In the space of just ten years, Pico has dramatically evolved from its early days as a small broker dealer to a leading global trading infrastructure and connectivity provider. Jarrod Yuster, founder and CEO, explains the factors behind the rapid development of his firm.
It is now a decade since you launched the business. How did you start out and what did you learn from that experience?
The first couple of years were actually extremely challenging but exciting as well. It takes time and hard work to figure out the right business model and to shape your offering in line with what clients actually need. Having graduated from Yale in engineering, I worked as a product engineer with Intel Corporation progressing to Global Head of Electronic Trading at Merrill Lynch and founding Pico in 2009. Because my main experience was in electronic trading, our first year was focused on replicating the broker-dealer model and serving a narrow client segment, providing low latency trading market access in equities for the US market. That’s a tough business model, where your commissions are very much at the mercy of market volatility.
I learned the need to be resilient and to develop the mentality that for every problem there really is a solution. Whenever there’s a tremendous obstacle or a punch to the stomach, there is a silver lining in there, it is just a matter of finding it. That mindset took a few years to develop but it is now the belief that I, and my business, live by.
Now every quarter and every year we reflect on key events, such as bringing onboard a client or market structure changes and ask ourselves what we can learn and what we can capitalise on.
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