The hippopotamus gets its name from the Greek word for “river horse.” The large African mammal can often be found sleeping in rivers or lakes as their skin texture means they become dehydrated without dipping in and out of the water. Because of this, they are well-adapted to living in the water. When they submerge themselves their ears and nostrils fold shut to keep dry, while the density of their body means they can walk underwater.
Like its namesake, Potamus Trading has adapted to its environment.
After developing one of the industry’s most sophisticated HFT platforms, in 2018 the firm pivoted its business to become a broker-dealer (BD) that allows asset managers to leverage its cutting-edge technology platform to more effectively interact with the market’s most tech-savvy liquidity providers.
“We consider ourselves an execution partner to the buy-side trading desk, and we believe that our interests are aligned while executing orders on their behalf,” said Managing Partner and Co-Founder Kristin Linnell. “Our objective is to level the playing field for institutions relative to more technologically advanced HFT market participants by leveraging technology and market-making tactics in handling large orders.”
Potamus was founded in 2012 by a team of investment professionals who had previous experience building a quantitative systematic hedge fund business from the ground up. The Boston-based firm’s leadership team is comprised of several boldfaced names from the trading community. Linnell was previously a senior executive with at systematic hedge fund PhaseCapital, while her fellow Managing Partner, Paul Govereau, co-founded several technology companies prior to Potamus after stints at tech giants Microsoft and Oracle early in his career. The firm’s Director of Business Development, Tim McCooey, held senior sales and trading positions at Citi and Société Générale, and was most recently a Managing Director at SenaHill Partners, a fintech investment bank.
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