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Gaurav Suri
Head of Information Technology and Software Development
D.E. Shaw Group

It may be all too obvious that, at a quantitative hedge fund firm with the renown of D.E. Shaw Group, "we believe our technology is our edge," as Gaurav Suri puts it. Less remarked upon, or visible to outsiders, is how far ahead of the curve the firm founded in 1988 by computer scientist David Shaw has been. "Today everybody talks about the cloud and big data," notes the 41-year-old Suri, head of information technology and software development since 2011. "We've been using a cloud internally for many years. Our goal is to provide a platform that is as large and scalable as possible." Three years ago Suri and his team constructed a database from the ground up to hold quantities of information "so humongous that traditional, relational databases can't handle it." Overseeing 400 technologists — more than one third of the firm's 1,100 total employees — Suri developed a platform that can deliver a "single version of the truth," ensuring a unified, consistent view of all investment positions across D.E. Shaw, which has $19.5 billion in assets. His most recent project: exception-driven processing, which automates most investment functions and frees staff to focus on the most critical analytical issues. With an MS in computer science from the University of Illinois, Suri worked at Bell Laboratories before joining D.E. Shaw in 1996 to develop trading systems. He splits his time between its New York headquarters and a 600-strong research and technology office in Hyderabad, India.