Exclusive: Tradeworx founder Narang leaves high-frequency firm

Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:53pm EST
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Manoj Narang, an outspoken proponent of high-frequency trading and one of the industry's few visible faces, is leaving Tradeworx, a firm he founded in 1999 that only became active in high-speed trading during the financial crisis in 2008.

Narang declined to spell out why he was leaving Red Bank, New Jersey-based Tradeworx, but said, "I had a few differences with the board about the direction of the company."

Narang said there were no losses or expected losses at closely held Tradeworx, which he said has a bright future and where he remains a shareholder. Tradeworx accounts for about 5 to 6 percent of daily U.S. equity market volume, sources say.

There was no immediate response from Tradeworx management.

Narang has not decided on a future venture, but he said he is likely to remain in the financial services industry, is talking to people and is looking closely at the options market.

"I have a whole lot of ideas that I'm excited about that I've been wanting to pursue, so now is the time to figure out which of those ideas I'd like to pursue," Narang told Reuters.

"I'm particularly interested in options trading, I have been for some time, that's something Tradeworx doesn't do. Many of my ideas are in that space," said Narang, 45, who has degrees in computer science and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Narang has been one of the few industry leaders to openly discuss high-frequency trading because in his view it has "tremendous" social utility. He spoke out at industry conferences as "it's generally not a good situation when the public and policy makers are misinformed."   Continued...

Manoj Narang, founder and CEO of Tradeworx, sits in his company's office in Red Bank, New Jersey in this picture taken November 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar