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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Robert Cornish

No. 19 Robert Cornish, Chief Technology Officer, International Securities Exchange

Robert Cornish
Chief Technology Officer
International Securities Exchange
Last year: 26

Market segmentation is a proven strategy in consumer goods and other industries — why not options trading? In 2013, 13 years after opening the first all-electronic U.S. options market, International Securities Exchange launched Gemini, followed in February 2016 by Mercury; each is designed to appeal to a different constituency while running on common technology. The brand names are meant to “conjure up the early days of the space program — also a big technology launch where teams got together and collaborated,” says Robert Cornish, the Eurex Group subsidiary’s chief technology officer. The 45-year-old is embracing the latest in lightweight, open-source advances, including Docker container software and the Linux-based CoreOS operating system. Containers house everything necessary to run an application, Cornish explains. They are therefore portable and facilitate installations and functionality with minimal coding and associated infrastructure. “We are the only exchange using this type of software to this extent,” resulting in greater agility, lower costs and shorter development times, Cornish adds. He expects to leverage these benefits further as ISE, with a 16 percent market share in equity options, looks to develop “one if not two new markets in different asset classes.” Cornish — who began at New York–based ISE in 1999 as a consultant, joined full-time after the original exchange went live and has been CTO since March 2013 — is in hiring mode, noting that “we expect everyone in technology to code,” whether they are in systems, network storage or operations. He is pondering the potential usefulness of the blockchain. “It’s a very complex technology and difficult to learn,” he says, but a distributed ledger’s “full listing of what has occurred over history” is promising.

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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