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CEO of the Year, New York

SuperDerivatives is a global company providing real time comprehensive financial data, systems, technology and advanced analytics for derivatives trading and risk management in all asset classes. It includes a large research and development (R&D) division that develops the company products for the full spectrum of professionals in the financial markets, including banks, corporations, hedge funds, asset managers, insurers, auditors, brokers.

Since the day its Latin root was first coined, the word “super” has always meant the same thing. Above. Beyond. Better. Including Super in the company’s name was their deliberate choice. To say to their prospects, their industry and themselves that SuperDerivatives wasn’t just another resource, but an extraordinary one. Super sets a bar they have to live up to every day, and establishes an expectation in the eyes of their clients that they will receive from the firm the absolute highest level of solutions and services, so they can make consistently smarter and better decisions. Super means smartest, fastest and best. It isn’t just a word to SuperDerivatives, it’s the way they do business.

History

Founded in 2000, SuperDerivatives has repeatedly brought technology and services to the market that have been ground breaking and revolutionary. It was the first company to deliver professional financial systems entirely over the internet. SuperDerivatives proprietary analytics and market data had the firm widely recognised as the benchmark for option pricing; this work in OTC market transparency led many industry observers to comment on the contribution SuperDerivatives has made to the growth in derivatives volume. In 2004 the company established a market data division publishing implied data from the OTC markets utilising its expertise in market observations and analytics to provide clean, smooth volatility surfaces based on market activity. This was followed by an independent valuation service capable of pricing anything in the markets.

Advances in risk analysis and pre-trade tools culminated in 2010 with the launch of the world’s most advanced cross-asset derivatives pricing, structuring and pre-trade analysis system, SDX. This multi-award winning system included specific modules for traders, sales people and structurers and became the corner stone for specialist modules for corporate treasurers, middle office analysts and risk managers.

In 2011 SuperDerivatives launched the world’s first anonymous, multi-bank trading system for FX options in partnership with FXCM Pro and this was followed in 2012 by the launch of a market data platform, DGX, that is beginning to transform the way the markets view, access and manage news, chat, cash and derivatives data

The firm’s mission

The company’s high level mission is to be among the top 3 vendors in the financial market data space. The day to day mission is to deliver its clients the best and most up to date market data, analytics and systems in the market place. The technique to achieve it is to constantly engage with clients and get their feedback, requests, wish lists, criticism, etc. and document all in the company system. A special team is constantly reviewing this information and drive conclusions and recommendations regarding the steps our company needs to take (that is new products, services, enhancements, changes in existing products and services, and so on) senior management discusses the conclusions on a weekly meeting and make decisions if required.

Market Data

SuperDerivatives has, for some time, been recognised as the leader in the derivatives market data, and now aims to become the leader in all aspects of market data. DGX, has already been recognised as the most innovative, technologically advanced market data platform in the world.

The Cloud

SuperDerivatives has been delivering cloud services since its inception, before anyone coined the term ‘the cloud’. Everything they do has been designed from the outset to operate over the internet. The company is a regular early adopter of the very latest browser, server management and database technology to deliver optimal performance at the best possible price points.

How to ensure the CEO’s vision is executed across the company

The vision is conveyed to the employees via quarterly held town halls for each time zone separately. The company is ran in a very organized fashion- like a big factory or machine where all teams are like the cog wheels rolling together fully synchronized. The vision has to be fully divided into what it is made of, its components or building block so that each team knows what its role in executing the vision. There is a team whose role is to ensure that all teams are synchronized and work together toward achieving the goals set to the teams.

Challenges and opportunities facing the industry

In the current environment financial markets are conducting major cost cutting in order to reduce expenses. Markets data (data feed, data terminals, systems) is typically the biggest spending now and major efforts are done to reduce it. The biggest opportunity of SuperDerivatives is to deliver the best products at the lowest price and take over market share from its competitors such as Bloomberg and ThomsonReuters. On the other hand, the challenge is to sell its products to clients that already have partial solutions that do not wish to replace their current vendors in which case superderivatives is purely an additional cost and as such budgets are quite limited these days.

