Forefront Communications

eFinancial Careers: ​This Former Prop Trader Reinvented Himself in Fintech After his Start-Up Failed

Old Mission

Mark Dowd

Mark Dowd


Charles Poliacof took a rather circuitous route to his current role as the chief revenue officer at Visible Alpha, a fintech firm that provides data analytics and a research distribution network connecting the buy side and the sell side. His career suffered a serious setback, but he was able to reinvent himself, like many Wall Street traders and fintech entrepreneurs have had to.

Poliacof started out as a proprietary trader for close to a decade at Schonfeld Group, where he managed a portfolio of equities and futures and was eventually promoted to manager of a trading desk, where he trained junior traders. During that time, he also immersed himself in the technology component of the trading business.

“I learned a lot about markets, identifying price dislocations and trading at Schonfeld, and I spent a lot of time with the quants as well, developing some of their strategies and working on trading technology and the infrastructure involved in building signal generation,” Poliacof says. “As the market structure evolved and pricing dynamics changed with the introduction of high-frequency trading, the role of the prop trader changed.

“A lot of those arbitrage signals that existed for minutes, hours or days were truncated to milliseconds,” he says. “Prop trading had to evolve and so did I.”

Read the full article here.

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