19
Robert Cornish
Chief Technology Officer
International Securities Exchange
Last year: 26

Market segmentation is a proven strategy in consumer goods and other industries — why not options trading? In 2013, 13 years after opening the first all-electronic U.S. options market, International Securities Exchange launched Gemini, followed in February 2016 by Mercury; each is designed to appeal to a different constituency while running on common technology. The brand names are meant to “conjure up the early days of the space program — also a big technology launch where teams got together and collaborated,” says Robert Cornish, the Eurex Group subsidiary’s chief technology officer. The 45-year-old is embracing the latest in lightweight, open-source advances, including Docker container software and the Linux-based CoreOS operating system. Containers house everything necessary to run an application, Cornish explains. They are therefore portable and facilitate installations and functionality with minimal coding and associated infrastructure. “We are the only exchange using this type of software to this extent,” resulting in greater agility, lower costs and shorter development times, Cornish adds. He expects to leverage these benefits further as ISE, with a 16 percent market share in equity options, looks to develop “one if not two new markets in different asset classes.” Cornish — who began at New York–based ISE in 1999 as a consultant, joined full-time after the original exchange went live and has been CTO since March 2013 — is in hiring mode, noting that “we expect everyone in technology to code,” whether they are in systems, network storage or operations. He is pondering the potential usefulness of the blockchain. “It’s a very complex technology and difficult to learn,” he says, but a distributed ledger’s “full listing of what has occurred over history” is promising.

 

 
2016 Trading Technology 40
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17. Philip Weisberg
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18. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
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19. Robert Cornish
International Securities Exchange
20. Paul Hamill
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21. Eric Noll
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24. Veronica Augustsson
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