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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Alfred Eskandar

< The 2016 Trading Technology 4033Alfred EskandarChief Executive OfficerPortwareLast year: 38

To stand out in a crowd of trading-software competitors, a company needs technology and innovation as table stakes. Portware had that in early 2012 — the New York–based company was 12 years old, and investment firms were running an aggregate $3 trillion in assets on its execution management systems. But growth had slowed, and Portware’s board, in search of new energy and ideas, hired Alfred Eskandar, a member of the founding team of buy-side trading platform Liquidnet, as CEO. Today, Portware’s managed-assets total is $10 trillion, payback on product initiatives like Alpha Vision, which introduced real-time predictive analytics to the process of optimizing execution strategy. Portware’s transformation may have only just begun, because it was acquired by financial information company FactSet Research Systems in October for $265 million in cash. With trading systems an entirely new business for FactSet, there was no consolidation: It bought Portware, its management and some 180 employees whole, and Eskandar says the resource constraints on his formerly independent operation have virtually vanished. One reason this is a good strategic fit, the 42-year-old adds, is that both companies put a premium on client service. “Support can always be improved. There is no end state,” Eskandar says, noting that FactSet’s 38 global offices and data centers are now Portware’s network. An “innovation summit” with key clients in London last fall yielded “incredibly valuable input” on R&D priorities, the CEO says. Fixed-income trading is a “shiny red ball” that everyone is chasing. But, he adds, “in this space there is such a race to deliver rather than just to innovate. That’s a huge positive for us.”

 

 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