Speaker Biographies – Chicago, Fall 2019

Boni Bruno, CISSP, CISM, CGEIT, Chief Solutions Architect, Dell EMC.
Boni leads the solution architecture team for Dell EMC’s Storage Division. He is an evangelist for Big Data Analytics and Digital Transformation and has over 25 years deploying high-speed distributed systems with massive storage capacity. He has given numerous presentations and has authored many papers on HPC, Analytics, Stream Processing, Machine Learning, Data Security, AI, and IoT and has actively worked with numerous financial firms in the deployment of algorithmic trading platforms and infrastructure. Boni holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. He also specializes in security architecture and penetration testing, his CISSP, CISM, and CGEIT certifications have been active since 2001 and continues to mentor and sponsored numerous security professionals across various vertical industries.

Dr Hugh Christensen, Founder and Head of Research, BMLL Technologies.
Hugh founded BMLL as a spin-out from the Engineering Department at Cambridge University where he published widely on limit order book mechanics. At BMLL Hugh designed the core architectures and now leads the research/product design. Hugh holds a PhD degree in Bayesian statistics from Cambridge University and undergraduate and master’s degrees from Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Statistics and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Prior to BMLL Hugh worked as a researcher in number of algorithmic trading hedge funds. Hugh has also worked as a researcher for the UK Government carrying out analytics on large-scale datasets.

Laurent de Barry, Founder & Managing Director, Enyx.
Laurent co-founded Enyx in 2011 at the age of 23 and holds 10 years of experience developing ultra low latency technology. As Managing Director of Enyx’s trading solutions, Laurent leads product and technology strategy, while overseeing the development of the next generation FPGA-enabled trading solutions. An electrical and computer science engineer by training, Laurent is passionate about high performance computing and bringing cutting-edge technology to market. Prior to co-founding Enyx, he worked on critical hardware components for the aeronautical and military industries.

Nino De Falcis, EVP, Sales & Marketing, FSMTime by FSMLabs
Nino is the EVP of Sales and Marketing at FSMTime by FSMLabs. With over 25 years experience in the timing industry, working for several industry-related companies, he is an expert in accelerated sales, marketing, business and channel development, technology and product roadmap. Nino specializes in GPS/GNSS time server, enterprise and cloud business clock sync, cybersecurity timing, blockchain and DLT timestamping, NTP/PTP, and PNT. He holds a BSE in EE and software and an MBA.

Dr Michel Debiche, Director of Analytics Research, STAC.
Michel is both quant and technologist, whose passion is making data science actually work for financial firms. He is currently leading the expansion of the STAC community to include more buyside firms looking to leapfrog to the best technologies and Analytics Ops processes for quant/quantamental investing. Prior to STAC, Michel re-engineered strategy development and implementation at numerous firms, first as a quant, then as a consultant. Employers include CSFB, Daiwa, First New York, CIBC, and Think Big Analytics, where he led the financial services practice. Michel has BS, MS, and PhD degrees in geophysics from Stanford and Princeton Universities.

Charles Fan, Co-Founder and CEO, MemVerge.
Charles is co-founder and CEO of MemVerge. Prior to MemVerge, Charles was the CTO of Cheetah Mobile leading its global technology teams, and an SVP/GM at VMware, founding the storage business unit that developed the Virtual SAN product. Charles also worked at EMC and was the founder of the EMC China R&D Center. Charles joined EMC via the acquisition of Rainfinity, where he was a co-founder and CTO. Charles received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union.

Brian Grant, Sr. System Engineer, Mellanox
Local Chicago Sr Systems Engineer for Mellanox covering the HFT/FSI accounts for our LowEST latency End-to-End Ethernet Solutions.

