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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Eric Noll

< The 2016 Trading Technology 4021Eric NollPresident and Chief Executive OfficerConvergexPNR

Institutional brokerage Convergex needed more than just management tweaking when Eric Noll was named CEO, in November 2013. Within weeks Convergex would agree to pay more than $150 million to put accusations of trading misconduct and overcharges behind it. Noll then went to work on focusing and redefining the privately held, New York–based company as an agency brokerage; it currently has more than 3,000 clients worldwide. “We don’t do anything but execute transactions in the marketplace,” says Noll, 53, who was executive vice president of transaction services at Nasdaq OMX Group from 2009 to 2013 and one of the leaders of quantitative brokerage Susquehanna International Group for 15 years before that. “We don’t do any market making, research, investment banking or lending. We are to a large extent conflict-free in that we don’t accept payment for order flow.” The 520-employee organization’s simply stated objective is to “build out the electronic algo that works best on behalf of institutional investors.” The firm offers algorithms for more than 40 markets and runs one of the only U.S.-registered dark pool for options. Convergex’s Millennium alternative trading system does nothing but capture midpoint, or between-the-match, spreads for equity trading and has, in effect, a built-in speed bump. “It routes to our data center,” Noll explains. “That gap, if you will, prevents latency arbitrage from occurring in equity execution.” Noll, who earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, observes that institutional investing’s technological advancements have been mainly “on the front end — around execution, venues, speed, communication. There hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to what I call the plumbing, or what happens after the trade has occurred.” One likely route to making posttrade plumbing safer and more efficient, he says, “is going to be the blockchain and seeing how it works in the back-office space.”

 

 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