The Trading Technology 40: Back From the Edge

Concerns about system crashes are overshadowing the low-latency arms race that for years has preoccupied the leading innovators in trading technology.


On the last day of 2012, within an hour of the closing bell, New York Stock Exchange traders were alerted to a technical glitch in the market’s order-matching system. The problem affected just 26 stocks and was cleared up within four minutes — but that good news was tinged with the knowledge that far worse can happen, and did.

The 2013 Trading Technology 40
Rank Firm
1 Kevin Kometer
CME Group
2 Edwin Marcial
3 Raymond Tierney III
Bloomberg Tradebook
4 Brian Conroy
Fidelity Capital Markets
5 Jonathan Ross
6 Anna Ewing
Nasdaq OMX Group
7 Chip Carver
Markit Group
8 Gerald O’Connell
Chicago Board
Options Exchange
9 Richard Prager
10 Daniel Friel
International Securities
11 Peter Leukert
NYSE Euronext
12 Mark Beeston
13 Gregg Berman
14 Ben Sylvester
J.P. Morgan
Asset Management
15 Tony Weeresinghe
LSE Group
16 Michael Liberman
BlueMountain Capital Management
17 Chris Isaacson
BATS Global Markets
18 Dan Keegan
19 Jerry Dobner
GFI Group
20 Adam Broun
Credit Suisse
21 Mark Gorton
Tower Research Capital
22 Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology
23 Billy Hult
Tradeweb Markets
24 Maureen O’Hara
25 Nicholas Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
26 Howard Edelstein
BondDesk Group
27 Brenda Hoffman
TMX Group
28 Eran Fishler
Pragma Securities
29 Saro Jahani
Direct Edge
30 Oki Matsumoto
Monex Group
31 Philippe Buhannic
32 Bill Chow and
Richard Leung

Hong Kong
Exchanges & Clearing
33 John Bajus
Jefferies Group
34 Alfred Eskandar
35 Steven O’Hanlon
36 Luis Otavio Saliba Furtado
37 Steven Harrison
Imagine Software
38 Harpal Sandhu
Integral Development Corp.
39 Kevin Covington
40 Rob Flatley
CoreOne Technologies

For those who build and manage market and trading technologies, 2012 was punctuated by trouble. High-profile system malfunctions marred the BATS Global Markets and Facebook IPOs in March and May, respectively, and brought down market maker Knight Capital Group in August. These too were good news/bad news incidents, not as catastrophic as the still-reverberating “flash crash” of May 6, 2010, but reminders that such technological snafus happen too frequently for comfort.

All of this casts a pall over the industry and profession represented by the Trading Technology 40, Institutional Investor’s second annual global ranking of the most prominent innovators and managers in the field. Their comments reflect soul-searching about the incessant pursuit of lightning-fast transactional capability. “Do we really need to be trading in nanoseconds?” asks Brenda Hoffman (No. 27), head technologist of Toronto’s TMX Group. Dan Keegan (No. 18), global head of cash equities at Citi, considers speed a commodity and says factors like client service and global footprint will define the winners.

Still, the trading technology leaders — selected by II staff based on their accomplishments and contributions at both the company and industry levels — are hardly retrenching or lacking for successes. For example, CME Group (Kevin Kometer, No. 1) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (Gerald O’Connell, No. 8) pulled off major system conversions without a hitch. IntercontinentalExchange’s information technology track record (Edwin Marcial, No. 2) helped underpin its takeover bid for NYSE Euronext (Peter Leukert, No. 11).

Last year’s rankings, shown in parentheses, are from the initial Trading Tech 30. 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, Imogen Rose-Smith and Julie Segal; Staff Writer Neil Sen; and Associate Web Editor Ben Baris.