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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: Rob Park

< The 2016 Trading Technology 4016Rob ParkChief Technology OfficerIEX GroupPNR

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 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