36Peter Maragos and David KaratChief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing OfficerDash FinancialPNR
Best execution is particularly tough in options markets, which generate vast quantities of data in an increasingly complex trading environment, with 14 exchanges now operating in the U.S. The buy side is under increasing pressure to understand best execution, Peter Maragos says. Essential to this is a comprehension of order-routing practices and how algorithms and routers meet challenges relating to performance and liquidity capture. To Maragos and David Karat, co-founders of Dash Financial, these circumstances cry out for a neutral, technology-driven agency brokerage that serves the interests of client firms. They started to put the pieces together in 2009. Maragos, now 39, had spent about seven years as CEO of trading systems developer SDS Financial Technologies; Karat, 43, was with Investment Technology Group at that time, followed by a year with Credit Suisse. They laid the groundwork for Dash, in part with assets from SDS, in stealth mode and launched their New Yorkbased venture in 2011. Touting what its founders call bespoke innovation, Dash developed a suite of algorithms and trading tools tailored to options market microstructure, as well as deliverables including full transparency at the order level, Karat says, taking advantage of technological advances like the HTML5 cross-platform programming language. We crafted the most intelligent routers to harness the shifting sands in options markets at optimal economics for the client, says Maragos, adding that Dash executes about 6 percent of all U.S. daily options volume. The companys innovation prowess is literally on display in Dash360, a highly graphical data-visualization dashboard released in January that, in Maragoss words, redefines transparency in the U.S. equity and options markets. Karat adds that institutional traders get the full picture into how their orders are being routed and executed.
2016 Trading Technology 40Click below to view profiles