|Chief Technology Officer
|Last year: 5
Mergers often give chief technology officers fits. Jonathan Ross is having a much better time of it. “I know a lot of people view integration as pretty tedious,” says the CTO of KCG Holdings, the firm created by the July 2013 merger of high-frequency-trading pioneer Getco and market maker Knight Capital Group. “I actually think there’s great engineering work to be done on these things, coming out with something that’s better than either firm had going into it. It’s been pretty fun.” Chicago-based KCG is one of the world’s biggest market makers, spanning everything from dark pools and other electronic trading venues to traditional agency execution across a variety of asset classes. Technology underpins everything the firm does, says Ross, whose team of 400 is larger than all of Getco before the merger. (KCG employs some 1,300 overall.) “A lot of our technology comes from [the development work for] our proprietary trading platform,” adds the 45-year-old, who was CTO of Nasdaq Stock Market before joining Getco in 2007. “Some other firms that do proprietary trading rarely share that technology” to benefit clients, as KCG does. A onetime video game programmer, Ross believes in rewriting computer code every three or four years. “You get a chance to revisit your ideas and address all the things that have been annoying you,” he explains. “If you do it frequently, it’s not that painful.”
See also Ross’ profile in the 2013 Trading Technology 40.