29Anton Katz and Stephen MockHead of Trading Systems Technology and Head of Trade Execution TechnologyAQR Capital Management PNR
Information technology doesnt just serve or support the portfolio strategies of AQR Capital Management. Its integral to the quantitative investment firms processes and is even part of the performance equation reported to clients. AQR doesnt have silos like many quantitative firms do, says Stephen Mock, who as head of trade execution technology manages algorithmic trading systems. IT and investing ideas are routinely linked in internal conversations. We are very transparent with investors about our technology it is part of a holistic view of how they are benefiting, explains Anton Katz, head of trading systems technology. Although Greenwich, Connecticutbased AQR, which was formed in 1998 and has $141 billion under management, may have been a trendsetter in its embrace of IT, Katz and Mock represent a new generation of approaches that could radically redefine the alternative-investment technology niche. Like any financial institution, AQR weighs build versus buy decisions, and old proprietary biases are giving way to openness and collaboration. Katz, 35, who joined AQR in 2015 after six years with Broadway Technology (see Tyler Moeller and Joshua Walsky, No. 22), says a lot of proprietary-built software goes into the trade-order management platforms that he oversees. But the vendor space is interesting, and we look at what we may be able to do in a collaborative way. Mock, 36, who has a low-latency trading background and left Macquarie Capital for AQR in 2012, says the firm keeps on the cutting edge with a culture of experimentation that is mindful of the marketplace. Katzs vendor experience complements Mocks in investment management (Magnetar Capital, BMO Capital Markets and BNP Paribas CooperNeff Advisors) as they scan a five- to ten-year strategic horizon. Trends like cloud and virtualization cannot be ignored, Katz says. In a few years it may not make sense to run your own data center.
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