Trading Technology Q&A: Joe Wald, Clearpool


Clearpool won Best Algorithmic Trading Company at the 2019 Markets Choice Awards.

Markets Media caught up with Joe Wald, CEO and a Founder at Clearpool, to learn more.

What does Clearpool do to be named Best Algorithmic Trading Company? Or in other words what is your ethos / core value proposition?

Joe Wald and Ray Ross, CTO and a Founder at Clearpool

At Clearpool, we’ve really reimagined what an algorithmic platform should be through our mission of addressing the inherent opacity in broker routing. Our aim is to empower market participants to achieve better quality executions by delivering advanced electronic trading solutions for an evolving equity market microstructure. We deliver a set of tools, which were not previously available, that give brokers greater control and transparency and empower them to partner with their buy-side clients to achieve better quality executions. We’re thrilled to be recognized by Markets Media as Best Algorithmic Trading Company for 2019 and look forward to even more growth this year and those to come.

What was your message to the audience at the award event?

First and foremost, we expressed gratitude to our clients who share our vision of transparency and control in algorithmic trading. They recognize that our platform is unique and gives them a suite of tools which allow them to evolve their own offering and differentiate themselves.

To have won this category also reaffirms our efforts, particularly for a company of our size and maturity. In just four years we have seen tremendous growth, amassing 120+ broker-dealer clients, routinely executing between 2-3% of the average daily US market volume, and jumping to over 60 team members today. We feel we’ve helped change the industry—very much for the better—and we are honored that Markets Media recognizes our continued efforts to punch above our weight.

What does Clearpool need to do to stay in the forefront (and presumably be considered for a similar award in the future)?

Brian Schaeffer, President and a Founder at Clearpool, and Joe Wald

We have an agile development process that allows us to roll out new features, analytics and product enhancements every few weeks which will help us stay at the forefront. And our quant team’s continuous research allows us to deliver innovative solutions that meet our client’s needs as the US equity microstructure continuously evolves.

We’re also examining expansion across partners, geographies and asset classes. We’ve already solidified multi-year strategic partnerships with major industry players and Clearpool’s award-winning Algorithmic Management System (AMS) empowers them to deliver fully customizable algorithms, have control and transparency in their routing protocols, and utilize comprehensive real-time performance and routing analytics. For Clearpool’s partners, the AMS has become an integral part of the trading process they have in place with their customers, who represent some of the largest asset managers in the nation. The last few years have been about proving out a model and solving a real problem for the US equity market—but this is just the beginning. The first step in our expansion is our entry into Canada this quarter, including the ability to trade interlisted securities. We’re also looking to expand our product suite to include other asset classes.

As a successful entrepreneur, what is your advice to the next generation of entrepreneurs in trading technology?

Brian Schaeffer and Joe Wald

Believe in yourself, know what you’re going to do and stay the course. When we had the idea for Clearpool, we recognized that there was a problem that needed to be solved, even though people told us that the last thing the Street needed was another algo platform. We didn’t listen to them when they told us we were nuts, that this was all commoditized. We believed in our mission because we really understood that there was a huge advantage in having control and transparency. So we made it happen. We funded the business until we were able to get it up and running and until we could demonstrate a positive track record to attract great clients that adopted the technology early. That adoption led the way to a first round of financing which gave us the ability to accelerate growth, prove the vision and make it a reality.

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