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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Robert Sloan

#28 Robert Sloan, Managing Partner, S3 Partners

Robert Sloan
Managing Partner
S3 Partners

Robert Sloan’s CV has a certain coincidental symmetry. Before a Wall Street career distinguished by the launch of Credit Suisse First Boston’s prime brokerage and the pioneering CSFB/Tremont Hedge Fund Index, Sloan worked as a translator for Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Today, Sloan and S3 Partners, the New York–based company he founded in 2003, engage in translation of a different sort. “Every firm speaks its own language” in processing, managing and analyzing data, he says: “There is a foreign language element to it.” S3, which Sloan began solo “with just an idea,” has grown into a 40-person, international financial technology, advisory and analytics firm dedicated to standardizing and streamlining data and work flows for hedge funds and other clients. “Technology companies want to be services firms, and vice versa,” says the 52-year-old managing partner. “We are both, and that makes us unique.” S3 pulled those capabilities together in creating Blacklight, a two-year-old software-as-a-service — a counterparty intelligence analytics platform, or “dedicated service through technology,” as Sloan describes it. Currently serving $1.4 trillion of assets, the platform is designed to improve buy- and sell-side trading relationships; its data and analytics free the players to focus on capital and balance-sheet efficiency rather than on system mechanics and “translations.” Animating Blacklight are the Basel III capital rules and other postcrisis reforms, which have upended traditional trading, collateral and liquidity dynamics. Sloan sees this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for reinvention, particularly for the buy side. “Asset managers need access to the power grid to trade,” he says, employing a favored metaphor. “Electricity is expensive and becoming more expensive.”

2016 Trading Technology 40

1. Raymond Tierney III
2. Richard Prager
3. Chris Isaacson
BATS Global Markets
4. Jonathan Ross
KCG Holdings
5. Bradley Peterson
6. Brad Levy
7. Dan Keegan
8. Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional
9. Raj Mahajan
Goldman Sachs Group
10. Ari Studnitzer
CME Group
11. Mayur Kapani
Intercontinental Exchange
12. Gerald O’Connell
CBOE Holdings
13. Nicholas Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
14. Gil Mandelzis
EBS BrokerTec (ICAP)
15. Bill Chow and Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Rob Park
IEX Group
17. Philip Weisberg
Thomson Reuters
18. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
19. Robert Cornish
International Securities Exchange
20. Paul Hamill
Citadel Securities
21. Eric Noll
22. Tyler Moeller and Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology
23. Rishi Nangalia
REDI Holdings
24. Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology
25. Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange
26. Manoj Narang
Mana Partners
27. Gaurav Suri
28. Robert Sloan
S3 Partners
29. Anton Katz and Stephen Mock
AQR Capital Mgmt
30. Stu Taylor
31. D. Keith Ross Jr.
PDQ Enterprises
32. Donal Byrne
33. Alfred Eskandar
34. R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group
35. Masayuki Hosaka
36. Peter Maragos and David Karat
Dash Financial
37. Amar Kuchinad
38. Jennifer Nayar
SR Labs
39. Dave Snowdon
40. Dan Raju

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