Trading Technology 30: Chris Isaacson

Chris Isaacson
No. 12
Chief Operating Officer
BATS Global Markets

Chris Isaacson

Chris Isaacson

When Lenexa, Kansas–based BATS — originally an electronic communications network, now an exchange operating under the BATS Global Markets umbrella — went live on January 27, 2006, all 13 employees huddled around Chris Isaacson’s desk to witness the first trade get matched and filled. Isaacson, formerly of algorithmic trading firm Tradebot Systems, had labored for months over the proprietary trading software alongside colleagues including current CEO Joe Ratterman and founding CEO (and Tradebot owner and chairman) Dave Cummings. Promoted from vice president of operations to COO in 2007, Isaacson, 33, remains in charge of technology development, now spanning two domestic equity platforms — BYX Exchange and BZX Exchange, with a combined 11 percent share of the U.S. market — and BATS Options. Since BATS’s recent acquisition of Chi-X Europe, Isaacson has worked closely with the London-based BATS Chi-X Europe team. With an IPO pending, Isaacson and other executives are in a quiet period, but BATS’s May 2011 S-1 filing stressed that “unlike traditional market centers, we are a technology company at our core.” It noted that average latency had fallen from an already impressive 930 microseconds in 2007 to 140 microseconds in early 2011.

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