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The Globe and Mail

End of an era : Wek leaves GMP trading desk

It's the end of an era at GMP Securities, as perhaps the street's most famous trader leaves the role of running the GMP desk.

GMP said that Mike Wekerle, one of the founders of the firm, is going to transition out of his position as head of institutional trading. He will stay on as a vice chairman and focus on strategy, including business development, maintaining key client relationships and promoting GMP's brand.

Mark Hawkins, a 12-year veteran of GMP, will become head of institutional trading. Chris Bond becomes head of agency trading.

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Mr. Wekerle, known often just as 'Wek,' made a name for himself in 15 years at GMP as the go-to trader for many fund managers when they needed to move a big block of stock, helping clients such as hedge fund manager Rohit Sehgal with tough to trade positions. A fast-talking numbers junkie with a prodigious memory, he always seemed to know a buyer who might be interested.

As CI Financial chairman Bill Holland once told the Globe's Sinclair Stewart, Mr. Wekerle is "the best." Mr. Holland went on to say that "a friend of mine who's been on the Street 30 years described him as a trading savant. There's no one who can put a buyer and a seller together better than this guy."

(To read the rest Mr. Stewart's profile of Mr. Wekerle, click here. )

GMP made the announcement as it announced earnings. In the release, Mr. Wekerle said, "We have built an incredible team of trading professionals and I have every confidence that they will continue to build upon our legacy of superior execution and unparalleled customer service. The move is a logical next step for me in my career at GMP and I am looking forward to my new role and to contributing to the continued success of GMP."

Mr. Wekerle's departure from the desk won't come as a complete surprise as there had been talk for months that he might shift to a new job at GMP. Mr. Wekerle has been branching out into other ventures, including buying up property in Florida, as detailed in this story from a Florida newspaper.

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