The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Alfred Eskandar

#33 Alfred Eskandar, Chief Executive Officer, Portware

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< The 2016 Trading Technology 40

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33
Alfred Eskandar
Chief Executive Officer
Portware
Last year: 38

To stand out in a crowd of trading-software competitors, a company needs technology and innovation as table stakes. Portware had that in early 2012 — the New York–based company was 12 years old, and investment firms were running an aggregate $3 trillion in assets on its execution management systems. But growth had slowed, and Portware’s board, in search of new energy and ideas, hired Alfred Eskandar, a member of the founding team of buy-side trading platform Liquidnet, as CEO. Today, Portware’s managed-assets total is $10 trillion, payback on product initiatives like Alpha Vision, which introduced real-time predictive analytics to the process of optimizing execution strategy. Portware’s transformation may have only just begun, because it was acquired by financial information company FactSet Research Systems in October for $265 million in cash. With trading systems an entirely new business for FactSet, there was no consolidation: It bought Portware, its management and some 180 employees whole, and Eskandar says the resource constraints on his formerly independent operation have virtually vanished. One reason this is a good strategic fit, the 42-year-old adds, is that both companies put a premium on client service. “Support can always be improved. There is no end state,” Eskandar says, noting that FactSet’s 38 global offices and data centers are now Portware’s network. An “innovation summit” with key clients in London last fall yielded “incredibly valuable input” on R&D priorities, the CEO says. Fixed-income trading is a “shiny red ball” that everyone is chasing. But, he adds, “in this space there is such a race to deliver rather than just to innovate. That’s a huge positive for us.”


2016 Trading Technology 40

Sponsored

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1. Raymond Tierney III
Bloomberg

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2. Richard Prager
BlackRock

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3. Chris Isaacson
BATS Global Markets

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4. Jonathan Ross
KCG Holdings

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5. Bradley Peterson
Nasdaq

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6. Brad Levy
Markit

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7. Dan Keegan
Citi

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8. Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional

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9. Raj Mahajan
Goldman Sachs Group

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10. Ari Studnitzer
CME Group

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11. Mayur Kapani
Intercontinental Exchange

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12. Gerald O’Connell
CBOE Holdings

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13. Nicholas Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings

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14. Gil Mandelzis
EBS BrokerTec (ICAP)

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15. Bill Chow and Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing

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16. Rob Park
IEX Group

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17. Philip Weisberg
Thomson Reuters

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18. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
MillenniumIT

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19. Robert Cornish
International Securities Exchange

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20. Paul Hamill
Citadel Securities

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21. Eric Noll
Convergex

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22. Tyler Moeller and Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology

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23. Rishi Nangalia
REDI Holdings

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24. Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology

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25. Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange

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26. Manoj Narang
Mana Partners

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27. Gaurav Suri
Arcesium

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28. Robert Sloan
S3 Partners

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29. Anton Katz and Stephen Mock
AQR Capital Mgmt

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30. Stu Taylor
Algomi

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31. D. Keith Ross Jr.
PDQ Enterprises

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32. Donal Byrne
Corvil

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33. Alfred Eskandar
Portware

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34. R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group

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35. Masayuki Hosaka
Rakuten

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36. Peter Maragos and David Karat
Dash Financial

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37. Amar Kuchinad
Electronifie

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38. Jennifer Nayar
SR Labs

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39. Dave Snowdon
Metamako

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40. Dan Raju
Tradier


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