation and efficiency to the initiation and tracking of institutional trades. In 2000, having turned his attention to institutions’ difficulties executing large orders on stock exchanges, Merrin formed Liquidnet in New York as an alternative venue catering specifically to those needs. With its average U.S. execution exceeding 50,000 shares — total daily volume averaged 51 million in the first quarter, 25 percent more than in the fourth quarter — the anonymous block-trading model proved repeatable: Liquidnet operates in 39 markets on five continents, serving more than 600 member firms with a total of $12.4 trillion under management. Now Merrin, 52, wants to disintermediate investment banking. “That industry has bypassed making processes more efficient,” asserts the onetime risk arbitrage trader, citing “the amount of opacity, the amount of information not shared with the customer.” Promoting itself as a share-issuance platform, Liquidnet has primarily participated in stock buybacks with active issuers like real estate investment trusts and has closed more than $1 billion in transactions since January."

Video: Seth Merrin
President and CEO,
Liquidnet Holdings.