Dr Matthew Grosvenor, Senior Vice President Technology, Exablaze.
Matthew is VP of Technology at Exablaze. He's been working with the Exablaze family of companies for over 8 years. In that time, he has been involved in trading strategy development, market data acquisition, FPGA acceleration, systems optimisation, and measurement and analytics. Matthew holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. His research work focused on techniques for managing and mitigating latency variance in hyper-scale datacenter networks. He continues to publish widely in the fields of big-data, hyperscale datacenters, networks, latency and network measurement.

Rebecca Kelly, Kx Technical Evangelist, Kx.
Currently based in New York City, Rebecca has previously worked as a Senior Solutions Architect and kdb+ Developer for Kx at financial institutions around the world. Rebecca has a master’s degree in Informatics with a specialty in Machine Learning from the University of Edinburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Nick Kirsch, President & Founder, atsu corp.
Spent thirteen years building, tweaking, and shipping Isilon’s OneFS distributed file-system from 2002-2015. After leaving EMC, where he was the CTO of the Emerging Technology Division, he actively explored the intersection of machine learning and IT systems, learning from great friends at Madrona Venture Group, the University of Washington, Turi, and Igneous Systems. Nick holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and computer science from the University of Puget Sound and a master's degree in computer science from the University of Washington.

Peter Lankford, Founder & Executive Director, Securities Technology Analysis Center.
Peter leads STAC®, which provides hands-on technology research and testing tools to the finance industry and facilitates the STAC Benchmark Council™, a group of leading financial institutions and vendors that engages in technical dialog and specifies standard ways to assess technologies used in finance. Prior to STAC, Peter was SVP of the $240M market data technology business at Reuters. Prior to Reuters, Peter held management positions at Citibank, First Chicago Corp., and operating-system maker IGC. Peter has an MBA, Masters in International Relations, and Bachelors in Chemistry from the University of Chicago.

Frederic Leens, CEO, Exostiv Labs.
Frederic is an expert of the semiconductor and microelectronics industries. At Exostiv Labs, Frederic focuses on EDA (electronic design automation) tools for FPGA. Exostiv Labs’ tools provide superior visibility into FPGA to speed up design and improve the quality of FPGA-based systems used to prototype ASIC and SoC or deployed in the field. Prior to founding Exostiv Labs, he has worked for companies such as Barco, NXP, Philips, Atos and ASML – building up an experience in many vertical industries using semiconductors, ranging from finance and medical imaging to avionics. Outside his work Frederic is insatiable traveler, an avid reader - and a loving father.

Cliff Maddox, Director of Sales, NovaSparks.
Cliff has been working in the finance industry for the past 30 years. For the past year he has been focused on helping prop shops, hedge funds and banks upgrade their infrastructure using NovaSparks ultra-low latency market data solutions. Prior to that he spent 8 years at ACTIV Financial where he expanded their presence throughout the trading community. Cliff spent the first 20 years of his career building trading solutions for a wide variety of financial firms.

Matt Meinel, SVP Solutions Engineering, Sales and Business Development, Levyx.
Matt is a veteran innovator / entrepreneur in Capital Markets financial technology. He has been a key player at several successful, innovative financial technology firms including:Co-founder at startup 29West (low latency messaging technology) which exited to Informatica; RedHat CIO during transition period to the now popular subscription business model; Principal at O’Connor & Associates (bought by Swiss Bank which was acquired by UBS Investment Bank). At Swiss Bank he served as co-CIO and later at UBS Investment bank was Global Head of IT for the Fixed Income & Treasury Division.

Vladimir Polin, FSI Performance Engineer, Intel.
Vladimir works in Intel Financial Services Engineering team working on problem solving, code modernization and performance tuning for top tier FSI customers for new Intel hardware using different compilers, libraries and performance analysis tools. Also, Vladimir is the owner of Intel vendor implementation of A2 and A3 benchmarks. Prior joining this team Vladimir worked on compiler and performance analysis tools as well as on Parallel STL and leaded threading technology implementations at Intel including OpenMP, Intel Cilk Plus and Intel Threading Building Blocks.

