Who we are

STAC is a company that coordinates a community called the STAC Benchmark Council. Understanding who we are means understanding not just the company leadership, but more importantly the members of the Council and some of the many individuals from that community who contribute requirements, proposals, and code.


Peter Lankford, Founder & Director

Since 2006, Peter has guided STAC on its mission to reduce the enormous time and effort the finance industry invests in evaluating high technology. Working closely with both user firms and technology vendors to understand the biggest technical challenges and the most promising innovations, Peter has catalyzed industry benchmark standards in areas such as time-series analytics, risk simulations, and processing of very high-speed data. Peter has 26 years of experience in technology and financial services. Prior to STAC, he was SVP of the the $240M market data technology business at Reuters and held management positions at Citibank, First Chicago, and operating-system maker IGC. Peter has an MBA, Masters in International Relations, and Bachelors in Chemistry from the University of Chicago.


Tom Hansen, Head of Implementation

Tom leads the process by which STAC Benchmarks move from theory to reality. Leveraging his 24 years of hands-on experience in distributed systems technology, Tom oversees community development of STAC Test Harnesses (contributing a fair bit himself), ensuring that new benchmark specifications are auditable and practical, and verifying that new benchmark implementations submitted by Council members conform to specifications. As lead auditor, Tom also oversees STAC Benchmark tests throughout the industry, maximizing the quality of reported test results. Tom works extensively with user firms and vendors to help them get "STAC enabled" and obtain maximum value from their STAC Test Harnesses. Prior to STAC, Tom was with Reuters. As global product manager for Reuters APIs, Tom brought to market version 6 of the Reuters Foundation API (RFA) and had responsibility for the System Foundation Classes (SFC), a high-level interface used by banks the world over. Tom also significantly enhanced the services that Reuters provided to its development community. An experienced C++ and Java programmer, Tom was the lead developer for the Reuters SSL Java Edition and the C++ SFC API, after spending several years on development of the Triarch infrastructure. Tom has Bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


STAC Benchmark Council

The STAC Benchmark Council consists of over 200 financial institutions and more than 50 vendor organizations whose purpose is to explore technical challenges and solutions in financial services and to develop technology benchmark standards that are useful to financial organizations. User firms include the largest global banks, brokerage houses, exchanges, hedge funds, proprietary trading shops, and other market participants. Vendor firms include innovative manufacturers of processor, server, storage, and network hardware, as well as horizontal-market software providers and vertical specialists. Click here for a quick overview.


Click to see user members

or see a textual list

Click to see vendor members

or see a textual list


STAC Fellows

STAC Fellows are individuals from user firms who have made extraordinary contributions to the STAC community. Their contributions differ. Some of them have devoted considerable time and effort to the creation of research agendas and STAC Benchmark specifications. Some of them have provided key advice, connections, and energy that have grown the STAC community. Their backgrounds differ as well. Some of them are senior executives. Some of them are experts in particular workloads or particular technologies. But all STAC Fellows have one thing in common: a belief in the value of unbiased, empirical research based on community-sourced standards. (STAC Fellows are not STAC employees. STAC Fellows have many opinions and may use STAC forums to express them, but their views are their own.)

STAC began recognizing STAC Fellows in 2014. Below is the current list, with links to their profiles on LinkedIn.


Richard Croucher

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for key contributions to the research programs relating to network I/O and to STAC-N1 (benchmarks for network stacks).

Niall Dalton

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for technology foresight advice and contributions to the expansion of the STAC Benchmark Council.

Lars Ericson

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for key contributions to STAC-A2 (benchmarks based on risk computations).

Philip Beasley-Harling

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for key contributions to research programs involving STAC-M3 (benchmarks for tick database stacks).

Lyle Hayhurst

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for key contributions to STAC’s activities related to trade execution and for playing an instrumental role in expanding industry involvement in the STAC Benchmark Council.

Robert Heuman

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for key contributions to STAC-M2 (benchmarks for high-speed messaging stacks) and for playing an instrumental role in expanding industry involvement in the STAC Benchmark Council.


Daniel Seal

Fellowship awarded in 2014 for key contributions to STAC-M3 (benchmarks for tick database stacks).