|Chief Executive Officer|
|Tower Research Capital|
|Last year: 21|
Revenue at Tower Research Capital was “basically flat” last year, reveals CEO Mark Gorton, the former Credit Suisse First Boston trader who founded the closely held quantitative strategies firm in 1998. New regulations and increasingly efficient markets made profits from proprietary trading harder to come by. But that hasn’t shaken Gorton’s commitment to technology development and creativity. “You have to add head count and keep innovating to avoid having your existing business evaporate,” asserts the 47-year-old. New York–based Tower over the past year boosted its staff by more than 20 percent, to 375; opened offices in Prague, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Israel; rewrote its software code; and implemented a new compliance and risk monitoring system. Gorton, who has master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University and business administration from Harvard University, gained high-tech notoriety of a different sort as founder of the LimeWire music-sharing service, which was sued in 2006 for copyright infringement by the Recording Industry Association of America. That was not the only policy issue that brought Gorton into the limelight: A bicycling enthusiast, he campaigned to make New York City more bike-friendly and started urban-planning nonprofit OpenPlans. Now, as a high-frequency-trading advocate, he contends that regulators are not focused enough on the most consequential, systemic threats. “There’s been such a temptation to blame HFT,” he says, “while the underlying, real problems remain unaddressed.”
See also Gorton’s profile in the 2013 Trading Technology 40.