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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Rob Park

No. 16 Rob Park, Chief Technology Officer, IEX Group

Rob Park
Chief Technology Officer
IEX Group

Michael Lewis’s 2014 best seller Flash Boys brought mass-market attention to IEX Group and the alternative trading system that it launched the year before. Today a much more technical document — an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a full-fledged exchange — puts IEX in a different kind of spotlight. The objective of gaining exchange status is not to further fragment equity trading, “which would not be good for customers,” says Rob Park, chief technology officer of New York–based IEX. “There has to be a reason why IEX as an exchange should exist: to create fair markets.” Indeed, fairness and transparency are the mantras of buy-side-owned IEX. The firm was founded by a team from RBC Capital Markets, where Park was head of global algorithmic trading and IEX CEO Brad Katsuyama (No. 23 last year) was global head of electronic sales and trading. IEX’s defining technological element is a 38-mile-long coil of fiber-optic cable called the POP (short for “point of presence”) that slows orders by 350 microseconds. The “speed bump” is an antidote to latency arbitrage, or trading strategies that capitalize on delays in exchanges’ updates of price quotes, which Park sees as “an invisible tax on the investment process.” Noting that IEX has been criticized for its smart order router, which sends trade notifications to buyers and sellers through the speed bump, Park, 37, says, “The heated debate around this confirmed for us that 350 microseconds really do matter.” Anticipating that it will be operating an open exchange, Park’s team over the past year has created a lit order book and a proprietary data feed; it 2014 it launched a new order type, dubbed discretionary peg, that puts requested trades on hold when IEX predicts favorable price changes are about to occur. “Achieving exchange status would place us at the table, where we can become a voice for those that have been victimized in the current marketplace,” Park says.

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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