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The 2015 Trading Technology 40: Richard Prager

#2 Richard Prager, Head of Trading and Liquidity Strategies, BlackRock

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Richard Prager
Head of Trading and Liquidity Strategies
BlackRock

While much of the buy side bemoans the lack of fixed-income liquidity as a result of dealers’ retreat from principal trading, BlackRock’s Richard Prager offers a different perspective. Corporate bond liquidity is plentiful, in his view. The problem is that “we still have a market structure that is dependent on a principal-based system,” says the $4.3 trillion money management giant’s head of trading and liquidity strategies. “We need to modernize the market structure.” Although Prager, 54, is a strong advocate of electronic trading, that is “only part of the story.” Other elements of the solution he envisions include all-to-all platforms that would attract larger numbers of market participants; new standards and protocols to streamline issuance and trading; and behavioral and attitudinal changes among the players. “It’s all about the CUSIPs [bond issues], the behavior of the participants, the protocols. It’s the whole picture,” says Prager, who joined New York–based BlackRock in 2009 after a career on the sell side, most recently eight years with Bank of America Corp. “We need leadership from the banks, from frequent issuers and from regulators.” Noting that the Securities and Exchange Commission has acknowledged the need to address bond market structure, he adds, “We are on a journey, and it is paying off.” In its own trading efforts, to ensure it can transact regardless of market conditions, BlackRock links to more than 200 liquidity pools, Prager says. The firm is aggregating multiple pricing streams; designing systems that allow traders to view different markets at their desktops and trade with fewer clicks; and upgrading analytics, such as transaction cost analysis.

See also Prager's profiles in the 2013 Trading Technology 40 and the 2012 Trading Technology 30.

The 2015 Trading Technology 40

1
2
3
4
5
Kevin Kometer
CME Group
Richard Prager
BlackRock
Raymond Tierney III
Bloomberg Tradebook
Jonathan Ross
KCG Holdings
Charles Vice
Intercontinental Exchange
6
7
8
9
10
Chris Isaacson
BATS Global Markets
Bradley Peterson
Nasdaq OMX Group
Brad Levy
MarkitSERV
Dan Keegan
Citi
Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional
11
12
13
14
15
Gerard Beatty
Goldman Sachs Group
Gerald O'Connell
CBOE Holdings
Brenda Hoffman
TMX Group
Billy Hult
Tradeweb Markets
Nicholas Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
16
17
18
19
20
Bina Kalola
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Gil Mandelzis
EBS-BrokerTec (ICAP)
Steven Randich
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
Jerry Dobner
GFI Group
Michael Liberman
BlueMountain Capital Management
21
22
23
24
25
Bill Chow and Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
Jamie Selway
Investment Technology Group
Brad Katsuyama
IEX Group
John Mackay (Mack) Gill
MillenniumIT
Jamil Nazarali
Citadel Execution Services
26
27
28
29
30
Robert Cornish
International Securities Exchange
Tyler Moeller andJoshua Walksy
Broadway Technology
Rishi Nangalia
REDI Holdings
Manoj Narang
Tradeworx,
Thesys Technologies
Oki Matsumoto
Monex Group
31
32
33
34
35
Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange
Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology
Stu Taylor
Algomi
Luís Otávio Saliba Furtado
BM&FBovespa
Tal Cohen
Chi-X Global Holdings
36
37
38
39
40
Donal Byrne
Corvil
R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group
Alfred Eskandar
Portware
Richard Korhammer
SR Labs
Hazem Dawani
OptionsCity Software


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