Trade Winds: The New Power Behind Poten & Partners

21 February 2019

Poten & Partners chief executive Steve Garten introduces Eric Hirschhorn as his new best friend. It’s an icebreaker at the start of a conversation on the shipbroker’s takeover by BGC Partners — but there is a serious point.

Technology played an important part in the transaction, and as chief information officer of BGC, Hirschhorn has an annual budget of $150m at his fingertips.

The two men are talking toTW+via video link between their offices in New York and BGC’s London headquarters in CanaryWharf. Seated at a table in the 19th-floor meeting room overlooking the London financial hub is BGC president Shaun Lynn, who closed the deal with Garten in November 2018 after 18months of negotiations.

As a government bond trader in the 1990s, Lynn was on the front line as technology began to change the face of his business. Today he views technology and data as tools to power the group’s next trade and helps its brokers leapfrog competitors. And, with BGC’s backing, he says Poten now has a “massive armoury” to develop its offering to brokers and clients.

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