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The 2015 Tech 50: Neil Katz

The D.E. Shaw managing director debuts at No. 20 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

Neil Katz
Managing Director
D.E. Shaw & Co.

When Neil Katz graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a BS in electrical engineering and a BA in quantitative economics, he had every intention of going for a master’s in computer science and then applying to a Ph.D. program. Then he got a letter from D.E. Shaw & Co. inviting him to New York for an interview. Katz didn’t know much about the hedge fund firm, which had been founded by computer scientist and Stanford alum David Shaw six years earlier, but he couldn’t pass up a free trip to the Big Apple. “All these senior people met with me, and I was really impressed because they were clearly very smart,” says Katz, who learned to hack as a kid on an Atari 400 home computer. “As a double major I was interested in both finance and technology, and this was a firm that was at the intersection of both, so that was attractive to me.” Katz joined the then-$350 million-in-assets D.E. Shaw as a junior programmer and operations person in its U.S. equities trading group. Two decades later, at 43, he is still with the firm — which now manages $36 billion in alternative and long-only investment strategies — and oversees the hardware and software at the heart of its trading systems and information technology infrastructure. A key to D.E. Shaw’s success is its culture, which emphasizes creativity and values the contributions of technologists, quants and traders alike, Katz says. By working closely with the investment staff, Katz’s team of more than 250 technologists focuses on “building transformative tools” that enable the firm’s researchers to test their investment ideas and trading algorithms using the trillion data events that D.E. Shaw collects daily. “Our commitment to building these tools — which have transformed the way we provide, process and visualize large volumes of data — means that our researchers have been able to run experiments more quickly and get forecasts into production faster than ever,” he adds.

See the full story, “The 2015 Tech 50: Racers to the Edge.”

The 2015 Tech 50

1. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
2. Catherine Bessant
Bank of America Corp.
3. Phupinder Gill
CME Group
4. Lance Uggla
5. Robert Goldstein
6. Shawn Edwards &
Vlad Kliatchko
7. R. Martin Chavez
Goldman Sachs Group
8. Deborah Hopkins
Citi Ventures
9. Stephen Neff
Fidelity Investments
10. Adena Friedman
Nasdaq OMX Group
11. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
12. Daniel Coleman
KCG Holdings
13. Michael Spencer
14. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
15. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris Concannon
BATS Global Markets
17. Christopher Perretta
State Street Corp.
18. Antoine Shagoury
London Stock Exchange Group
19. Kevin Rhein
Wells Fargo & Co.
20. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw & Co.
21. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
22. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
23. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
24. Robert Alexander
Capital One Financial Corp.
25. Frank Bisignano
First Data Corp.
26. John Marcante
Vanguard Group
27. Joseph Squeri
28. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
29. Claude Honegger
Credit Suisse
30. Chris Corrado
31. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
32. John Bates
Software AG
33. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
34. Gary Scholten
Principal Financial Group
35. Sunil Hirani
trueEX Group
36. Hauke Stars
Deutsche BÖrse
37. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives
38. Jim Minnick
39. Lars Seier Christensen & Kim Fournais
40. Tyler Kim
41. Jim McGuire
Charles Schwab Corp.
42. Steven O'Hanlon
43. Sebastián Ceria
44. Yasuki Okai
NRI Holdings America
45. Stephane Dubois
46. Mazy Dar
47. Brian Sentance
Xenomorph Software
48. Mas Nakachi
49. John Lehner
BNY Mellon Technology Solutions Group
50. Jock Percy

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