The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Rob Park

No. 16 Rob Park, Chief Technology Officer, IEX Group

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< The 2016 Trading Technology 40

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16
Rob Park
Chief Technology Officer
IEX Group
PNR

Michael Lewis’s 2014 best seller Flash Boys brought mass-market attention to IEX Group and the alternative trading system that it launched the year before. Today a much more technical document — an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a full-fledged exchange — puts IEX in a different kind of spotlight. The objective of gaining exchange status is not to further fragment equity trading, “which would not be good for customers,” says Rob Park, chief technology officer of New York–based IEX. “There has to be a reason why IEX as an exchange should exist: to create fair markets.” Indeed, fairness and transparency are the mantras of buy-side-owned IEX. The firm was founded by a team from RBC Capital Markets, where Park was head of global algorithmic trading and IEX CEO Brad Katsuyama (No. 23 last year) was global head of electronic sales and trading. IEX’s defining technological element is a 38-mile-long coil of fiber-optic cable called the POP (short for “point of presence”) that slows orders by 350 microseconds. The “speed bump” is an antidote to latency arbitrage, or trading strategies that capitalize on delays in exchanges’ updates of price quotes, which Park sees as “an invisible tax on the investment process.” Noting that IEX has been criticized for its smart order router, which sends trade notifications to buyers and sellers through the speed bump, Park, 37, says, “The heated debate around this confirmed for us that 350 microseconds really do matter.” Anticipating that it will be operating an open exchange, Park’s team over the past year has created a lit order book and a proprietary data feed; it 2014 it launched a new order type, dubbed discretionary peg, that puts requested trades on hold when IEX predicts favorable price changes are about to occur. “Achieving exchange status would place us at the table, where we can become a voice for those that have been victimized in the current marketplace,” Park says.


2016 Trading Technology 40

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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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