Careers at Tower Research Capital
Tower Research provides a range of high frequency trading services to commercial and institutional clients, with a view to providing greater, more reliable returns on their investments through technology-backed transactions.
Tower Research was founded in 1998 by Mark Gorton (“Gorton”), a former employee at Credit Suisse First Boston. Gorton had become interested in exploring the ways in which technology could be used to make financial trading a more efficient and accurate process. During his time at Credit Suisse First Boston, Gorton spent time developing tools that would him and other to analyse financial markets quickly and efficiently.
Tower Research has since become a pioneer and market leader in the burgeoning high frequency and quantitative trading market. This growing market, and the Company itself, however, has received criticism from the more traditional trading community, as it is seen to be a more opaque system, with some critics concerned that high-frequency trading companies are profiting at the expense of institutional and retail investors.
Despite this, Tower Research has expanded its operations significantly, and continues to be one of the largest and most successful firms of its kind in the world. The Company serves a large and diverse customer base from around world, serving customers through its offices in New York, Singapore, and London, and employing teams of quantitative traders from a range of backgrounds and disciplines.
Tower Research remains privately-owned. It does not release information regarding its valuation.
Business model of Tower Research Capital
Tower Research operates as a high frequency trading company, providing a range of trading services to a broad range of companies. The Company operates in a similar way to other high-frequency traders making markets for global banks, brokers and other intermediaries, and indirectly providing services to retail and institutional investors, including corporations, individuals, hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds and other investors. The services that the Company provides to individuals are targeted at high-net worth individual and family offices, which control the funds of wealthy families.
Tower Research is based in the US, which represents its most significant market. The Company, however, serves an international client base, including customers across Europe, and Asia Pacific, with offices in London and Singapore.
Tower Research provides value to its clients in the following ways:
- Its range of trading channels, with the Company trading multiple asset classes across more than 100 venues worldwide, providing a broad range of trading opportunities to its clients;
- Its international reach, with the Company serving a broad network of clients across its native US, as well as internationally across Europe and Asia Pacific, including through its offices in London and Singapore;
- Its proprietary technology, with the Company utilising proprietary technologies and algorithms to drive systems that provide easy access to market data and trading simulations, allow the Company to create tools to analyse data for patterns, and provide real-time trade support and risk management; and
- Its range of expert personnel, with the Company employing a broad range of professionals across multiple disciplines that effectively complement their individual skillsets, including systems engineering, statistics, computer science, and finance professionals.
Tower Research operates a website at www.tower-research.com, through which it provides information on its activities, technology, and locations. The Company does not operate an online sales channel through its website. Instead the Company engages with clients through its in-house sales team, who interact directly with clients through its offices in New York, London, and Singapore.
Tower Research provides its services through a team of quantitative traders. The Company employs more than 30 separate trading teams, which range in size from a single member to dozens, each of which employs a diverse set of trading strategies across a broad range of asset classes on electronic markets around the world. Tower Research’s trading teams operate with strategic autonomy, but retain access to resources shared across the firm, including technology, software, exchange memberships, and market data.
Additionally, Tower Research is able to provide services to clients through a number of international affiliate companies that provide solutions on the Company’s behalf. This notably includes Spire Europe Limited, which is responsible for the Company European trading activities.
Tower Research does not offer any products or services to its clients on a self-service basis. The Company, instead, has its sales personnel and teams of quantitative traders consult directly with its clients, working closely with them over a period of time to establish the individual needs and circumstances of each client. The Company seeks to establish close, long-standing relationships with its clients, in order to secure recurring business.
Tower Research provides ongoing support to its customers, with larger clients having their own account management teams devoted to their needs. Clients are able to contact the Company directly through its offices across New York, Singapore, and London to receive personalised assistance. Tower Research also maintains a limited social media presence – which appears to comprise just a LinkedIn account – which enables it to interact directly with its customers.
Tower Research is a high frequency trading company. It is engaged in the development and implementation of specialist technologies and algorithms that allow it to quickly and efficiently complete trades and transactions across multiple asset classes and venues worldwide.
The Company employs a number of teams of quantitative traders – employing highly trained specialists from a range of disciplines, including statistics, finance, and technology – that analyse the markets and identify data patterns with a view to providing effective and efficient services to its clients.
