More broadly, Gildersleeve believes competitive advantage goes to firms where IT leaders are embracing a partnership orientation similar to Citadel's. "It's imperative to reject the paradigm that IT is a support function or a cost center," he says. "It's about being on offense by partnering with the business."
On the technology side, Gildersleeve foresees the commoditization of back-office systems as a game-changer.
"More moves to electronic markets, and more opportunities to further straight-through processing, will create efficiency gains," he says. "There will be a reduction in failed trades, breaks and, hopefully, counterparty risks associated with those, all of which could have a major impact on the industry's ability to reduce costs."
Additionally, Gildersleeve is exploring ways to break out of the firm's propensity to build systems rather than buy. "We're looking at outsourcing the non-value-add functions," he says.
"Where it's not a differentiator, we need to be more mindful of available technologies, such as SaaS or big data third-party tools," Gildersleeve adds. "Then we must be more willing to pursue a 'buy and integrate' strategy that doesn't sacrifice any of our proprietary aspects."
Head of global front office and risk technology, Citadel LLC
Size of IT organization: Total IT staff of almost 400; Gildersleeve's team numbers approximately 100.
Career bio: Gildersleeve joined Citadel in mid-2004 as head of treasury IT, assuming his current role in 2007. Previously, he was a VP in equities technology at Lehman Brothers, 2000-2004, and worked in Margin at Pershing LLC, 1997-2000.
Education: B.S. in environmental business economics, Rutgers University, 1997.
Individual most impacting his career: "Tom Miglis, CIO at Citadel. His focus around franchise value has been key to developing my own approach."
Work experience most influencing his career: "Seeing my team's technology exercised during the crisis. That resonated."
Relaxation: "If it's not work, it's family for me. There's nothing better than spending a round of golf with my wife and kids. Unfortunately, they beat me all too often."[Is IT Irrelevant? William Murphy, Chief Technology Officer, Head of Blackstone Innovations and Infrastructure, is a keynote speaker at Interop, taking place in NYC September 30 through October 4.]