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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Alfred Eskandar

#33 Alfred Eskandar, Chief Executive Officer, Portware

Alfred Eskandar
Chief Executive Officer
Last 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 40

1. Raymond Tierney III
2. Richard Prager
3. Chris Isaacson
BATS Global Markets
4. Jonathan Ross
KCG Holdings
5. Bradley Peterson
6. Brad Levy
7. Dan Keegan
8. Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional
9. Raj Mahajan
Goldman Sachs Group
10. Ari Studnitzer
CME Group
11. Mayur Kapani
Intercontinental Exchange
12. Gerald O’Connell
CBOE Holdings
13. Nicholas Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
14. Gil Mandelzis
EBS BrokerTec (ICAP)
15. Bill Chow and Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Rob Park
IEX Group
17. Philip Weisberg
Thomson Reuters
18. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
19. Robert Cornish
International Securities Exchange
20. Paul Hamill
Citadel Securities
21. Eric Noll
22. Tyler Moeller and Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology
23. Rishi Nangalia
REDI Holdings
24. Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology
25. Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange
26. Manoj Narang
Mana Partners
27. Gaurav Suri
28. Robert Sloan
S3 Partners
29. Anton Katz and Stephen Mock
AQR Capital Mgmt
30. Stu Taylor
31. D. Keith Ross Jr.
PDQ Enterprises
32. Donal Byrne
33. Alfred Eskandar
34. R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group
35. Masayuki Hosaka
36. Peter Maragos and David Karat
Dash Financial
37. Amar Kuchinad
38. Jennifer Nayar
SR Labs
39. Dave Snowdon
40. Dan Raju

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