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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Richard Prager

< The 2016 Trading Technology 402Richard PragerHead of Trading, Liquidity and Investments PlatformBlackRockLast year: 2

Back in 2011, Richard Prager was a lonely voice on the subject of outmoded fixed-income market structures and their attendant liquidity concerns. Now much of what he was saying is conventional wisdom. That’s a testament to the vision of this top buy-side trading executive, who wields the influence of the biggest money manager of all: $4.6 trillion-in-assets BlackRock. “There were a lot of naysayers when it came to what we wanted to do with client-crossing and alternative trading networks — and even whether there was a liquidity challenge,” the 55-year-old recalls. “Now folks are saying there is a permanent change in the liquidity condition and behavior does need to change.” The head of BlackRock’s trading, liquidity and investments platform — his role expanded in February to include investments business management and product strategy – believes the alarms sounded on bond market liquidity may have been overblown. But they did generate urgency for solutions, and Prager has helped lead the charge. BlackRock has partnered with MarketAxess Holdings (see Nicholas Themelis, No. 13) and its Open Trading initiative, bringing trades from BlackRock and other firms using its Aladdin technology onto an “all-to-all” network of investors and other market participants. “That’s material — a secular change,” says Prager, who has a Duke University BS in zoology and joined BlackRock in 2009 after eight years with Bank of America Corp. and a career on the sell side. As institutional interest in fixed-income exchange-traded funds, including BlackRock’s iShares, has surged, the firm has worked with Bloomberg, Tradeweb Markets and others on data analysis standards to facilitate the trading. During last August’s market volatility, daily volumes on many of BlackRock’s biggest ETFs exceeded $1 billion.

 

 2016 Trading Technology 40Click below to view profiles
1. Raymond Tierney IIIBloomberg2. Richard PragerBlackRock3. Chris IsaacsonBATS Global Markets4. Jonathan RossKCG Holdings5. Bradley PetersonNasdaq
6. Brad LevyMarkit7. Dan KeeganCiti8. Ronald DePoaloFidelity Institutional9. Raj MahajanGoldman Sachs Group10. Ari StudnitzerCME Group
11. Mayur KapaniIntercontinental Exchange12. Gerald O’ConnellCBOE Holdings13. Nicholas ThemelisMarketAxess Holdings14. Gil MandelzisEBS BrokerTec (ICAP)15. Bill Chow and Richard LeungHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Rob ParkIEX Group17. Philip WeisbergThomson Reuters18. John Mackay (Mack) GillMillenniumIT19. Robert CornishInternational Securities Exchange20. Paul HamillCitadel Securities
21. Eric NollConvergex22. Tyler Moeller and Joshua WalskyBroadway Technology23. Rishi NangaliaREDI Holdings24. Veronica AugustssonCinnober Financial Technology25. Alasdair HaynesAquis Exchange
26. Manoj NarangMana Partners27. Gaurav SuriArcesium28. Robert SloanS3 Partners29. Anton Katz and Stephen MockAQR Capital Mgmt30. Stu TaylorAlgomi
31. D. Keith Ross Jr.PDQ Enterprises32. Donal ByrneCorvil33. Alfred EskandarPortware34. R. Cromwell CoulsonOTC Markets Group35. Masayuki HosakaRakuten
36. Peter Maragos and David KaratDash Financial37. Amar KuchinadElectronifie38. Jennifer NayarSR Labs39. Dave SnowdonMetamako40. Dan RajuTradier