Dash Financial’s David Karat, co-founder and chief creative officer, and Glenn Lesko, chief growth officer discuss how they are meeting client demands and managing their own expanding business.
How did the company start?
David Karat: Peter Maragos (co-founder) and I met in 2009 but we came from different parts of the industry. He had more of a derivatives background while I came from more of a quantitative equity background. However, it was obvious at the time that there was a demand for real time transparency and an agnostic approach to performance, regardless of the asset class. Our objective was to let the client define what performance meant to them versus a broker just giving them a product in what they thought was their best interests.
We formally launched Dash in 2011, a time when the buyside was under pressure and were culling brokers. While our platform was multi-asset from the beginning, most of the broker contraction was occurring in equities, so options is where the most immediate interest was. We launched a suite of execution and transparency tools tailored to market microstructure and quickly gained market share. Our product broke down where, how and why each order and its child slices were routed, how long it took each venue to acknowledge each message and how long it rested on each venue, which was revolutionary at the time and is still uncommon. We now route approximately 14% of the daily OCC (Options Clearing Corp) volume and an additional 30% touches our workflow and compliance tools.
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