When KCG Holdings was looking for a new CFO last year, CEO Daniel Coleman knew the high-tech brokerage had found its guy in financial software entrepreneur Steffen Parratt. He had worked at Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, but it was the fact that he had written software and deployed it, and got other people to do it with the exact purpose of making the financial departments more efficient, that hit home for me when I interviewed him, says Coleman, who has presided over Jersey City, New Jerseybased KCG since it was created by the July 2013 merger of his company, Chicago-based high frequency trading pioneer Getco, and broker-dealer Knight Capital Group. Fully half of KCGs 12-person management team has engineering, math or computer science backgrounds and can write code. Its very important for us to have technologically literate people throughout the firm because were trying to leverage technology in everything we do, says Coleman, who has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and turns 51 in August. Like many of its competitors, KCG saw a slight drop in market-making revenue during the first quarter from the last three months of 2014, as U.S. equity-trading volumes fell, but its global execution services business enjoyed a one-time gain on the opportunistic sale in March of its Hotspot electronic foreign exchange platform to BATS Global Markets for $365 million in cash. Following the sale the proceeds of which KCG is using to buy back shares in a modified Dutch auction KCG has approximately 1,000 employees and makes markets and operates electronic trading venues in equities, fixed income and forex around the world. Among its latest initiatives is New Line Networks, a joint venture with World Class Wireless using microwave technology to connect major global market centers at lightning speeds.
See the full story, The 2015 Tech 50: Racers to the Edge.
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