Tower Research serves an international client base – which spans North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific – and operates a network of offices across New York, London, and Singapore.
Tower Research works closely with a number of partner companies and organisations that support the Company’s development and provision of various trading services. These partnerships can be categorised broadly as:
- Supplier Partners, comprising suppliers of various services, tools, and equipment that are utilised across the entirety of Company’s enterprise and offices to support its ongoing trading activities;
- Trading Partners, comprising various exchanges and trading organisations that provide the Company with access to a range of asset classes and trading venues;
- Communications and Technology Partners, comprising various technology service providers and communications specialists that assist the Company and maintaining effective IT and communications infrastructure; and
- Vendor and Outsourcing Partners, comprising a range of companies to which the Company is able to 0utsource certain non-technical functions, allowing its teams to focus on the Company’s core activities;
Tower Research is registered with a range of international exchanges and trading platforms, through which it is able to make trades and complete transactions for its customers.
Tower Research’s key resources are its technologies and intellectual properties, its IT and communications infrastructure – including its network of data centres, its sales channels and offices, its partnerships, and its personnel.
Tower Research owns and or leases offices in New York, London, and Singapore, which are key to its operations. The Company’s culture and ability to attract a diverse range of specialist professionals is also crucial to the Company’s unique service offerings.
Despite the importance of its proprietary technologies and algorithms, searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified no patent applications in which Tower Research was named as applicant or assignee.
Tower Research incurs costs in relation to the development of its technologies and algorithms, the maintenance and development of its IT and communications infrastructure, the operation of its sales channels and international network of offices, the implementation of marketing and advertising campaigns, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.
Tower Research generates revenue through the provision of various high frequency trading services on behalf of its clients. The Company derives its revenue from two principal revenue streams:
- Fee-based Revenue, comprising revenue derived from various fees and charges imposed upon its clients; and
- Trading Revenue, comprising revenue derived from its trading activities across multiple asset classes and venues.
Tower Research operates as a privately-owned company, and as such is not obliged to file financial disclosures on its website. Research identified a corporate directory listing that suggested the Company generates annual revenue in the region of $27.8 million. Reports suggest that in recent years, the Company’s revenue growth has been relatively flat.
info: Gorton has served as a membership of the senior leaderships at Tower Research since founding the Company in 1998, and currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Gorton is best known as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lime Group. This group oversees the operations of well-known peer-to-peer file sharing platform Limewire, which he founded in 2000. He also founded several other financial companies, including Lime Brokerage, where he serves as a director, and Lime Capital Management, where he serves as Managing Director. Gorton previously worked as an engineer at Martin Marietta, and subsequently as a proprietary trader in the Fixed Income group at Credit Suisse First Boston. He traded there for four and a half years, during which time he focused on developing sophisticated tools used to analyse financial markets.
info: Scott Johnston (“Johnston”) has served as Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Tower Research since joining the Company in 2009. He has also served a member of the Advisory Board at Shanghai Gold Exchange since 2016. Johnston is an experienced executive, having held senior roles at a number of financial services and exchange companies. He began his career, however, as a senior programmer at Townsend Analytics in 1987. From here, he moved to O’Connor and Associates in 1989, where he worked for several years as a software developer, options trader, and business manager. In 1992 Johnston was appointed Managing Director at UBS, a role he held for more than seven years. This was followed by consecutive spells as Managing Director and Chief Information officer at Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and Partner and Chief Executive Officer at XO Capital Group.
info: Alexandre Fournier (“Fournier”) has served as Chief Technology Officer at Tower Research since 2013. He first joined the Company in 2010 as an architect in its infrastructure team. Prior to joining Tower Research, Fournier was a long-serving employee of Societe General, where he held a number of engineering and management roles. He began his career at Societe Generale in 1999 in an engineering role. He was made a global infrastructure engineer in 2000, a role he held for just over a year before being promoted to the position of mail and groupware manager. In 2003 he was made an e-service manager and in 2005 he took the responsibilities of a market access developer. Fournier was appointed to his first senior management role in 2006, assuming the position of Head of Marketing Access for New York. This was followed by a spell as Head of IT for High Frequency Trading, a role he held for nine months before joining Tower Research.
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