Trading Technology 30: Michael Blum
Getco Execution Services
When Michael Blum left Swiss bank UBS to join Getco in February 2009, the Chicago-based firm was well known on Wall Street for its high-frequency-trading prowess — but not much beyond it. His task: to help build the firm’s customer-facing business, Getco Execution Services, which at the time consisted only of an alternative trading system, or dark pool, for U.S. equities. Since then the 43-year-old Blum has rebranded the ATS as GETMatched and launched GETRouted, which provides smart-order routing of trades, and GETAlpha, a trade execution algorithm based on the same technology as Getco’s proprietary trading models, which the firm uses to make markets on more than 50 exchanges globally. “When we started offering algos, it was all about letting customers leverage our technology,” says Blum, who grew up in Ohio and has a BS in computer science from the University of Dayton. In 2010, Blum’s colleague Jonathan Ross, a former chief technology officer of Nasdaq Stock Market who created Getco’s original dark pool, moved to London to launch GETMatched Europe. Blum and Ross worked together as software developers at Island ECN in the early 2000s. Their group at Getco, which accounts for 21 of the firm’s 400 employees, is looking to take its products to Asia.