For years the securities trading industry has been on a war
footing: a relentless arms race to reduce transaction times to
as few milliseconds or microseconds as the laws of physics will
allow. But these days, whether because ultralow latency has for
most practical purposes been achieved or because war weariness
has set in, the executives on trading technologys front
lines have other critical issues on their minds.
Everybody is still trying to get faster and shave
Edwin Marcial, chief technology officer of
IntercontinentalExchange Group. Marcial takes the top spot in
the Trading Technology 40, Institutional
Investors annual ranking of the leading
technologists and innovators in the trading systems world, and
surely speed has something to do with it: ICE says it completes
more than 99 percent of transactions in less than 20
milliseconds during peak periods. Nasdaq OMX Group (see
Bradley Peterson, No. 9), Canadas TMX Group (
Brenda Hoffman, No. 20) and London Stock Exchange
Groups MillenniumIT (
John Mackay [Mack] Gill, No. 22), among others, make
fastest platform claims.
Trading Tech 40
Click name to view ranking profile.
Yet latency is not talked about as much, Marcial
observes. Maybe to some degree people are tired of it.
Its more the norm now.
Marcial personifies how other matters have come to the fore.
Most obvious are priorities related to his companys
November merger with NYSE Euronext. Fully integrating the two
behemoths into something bigger and more
market-structure-altering than they could have been on
their own will likely take two to three years, Marcial says.
While ICE-NYSE and other consolidations, notably BATS Global
MarketsDirect Edge (
Chris Isaacson, No. 8) and GetcoKnight Capital Group
Jonathan Ross, No. 4), play out, CEOs and CTOs are all too
aware of what can happen when systems break down, and of the
increasingly watchful eyes of regulators like the Securities
and Exchange Commission (
Gregg Berman, No. 11). Reliability is what weve
always been about it has to be a given, says
Marcial. Any time you go down, it is front-page
The Trading Tech 40 were selected by Institutional
Investor editors, taking into account input from industry
experts. The leadership criteria include contributions to
companies and the industry at large, scope of responsibilities
and pure technological innovation. Last years rankings
are shown in parentheses; newcomers are denoted PNR
(previously not ranked).
The ranking was compiled under the direction of Senior
Contributing Editor Jeffrey Kutler. Individual profiles were
written by Kutler; Editor Michael Peltz; Asia Bureau Chief
Allen T. Cheng; Senior Writers Frances Denmark, Julie Segal and
Aaron Timms; and Associate Editor Ben Baris.
Get more on
trading and technology.