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Steven Sadoff
Global Head of Operations, Services and Technology
Knight Capital Group

Technology-driven organizations often frown on anything "not invented here." Knight Capital Group, by contrast, is "not afraid to fix up stuff," says global head of operations, services and technology Steven Sadoff. "We prefer not to have to do that, but we have a good record on that front." In April 2005, for example, the Jersey City, New Jersey–based executing brokerage bought Direct Trading Institutional, a direct-market-access provider, and relaunched it with Knight's smart-order router, data and graphical user interface as Knight Direct. In May 2005, Knight acquired Attain ECN. Its "technology needed to be completely renovated," recalls Sadoff; that electronic communications network evolved into Direct Edge (see William O'Brien, No. 23), now the world's fourth-largest equity exchange. In 2006, Knight bought and similarly overhauled e-trading platforms Hotspot FX and ValuBond (now Knight BondPoint). "When I joined Knight [in 2002], market making was extremely manual," says Sadoff, 48, who oversees 475 people and a budget exceeding $100 million. "Now more than 95 percent of the order flow is handled by computer." Sadoff was formerly chief technology officer at fixed-income trading venture BondBook and had high-profile technology and e-commerce roles at Merrill Lynch & Co.