Bryan Blake joined Cboe in August as part of the MATCHNow acquisition. We talked with Bryan about MATCHNow, leading the Canadian equities business, his path to today and more.
With Bryan Blake at the helm, MATCHNow has officially found its home.
Bryan, now Vice President of Canadian Equities at Cboe, joined MATCHNow in 2015 when it was owned by ITG. A few years later, in 2018, ITG was acquired by Virtu Financial, a market making firm that got to know the MATCHNow team as a client first. Then, in 2020 MATCHNow was acquired by Cboe.
“There has been a lot of change, but I think it’s been a valuable learning opportunity each chapter in the process,” says Bryan. “MATCHNow grew with ITG and Virtu, but it was never the perfect fit, from a business standpoint. Now we’re at Cboe and it feels like a great home for us.”
That growth doesn’t just apply to MATCHNow, though. Bryan’s career has also grown and evolved over the years. He studied computer science at university before starting his career, holding a variety of technical roles ranging from systems and administration to trading floor support.
Bryan eventually shifted from technical disciplines to project management and ultimately product management, which he says provided excellent exposure to different aspects of running a business. Bryan also held sales roles, which he attributes with providing him invaluable experience for growing his career.
“The nature of sales has really changed over time. You need to be a content expert, a market structure expert, a technology expert and a relationship expert,” Bryan says. “Working in sales was a great opportunity for me to hone a number of skills.”
Now, Bryan is excited for the next chapter in his career, helping Cboe build out its North American equities offering.
“I felt Cboe and MATCHNow were really well-aligned from both a business strategy and cultural perspective. There are several products and new ideas we want to advance in the Canadian marketplace, and Cboe already has many of these in the works in other regions,” he says. “Culturally, Cboe’s innovative spirit and solutions-focused mindset fit perfectly with how our team operates.”
Bryan says it will take time and work to implement some of Cboe’s offerings in Canada but having the systems functionality and precedent in other regions makes advancing new products and concepts much smoother. Additionally, as a new entrant to Canada, Cboe has a unique opportunity to shake up the market, with full support from MATCHNow’s substantial client base.
“Clients were really supportive. Cboe is known as a great business operator that integrates companies and technologies really well, plus Cboe’s technology platform is best in breed,” Bryan says. “Not to mention, Cboe’s commitment to the region is obvious. This acquisition says a lot.”
And Cboe’s newly minted North American Equities team is sure to say even more. The team hit the ground running, recently sharing an analysis of MATCHNow’s conditional order type with U.S. and Canadian equities customers.
MATCHNow Conditionals allows MATCHNow to provide an electronic platform for Canada’s block market, servicing the institutional trading community and delivering functionality that was not readily available in that segment of the market. As an early mover in the space, MATCHNow is looking forward to expanding Conditionals through marketing and product enhancements.
Off to a strong start, the team is excited to continue building on its track record of innovation and finding new customer-focused solutions under the Cboe umbrella.
“It could not be a better fit,” Bryan says. “That’s not just me saying that, the whole team feels that way. The MATCHNow team is small but mighty, and always up to the task. Everyone is reenergized and ready to build something great with Cboe.”