Liquidnet Adds Senior Data Science Staff to IA Unit

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Liquidnet, a New York-based technology driven trading and analytics provider, recently announced that it has added three new senior staff to its Investment Analytics (IA) data science team, and appointed former Prattle executive Steven Nichols as Head of NLP and Unstructured Data for the firm.

Recent Liquidnet Hires

Liquidnet recently promoted Steven Nichols to the role of Head of NLP and Unstructured Data.  Nichols joined Liquidnet through the firm’s 2019 acquisition of technology company Prattle, where he was a Director of Data Science.  Steven has been instrumental in the development of Liquidnet’s NLP capabilities and their integration into the Liquidnet Investment Analytics product suite, combining AI tools like machine learning and NLP with traditional and alternative data to help uncover the actionable insights hidden within data and content.  In his new role, Steven will guide the strategic direction of the NLP team while serving as one of the leaders on the Liquidnet data science team.

In addition to this promotion, Liquidnet recently hired Nicholas Burtch, PhD; Anthony Schramm, PhD; and Yusong Liu – to its data science team.  Dr. Burtch is a former recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Fellowship and NSF Graduate Fellowship, and he previously worked for 3 years at Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. Schramm was most recently a Graduate Research Fellow at Yale University and a Fellow at The Data Incubator in New York City.  Liu joins Liquidnet from the University of Washington (Seattle), where he earned his master’s degree and oversaw projects on sentiment analysis using neural methods.  All three join Liquidnet with deep experience in natural language processing, quantitative analysis, machine learning, data visualization and algorithm development.

Tom Doris, Chief Data Scientist at Liquidnet explained these promotions and recent staff additions, “We’re committed to building out the deepest data science capabilities possible to help asset managers navigate a complex trading and investment environment. With these new additions and with Steven at the helm, our NLP expertise will grow even stronger.”

Our Take

As we wrote about a few months ago, Liquidnet recently launched its new Investment Analytics (IA) business unit, along with its first four IA products – IA Trader, IA PM, IA RSRCHX and IA APIs.  Vicky Sanders, Liquidnet’s Global Head of Investment Analytics explained the purpose of this new division, “With the launch of the IA business and its product suite, we aim to democratize access to data science, AI and advanced analytics, in order to ensure that crucial information is available to investment firms of all sizes.”

Liquidnet’s recent promotion of Steven Nichols, and the addition of three highly experience data scientists to its team, all make sense as they are an important part of this vision – to enhance their own internal data science capabilities in an effort to make them more accessible to all types of asset management firms.

Despite the expansion of its Data Science team, it is not clear whether Liquidnet’s Investment Analytics group is currently providing access to many third-party datasets via its platform – a key factor to leveraging its data science capabilities.  Currently, the IA team is primarily marketing its Central Bank sentiment scores, Corporate Communications Scores, and Trader Analytics which were produced by the former Prattle and OTAS teams. 

Going forward, we suspect Liquidnet will need either to create a wide range of its own datasets or it will need to add third-party datasets in order to help create new alpha generating signals for their buyside clients.  It is likely that new third-party data partnerships and new internally developed datasets are in the offing.

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Mike Mayhew is one of the leading experts on the investment research industry. In addition to founding Integrity Research, Mike is on the board of directors of Investorside Research Association, the non-profit trade association for the independent research industry, and a frequent speaker on research industry trends and developments. Mike has over thirty years of research industry experience. Email: Michael.Mayhew@integrity-research.com

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