For example, in 2012 the company launched it revolutionary market data terminal DGX based on free text and extremely user friendly terminal that contain the largest amount of financial information in the market and is completely web based / live application on tablets and smart phones. Compared to its competitors’ terminals DGX looks like a leap in data terminals. DGX uses very advanced technology for distribution of large amount of data to a very large number of subscribers very fast and as a result does not require very large teams for data distribution. Thus the direct cost of DGX to the company is a lot lower than its competitors and allow SuperDerivatives to compete very successfully with much lower price than its competitors.

Staying at the forefront of emerging developments

The company uses the most advanced technologies and constantly upgrade the technology and look and feel of its products and services. Speed of development is key at the company and it operates in a way that allows a lot of flexibility in changing priorities of developments. The R&D operates in the scrum methodology where all tasks are broken to 2 weeks’ sessions and so every 2 weeks’ tasks can be reprioritized. The product management team which navigates the direction of the R&D within the umbrella of the vision is responsible to steer the development toward the forefront of any emerging developments. How to ensure that technology is ahead of the market There is the chief architect team which constantly reviews technologies and embraces those that seems relevant and helpful for the company. The implementation of new technologies by the R&D is conducted by the executive VP for R&D. Offering data and services to a sector requires deep knowledge and expertise by the sales and product team of the company. It is quite challenging to teach and train the teams to a level that they have adequate knowledge to develop a process toward a sale in several sectors. The methodology we developed was vertical by asset classes and horizontal by services. However, sales teams constantly received training in all asset classes in order to allow them cover their accounts in all asset classes while getting assistance from product specialists and product managers in each asset class.

Insight into the Tel Aviv region

The company sells all over the world with offices in London, NY, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Tel Aviv and there is a lot of similarity between its efforts in the different regions. Yet it has one huge advantage that its R&D is based in Tel Aviv which is a very dynamic high tech area that attracts the best talents and technologies and the company enjoys this very advanced technological environment to enhance its products and technology. How to develop and maintain the standards In long 13 years path I read management books and met lots of managers and management consultants and absorbed ideas and concepts. I adopted some of them which I found relevant for me. I strict to use some principles, such as accept to the company only nice people that can work in teams, full respect to each employee no matter if the person is senior or not, be open to every employee, encourage employees to bring their own ideas, encourage team work, each employee that hits a crisis will receive support from the company (financial, moral, services, paid days off to deals with problems, and so on), try to have as close as possible balance between number of men and women, equality is salaries between people that perform the same role.

What distinguishes the company from its competitors T

The company is unique in 3 areas:

1. In the professional aspect it is a unique combination of market data producer, great R&D team that developed the technology and a superb team of quantitative analyst to ensure that the company services offer the most accurate information in the most user friendly and useful way for the client. This is a huge advantage over our competitors.

2. In the employment environment aspect it is a very unique large group of people who are all smart, nice to work with, cooperate with colleagues, and highly motivated. Many employees of the company views this as the key reason they like to work for the company!

3. The company uses the most advanced technologies which make the cost of running our products and services a lot lower than our competitors. As a results it can compete on the price while offering a lot better products and services.

The future

The company was recently acquired by Intercontinental Exchange which owns many exchanges and produces enormous amount of high quality market data and has probably the highest number of professional clients in the market data space. This opens the door for SuperDerivatives to offer its data, products and services in a very efficient and low cost manner and expand its client base enormously very fast. The mission to be among the top 3 data vendors seem closer than ever.

Dr. David Gershon

David founded SuperDerivatives in 2000 with the aim of introducing transparency to the world of options. Since then, the company has expanded rapidly to have a strong global presence and is today recognised as the benchmark for option pricing and a market leader in derivatives technology including front end platforms, risk management systems, revaluation services and online execution utilities. Dr. Gershon’s vision to bring transparency to the world of options has materialised with a significant part of derivatives professionals all over the world utilise SuperDerivatives platforms for their day to day activities. Furthermore, many industry observers credit SuperDerivatives for the sizeable growth in the number of options users over the past couple of years and the dramatic increase in liquidity.

Company: SuperDerivatives Derivatives (owned now by InterContinental Exchange)
Name: Dr. David Gershon
Email: david@gershon.com
Web: www.superderivatives.com
Address: Azrieli Center,
round tower 28th floor,
Tel Aviv, Israel
Phone: 972 544638585

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