The 2014 Trading Technology 40: Robert Cornish

No. 21 Robert Cornish. Chief Technology Officer, International Securities Exchange


Robert Cornish
Chief Technology Officer
International Securities Exchange
(Previously not ranked)

In 1999 software development consultant Robert Cornish was recruited by Lawrence Campbell, chief technology offer of International Securities Exchange, to help get the first U.S. all-electronic options market off the ground. Five months after the May 2000 launch, Cornish, who had also done work for American Express Co. and Prudential Investments, joined ISE full-time. After cycling through responsibilities including systems and network engineering, security and operations, he succeeded Campbell (who had retired) in March 2013. The new CTO was closely involved in the August opening of ISE Gemini, an exchange running on the same technological platform as New York–based ISE’s original market while offering what it terms pure maker-taker pricing. “Members were trading on other exchanges,” explains Cornish, 43. “This allows us to compete for a different set of customers.” By November, ISE Gemini had traded its 20 millionth contract and its 2.9 percent share of equity options volume ranked eighth among the 12 options exchanges, a shade behind BATS Options’ 3.1 percent. (The original ISE was third with 15.3 percent, behind Chicago Board Options Exchange’s 20.6 percent and Nasdaq OMX PHLX’s 15.6 percent.) Also in 2013, Cornish set out to change ISE’s development culture, removing organizational silos and encouraging collaboration,with the Software Deployment Automation initiative. “As a team we’re learning from each other and raising the bar,” he says.

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