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The 2017 Trading Tech 40: Susan Estes

  • By Peter Vasiliev

38. Susan Estes
Chief Executive Officer
OpenDoor Trading
PNR

In July, OpenDoor Trading raised $10 million in capital — on top of an earlier angel round of $2 million — and declared itself the first woman-owned bond trading platform. The founder and CEO, Susan Estes, is a 30-plus-year veteran of the fixed-income markets who has run trading desks at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. She and co-founder Brian Meehan hatched the idea three years ago for an all-to-all trading platform that would address liquidity and cost issues in the market for off-the-run U.S. Treasuries and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. Having called attention to these issues for years — one venue being the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, on which she served under Treasury Secretaries John Snow and Henry Paulson — Estes says of her market-building effort, "It's like trying to float a boat in the desert. They've taken away the ability to warehouse risk."

With trading on OpenDoor set to commence in April, participants with more than $3 trillion in combined assets under management are on board. Estes, who grew up in Las Vegas and received a bachelor's in economics and business administration from the University of Redlands in California in 1981, leads a team of 17 in Jersey City, New Jersey. They expect to have clients with more than $14.8 trillion in total AUM within four months of the launch. In September, Michael Paulus, a Treasury Department official during the Clinton administration who was most recently public sector group head for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong, joined OpenDoor as senior managing director with a focus on attracting foreign central banks; one signed on to be trading on day one. "At launch it's all about having critical mass among both end users and sponsors," says Estes, 57. "I have complete confidence in the technical build and the platform itself" as an answer to what she calls "the structural liquidity problems facing 98 percent of the U.S. Treasury market."

A key systems supplier is Broadway Technology, a company that Estes has known since 2003, when as a managing director of Countrywide Securities Corp. she became Broadway's first sell-side customer for the primary dealership that she was building there. "It is not enough to have a good idea and excellent technology," she says. "Many platforms have come to market with both and still failed. OpenDoor is addressing a debilitating and structural market problem."


The 2017 Trading Tech 40
1. Richard Prager
BlackRock
2. Chris Isaacson
Bats Global Markets
3. Bradley Peterson
Nasdaq
4. Brad Levy
MarkitSERV
5. Dan Keegan
Citi
6. Glenn Lesko
Bloomberg Tradebook
7. Bryan Durkin
CME Group
8. Mayur Kapani
Intercontinental Exchange
9. Mike Blum
KCG Holdings
10. Raj Mahajan
Goldman Sachs Group
11. Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional
12. Nick Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
13. Jenny Knott
NEX Optimisation
14. Billy Hult
Tradeweb Markets
15. Rob Park
IEX Group
16. Bill Chow & Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
17. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
MillenniumIT
18. Paul Hamill
Citadel Securities
19. Eric Noll
Convergex
20. Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology
21. Tyler Moeller & Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology
22. Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange
23. Gaurav Suri
Arcesium
24. Manoj Narang
Mana Partners
25. Michael Chin & Neill Penney
Thomson Reuters
26. Robert Sloan
S3 Partners
27. Anton Katz & Stephen Mock
AQR Capital Management
28. Donal Byrne
Corvil
29. Stu Taylor
Algomi
30. Alfred Eskandar
Portware
31. Steven Randich
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
32. R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group
33. Peter Maragos
Dash Financial
34. John Fawcett
Quantopian
35. Donald
Ross III
PDQ Enterprises
36. Jennifer Nayar
Vela Trading Technologies
37. Dan Raju
Tradier
38. Susan Estes
OpenDoor Trading
39. David Mercer
LMAX Exchange
40. Oki Matsumoto
Monex Group

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