Trading Technology 30: Richard Prager

Richard Prager
No. 14
Head of Global Trading

Richard Prager

Richard Prager

Market structure uncertainties have prompted bold action by BlackRock. Richard Prager, head of global trading for the $3.3 trillion asset management behemoth, is reinventing the firm’s interactions with the sell side to ensure maximum efficiency in market access and trade execution. The 51-year-old terms one aspect of the strategy “originate to manage.” That means getting involved with Wall Street banks at the beginning of deal making rather than when they are ready to distribute securities. With a seat at the table with banks and issuers, BlackRock is helping to design bond offerings and advising on deals. Meanwhile, the firm is addressing liquidity requirements and lowering its costs by crossing more trades in-house: A crossing community is under development in the BlackRock Solutions unit. A former global head of rates, currencies and commodities at Bank of America Corp. who joined BlackRock in 2009, Prager is increasingly focused on e-trading issues — getting involved, for example, in rulemaking by clearinghouses that will affect how the business evolves. Anticipating more equitylike changes in the bond markets, Prager has added a fixed-income co-head to his trading desk. “We’ve seen it before,” he says. “It’s called the equity model, with broker-dealer platforms, electronic communication networks and alternative trading systems.”

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