Richard Prager
Head of Trading, Liquidity and Investments Platform
Last year: 2

Back in 2011, Richard Prager was a lonely voice on the subject of outmoded fixed-income market structures and their attendant liquidity concerns. Now much of what he was saying is conventional wisdom. That’s a testament to the vision of this top buy-side trading executive, who wields the influence of the biggest money manager of all: $4.6 trillion-in-assets BlackRock. “There were a lot of naysayers when it came to what we wanted to do with client-crossing and alternative trading networks — and even whether there was a liquidity challenge,” the 55-year-old recalls. “Now folks are saying there is a permanent change in the liquidity condition and behavior does need to change.” The head of BlackRock’s trading, liquidity and investments platform — his role expanded in February to include investments business management and product strategy – believes the alarms sounded on bond market liquidity may have been overblown. But they did generate urgency for solutions, and Prager has helped lead the charge. BlackRock has partnered with MarketAxess Holdings (see Nicholas Themelis, No. 13) and its Open Trading initiative, bringing trades from BlackRock and other firms using its Aladdin technology onto an “all-to-all” network of investors and other market participants. “That’s material — a secular change,” says Prager, who has a Duke University BS in zoology and joined BlackRock in 2009 after eight years with Bank of America Corp. and a career on the sell side. As institutional interest in fixed-income exchange-traded funds, including BlackRock’s iShares, has surged, the firm has worked with Bloomberg, Tradeweb Markets and others on data analysis standards to facilitate the trading. During last August’s market volatility, daily volumes on many of BlackRock’s biggest ETFs exceeded $1 billion.


2016 Trading Technology 40
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1. Raymond Tierney III
2. Richard Prager
3. Chris Isaacson
BATS Global Markets
4. Jonathan Ross
KCG Holdings
5. Bradley Peterson
6. Brad Levy
7. Dan Keegan
8. Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional
9. Raj Mahajan
Goldman Sachs Group
10. Ari Studnitzer
CME Group
11. Mayur Kapani
Intercontinental Exchange
12. Gerald O’Connell
CBOE Holdings
13. Nicholas Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
14. Gil Mandelzis
EBS BrokerTec (ICAP)
15. Bill Chow and Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Rob Park
IEX Group
17. Philip Weisberg
Thomson Reuters
18. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
19. Robert Cornish
International Securities Exchange
20. Paul Hamill
Citadel Securities
21. Eric Noll
22. Tyler Moeller and Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology
23. Rishi Nangalia
REDI Holdings
24. Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology
25. Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange
26. Manoj Narang
Mana Partners
27. Gaurav Suri
28. Robert Sloan
S3 Partners
29. Anton Katz and Stephen Mock
AQR Capital Mgmt
30. Stu Taylor
31. D. Keith Ross Jr.
PDQ Enterprises
32. Donal Byrne
33. Alfred Eskandar
34. R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group
35. Masayuki Hosaka
36. Peter Maragos and David Karat
Dash Financial
37. Amar Kuchinad
38. Jennifer Nayar
SR Labs
39. Dave Snowdon
40. Dan Raju