Hempstead’s Dream Team Looks to Reassert KCG’s ETF Leadership

It has been a few months since KCG, the old Knight Capital Group, began life as a unit of Chicago-based GETCO Holding Co.

The name on office and business cards may have changed, but what has not been altered is KCG’s desire to be the top market maker and execution clearing firm for all things exchange traded funds. Enter Chris Hempstead, the former director of ETF execution at New York-based WallachBeth Capital.

Hempstead joined KCG’s Jersey City, New Jersey office in late October as the firm’s head of ETF sales. KCG spent about $15 million in severance to Hempstead’s predecessors, but he and the firm are looking forward, not back.

The old Knight Capital was once known as the dominant name in ETF clearing, execution and electronic trading services, functioning as the lead market maker for hundreds of U.S.-listed ETFs, big and small. Hempstead and the firm are committed to solidifying and bolstering that reputation.

“KCG  as a firm is positioned to leverage and pivot off of ETFs,” said Hempstead in an interview from ETF Trends headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

Although Hempstead has only been on board with KCG a short time, he and the firm have quickly assembled what he calls an “ETF dream team” of sales staff and traders that have reputations for success up and down Wall Street.

“These guys know how to price ETFs and do it with a smile,” Hempstead said of his team. “We’re comfortable with our pricing.  The most important ingredient in our client relationships is the trust that they are receiving a fair price for their trade implementation. Transparency on pricing goes a long way and our clients deserve it.”