Ray Prado, Technical Solution Specialist, Business Development, Intel.
Ray is responsible for growing the adoption of FPGA based Programmable Acceleration Cards in the enterprise by accelerating such workloads as in-memory databases and AI based data analytics. Ray joined Intel via the acquisition of Altera and has over 20 years of experience in the FPGA industry holding roles in engineering, marketing and sales management. Ray spent much of 2007-2010 enabling the use of FPGA’s in the financial trading industry growing the awareness of this incredible technology. Prior to Intel (Altera), he worked in the communications industry developing low latency FPGA based packet processing engines at Arris, a leader in the data over cable industry.

Alastair Richardson, Global Business Development – Financial Technology, Xilinx.
Alastair has over 15 years experience in the global fintech markets including trading technology development at JP Morgan and Credit Suisse, building the European equity execution product for low latency clients as well as trading multiple products including futures, equities and ETF’s at Barclays Capital. Prior to joining Xilinx in Global Business Development – Financial Technology, Alastair ran business development for start-ups including Fixnetix and Metamako.

Dan Romanelli, Chief Strategy Officer, USAM Group for QuasarDB
Dan’s career in FinTech has taken him from the back office to the front, from software and network engineering to product management and executive leadership, and has provided him with international experience within exchanges, B/Ds, clearing firms and vendors. Dan has led a turnaround for a FinTech software startup, grown independent business lines, and launched multiple electronic execution products. Currently, Dan is making it easier for FinTech firms to broaden their reach and visibility with their potential clients by advising on business development strategy and developing leads for them. After helping found USAM Group with this vision nearly five years ago, he has found the portfolio consulting approach as an innovative evolution in the search for new technologies.

Vahan Sardaryan, Co-Founder and CEO, LDA Technologies.
Vahan is a Co-Founder and the CEO at LDA Technologies, a known provider of leading high-performance FPGA-based networking products. Vahan’s experience in software design goes back 20 years and encompasses various fields such as high-performance networking, information security, realtime systems and such. He has been involved in electronic trading industry for over 12 years, 8 years of which was dedicated to HFT companies’ needs. Vahan holds a PhD degree equivalent in Applied Mathematics and is an avid chess player.

Theo Schlossnagle, Founder and CTO, Circonus.
Theo founded Circonus in 2010, and continues to be its principal architect. Theo earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University in computer science. He founded OmniTI, the go-to source for organizations facing today's challenging scalability, performance and security problems. A respected industry thought leader, Theo is the author of Scalable Internet Architectures (Sams) and a frequent speaker at worldwide IT conferences. Theo resides in Maryland with his wife and three daughters.

Dr David Snowdon, Director of Engineering, Arista.
David was co-founder and CTO at Metamako, which got acquired by Arista in 2018. Prior to founding Metamako, David gained a wealth of experience working in and for electronic trading firms, optimising their network structures, network performance, and building performance hardware, gateware and software. He has a PhD in Operating Systems from the University of NSW, Australia, looking at the effect of frequency scaling on power and energy usage. Outside of work, David spends time designing, building and racing high-performance solar powered cars in international events and formerly held the Guinness record for the world’s fastest solar powered vehicle.

David Taylor, Chief Technology Officer, Exegy.
David oversees product strategy, architecture, research and development, and also leads the pre-sales engineering, product management and marketing efforts at Exegy. He is an inventor on 37 United States and 29 international patents and patents-pending. Prior to joining Exegy, David served on the faculty and researched high-performance computer networks at the Applied Research Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis.

Rocky Zayed, Senior Sales Engineer, VAST Data.
With over a decade of hands-on expertise in storage and storage subsystem engineering and architecture Nadir "Rocky" has built high-capability compute and storage infrastructure for the customers of such companies as FusionIO, SanDisk, and IDG Global. Rocky's experience spans multiple high performance markets including financial services, academic research, government and manufacturing.