Allston Trading LLC, a principal-based electronic trading firm in Chicago that utilizes high frequency trading in some of its strategies, has named industry veteran Raj Mahajan, 39, to the position of CEO, the firm said today. At the same time, Carlton Jones, 37, who served as president and CEO, has assumed the role of chairman and remains president. The changes are effective today.
Mahajan was most recently President, Global Trading of SunGard Data Systems, running the 2,000-person stand-alone, global trading segment of SunGard, a $4.5 billion Fortune 500 technology company. He is relocating to Chicago from New York.
According to Jones in the firm's release, Allson is making significant investments to expand its business and is actively recruit talent. In a statement welcoming Mahajan as CEO, Jones said, "He brings to Allston not only his in-depth understanding of market structure across asset classes globally, but a tremendous passion for trading and technology, an innovative spirit and a proven track record at building businesses, leading companies and scaling organizations. Raj's leadership and experience in successfully developing and executing long-term strategies will accelerate our efforts to grow and diversify our revenue stream."
Korn/Ferry International's Board & CEO Services practice led this search on behalf of Allston.
Mahajan began his career in 1996 at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York as an analyst in the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division. In 2000, he co-founded and served as president of Kiodex, perhaps the first Software-as-a-Service risk platform designed for commodity hedgers and traders. SunGard acquired the firm in 2004. Mahajan was involved in integrating Kiodex into SunGard, and his role expanded in 2006 when he was named President of the firm's BRASS equity order management business unit. After leading the turnaround of BRASS, he was named President of SunGard's trading businesses. In this role, Mahajan expanded the firm's electronic trading and brokerage capabilities by launching new products and acquiring algorithmic trading firm Fox River Execution.
In December 2010, Mahajan was promoted to a senior executive level at Sungard and assumed responsibility for the firm's global trading segment, which serviced thousands of customers, including some of the larger largest banks, hedge funds, broker-dealers and asset managers. His segment provided customers in over 60 countries with trading, risk management, market data, network and brokerage products. This year Mahajan served as an advisor to several major private equity firms.
Commenting in the release, Mahajan said: "Allston has an incredible franchise, with its strong institutional backing from Sequoia Capital and Francisco Partners and its extraordinarily talented team of traders and technologists. The firm was a pioneer in trading futures electronically by applying a rigorous approach to quantitative research and technology innovation. I'm thrilled to team up with Carlton and the Allston Board and very confident in our ability to invest in and grow the business."
Jones joined Allston in 2003 as a trader specializing in fixed income, foreign exchange, equity index and European products. In 2005, he was named desk manager for the Fixed Income desk and subsequently group manager for equity and equity index products as well. In 2008, Jones was named head of the firm's London office, and later that year assumed the role of head of trading. The Board appointed him President and CEO in 2010. Prior to joining Allston, Jones traded for his own account and worked in telecommunications and computer networking. .
As a proprietary electronic trading firm, Allston trading operates on more than 40 financial exchanges, in 20 countries and in nearly all asset classes. Allston has an office in London and more than 130 employees globally.