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The 2014 Trading Technology 40: Kristian West

29
Kristian West
Global Head of
Equity Trading
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
(Previously not ranked)

Equipped with a University of Cambridge MBA — he had studied engineering at City University London before that — Kristian West went to work for Ford Motor Co. in 1997 to design diesel engine prototypes. But “the pace of motor development was just too slow,” West decided, and 18 months later, in 1999, he got on the faster track of U.S. equity trading at Spear, Leeds & Kellogg. That was more to his liking, and he revved up his career in sync with the trading race: in European equities after Goldman Sachs Group bought Spear Leeds in 2000, in high frequency execution at Barclays Capital starting in 2004 and as head of Europe, Middle East and Africa equities at J.P. Morgan Asset Management in 2008. He added other regions in stages over the next five years to become the JP­Morgan Chase & Co. unit’s global head of equity trading, based in London, overseeing six desks handling $3 billion a day in equity-linked products in 75 countries. Unlike many buy-side firms, JPMAM developed its own order management system, which initially is being rolled out in Asia and Europe, to put all the firm’s traders on a single platform. An added benefit of “building it ourselves,” West, 37, explains, is “the opportunity to create intellectual property.” Other tech initiatives include advanced, high-volume data visualization and analytic capabilities, designed to trade and serve client needs as objectively as possible. “End investors want us to articulate how the investment process works, which includes the actual implementation process,” West says.

See also J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Global Market Thought Leaders blog.


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