Exclusive: Spencer Lee joins TS Imagine as chief markets officer; sets out strategy

Dan Barnes

TS Imagine, the trading, portfolio, and risk management system provider, has announced Spencer Lee is joining as chief markets officer, to lead the firm’s fixed income offering.

Lee, who joins from Agilon Capital, a systematic credit hedge fund he co-founded, will develop and grow TS Imagine’s global fixed income offering. He has a strong reputation amongst US buy-side traders and brings market structure and fixed income trading experience to TS Imagine.

Prior to Agilon, Lee led global credit electronic trading and West Coast fixed income trading at Blackrock.

Although some buy-side firms have been reluctant to engage with execution management systems (EMSs) in the fixed income space, Lee believes the firm’s own EMS offering has the right capabilities to make bond trading more efficient.

“EMS technology really aggregates all the different liquidity touch points that exist in the marketplace and brings them into a single centralised view, and allows for execution back to those same pathways,” he said. “That simply increases efficiency, massively reduces operational risk, saves on cost and ensures that nobody misses a liquidity opportunity when it does exist in the marketplace. It’s like a spider web that trader sits in the middle of, and wider network increases the probability that they feel the vibration, when the liquidity opportunity they need hits that web.”

While other EMS providers might require traders to stage orders in their system and then rekey those trades into a trading venue interface manually, Lee says TS Imagine has developed the right interfaces to facilitate a more efficient flow of orders into the market

“We find contras to orders that exist in the buy side blotter by placing indications of interest in the platforms that will accept them, to cover all of the different trading venues simultaneously,” he explains. “RFQs can be sent into a venue from the TradingScreen blotter via trading API’s that go well beyond staging functionality, allowing us to launch and engage in all the same GUI, functionality that exists but inside of trading screen.”

Andrew Morgan, president and chief revenue officer at TS Imagine, said,On a day-to-day basis, you’ve got a demographic change across the industry with digital natives managing complexity and managing vast amounts of data in an efficient way. And they’re looking for tools that allow them to do the job.”

In addition to Lee, TS Imagine has announced several other hires to support the firm’s growth.

Kate Peachway has joined as chief financial officer, where she will lead TS Imagine’s global finance department. Peachway brings firsthand growth investing experience to TS Imagine. She joins TS Imagine from the buy-side, where she has been an investor in technology companies at Blue Ridge Capital, BlueMountain Capital, and GrowthCurve Capital. Peachway began her career in M&A at Morgan Stanley.

Renee Calabro joins as chief marketing officer, where she will lead public relations, communications, and marketing globally. Calabro has had a strong career with over two decades of financial industry communications and marketing experience. She most recently led the New York capital markets communications and US private equity practices at PR firm Edelman and prior to that spent 13 years at Deutsche Bank, where she led communications and media relations in the Americas. 

Rob Flatley, CEO of TS Imagine, said, “Our business is benefitting from rapid growth driven by multiple factors, including high demand for our products as clients realize the benefits of electronification across multiple asset classes, expansion into new markets as we leverage the global footprint of Trading Screen and Imagine Software, and our deep commitment to developing products that allow clients to act quickly and efficiently amid increasingly complex and volatile markets. Spencer, Kate and Renee all bring expertise that will benefit our business now and, in the future, as TS Imagine continues to grow.”

The appointments, a year after the merger of TradingScreen and Imagine Software, follow a period including 100 new hires during the first half of 2022, as well as the appointment of a new chief operating officer (COO), Thomas Bodenski who will lead the firm’s business operations across TS Imagine’s trading, portfolio, and real-time risk solutions. Bodenski was previously chief transformation and data officer for TS Imagine.

Several non-executive board appointments include:

Thomas Chippas, formerly CEO of ErisX and now serving on the board of Eris Clearing, the cryptocurrency platform recently acquired by Cboe Global Markets. He previously held senior positions at Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and Citi.

Sabrina Wilson, COO of the institutional digital asset infrastructure firm Copper.co. She has held senior positions at JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Citi.

John Stracquadanio, who is co-founder of a private investment firm, Appia Ventures, with over 30 years of banking experience and previously CEO of Scotia Capital in the US.