The 2014 Trading Technology 40: Brad Katsuyama


Brad Katsuyama
President and CEO
IEX Group
(Previously not ranked)

Is there no end to the variations on the alternative trading system theme? The IEX Group dark pool, which went live in October, seeks to strike a blow for fairness in equity trading by giving ownership and control to the buy side. “We spent a lot of time thinking about building a different market within the current regulatory structure,” says 35-year-old president and CEO Brad Katsuyama, who with three colleagues from the RBC Capital Markets unit of Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada founded New York–based IEX in 2012. Their backers included Netscape Communications Corp. founder (and IEX director) James Clark. A 2001 BBA in finance from Waterloo, Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University, Katsuyama went to work for RBC — where he had previously interned — as a program trader. By 2009 he had risen to head of global electronic sales and trading and often found himself explaining to fund managers how high frequency traders were profiting at their expense. Drawing on his experience developing Thor, a smart-order router, Katsuyama built IEX to “truly balance the needs of the different participants” by charging both buyers and sellers a flat fee, limiting the number of order types and relying on technology to prevent traders from profiting from speed alone. In the interest of transparency, IEX posts its form ATS regulatory filing on its website, underscoring such key words as “fairness,” “simplicity,” “objectivity” and “protection of the investor.”

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