After Tradeworx founder and former CEO Manoj Narang left the Red Bank, New Jerseybased high frequency trading firm in January 2015 following a disagreement with its board over strategic direction, he devoted a lot of time to something hes enjoyed since he was a math and computer science major at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1980s: software development. I wrote a lot of code this past year, says Narang, 46, who designed all of Tradeworxs hedge fund strategies during his 16 years at the firm. For his next act he has teamed up with former Goldman Sachs Group colleague John Holena to launch financial technology incubator and quantitative trading firm Mana Partners. Narang is building on his success at Tradeworx, which commercialized its matching engine and research infrastructure through its Thesys Technologies affiliate. I would like to take that experiment, which went very well, and fully embrace the notion that you can take intellectual property and incubate it with multiple business models, he says. New Yorkbased Mana Partners will develop technology and trading strategies for its own use and then build products and services around them. Initially, the firm is focused on options-trading strategies, especially those with a positive exposure to volatility, which Narang expects to be elevated for extended periods in the next decade. I feel that the options market is a prime area to better service traders in terms of bringing tools and products into the marketplace, he says. Mana Partners will be developing analytical decision support tools for both the stock and options markets, including next-generation transaction cost analysis tools that will help equity investors estimate their market impact and better understand market microstructure.
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