The Cutting Edge of Financial Innovation Is Here

By Irene Aldridge

Financial technology is moving in leaps and bounds. An enormous amount of development comes from crypto, where computer scientists, often unaware of established economic theories, progress with the design and development of super-optimal market-making, settlement and reconciliation systems. These systems often leave even the most sophisticated equities and commodities platforms in the dust. 

Indeed, the spillover has been quietly revolutionizing the financial industry. Take, for example, the latest, yet unpublished, research of Prof. Agostino Capponi of Columbia University Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) department. It focuses on market microstructure and intertemporal dynamics of market-making in the crypto and, more broadly, Decentralized Finance, or DeFi, markets — something uber-important for any crypto participant. Agostino applies his sharp computational expertise and deep understanding of economics to explain the situation and the impact of DeFi innovation on today’s markets. From any trader participant’s perspective, it is compulsory to understand the mechanics and, most importantly, innovation behind market-making and Automated Market-making Models (AMM). The AMMs have been quietly worked on by computer scientists in fore-runner companies like Jump Trading, and often yet do not even register on the radars of equity and commodity traders. Yet, AMMs are now impacting the markets in a dramatic fashion and are deployed to manage market-making across the board, not just in the DeFi space. We are incredibly grateful to have Prof. Capponi as our morning keynote at the upcoming 9th Annual Big Data Finance conference (, to take place 100% virtually on Thursday, December 9, 2021. 

On the other end of the finance spectrum, automated portfolio management is also taking and expanding its hold. Dr. Emre Ergodan, Managing Director, Multi Asset Quantitative Solutions at Charles Schwab Investment Management, and also a Columbia IEOR graduate, now runs the  Schwab auto-advisory business and has a unique high-profile view of the technical innovation in the area. Dr. Ergodan will also discuss the frontiers of that side of portfolio management at the Big Data Finance conference.

Of course, the data angle cannot be overlooked. With tremendous developments in the data spectrum, people like Prof. Andrei Kirilenko of Cambridge Judge Business School and Founding Director, Centre for Finance, Technology and Regulation there, has a front-row seat to the advances of technology across different ecosystems and will join us on the AI panel. Andrei has an illustrious background and view of the financial landscape and regulatory challenges that may be in store. We are looking forward to Andrei’s perspective!

Speaking of regulation, Kirsten Wegner, CEO, Modern Markets Initiative, U.S.A., an industry association, will speak about the best practices of crypto and DeFi markets and how regulation should address crypto developments. Alongside, Sasha Stoikov of Cornell University will share his latest research in this space. 

To register for the conference, please click here to visit the event’s Eventbrite page. Join us and benefit by staying at the cutting edge of innovation! 

Irene Aldridge is President at AbleMarkets, Adjunct Professor at Cornell University, Lecturer at Cambridge University Judge Business School, co-author of Big Data Science in Finance (with Marco Avellaneda) (Wiley, 2021) and author of High-Frequency Trading: A Practical Guide to Algorithmic Strategies and Trading Systems (Wiley, 2013), among many other books, research papers and other work.