Clear Street — Modernizing the brokerage ecosystem
Engineering6 min read
Jan 26, 2024

Engineering at a Mission-Driven Fintech

Clear Street

Clear Street is a diversified financial services firm on a mission to modernize the brokerage ecosystem. Founded in 2018, we’re replacing the legacy infrastructure across capital markets by building a cloud-native clearing and custody system designed for today’s complex global market.

It’s no small task! We’ve spent the last five years focusing heavily on creating API-first platforms, such as clearing, settlement, and custody, so we can scale to other parts of the market. Our proprietary technology platform adds significant efficiency to the market while focusing on minimizing risk and cost for clients.

Today, we provide clients, from emerging managers to large institutions, with everything they need to clear, custody, execute, and finance U.S. equities and options, and clear, custody, and finance fixed-income. In the future, our single-source-of-truth platform will serve a variety of investor types across multiple asset classes on a global scale.

Our mission guides everything we do here at Clear Street. To understand what this means for Clear Street’s 150+ engineers, we met with three senior tech leaders to discuss how Clear Street’s mission drives their daily work.

What does Clear Street’s mission mean to you?

Prerak Sanghvi, Vice President, Engineering: Our mission pushes us to think holistically. Instead of focusing on a single asset class (e.g., futures) as a product, we build for the entire ecosystem. Investors use multiple asset classes to construct their portfolios and manage exposures (say, by hedging equities and options with futures or using FX forwards to manage currency exposures). We build technology-driven prime brokerage solutions that minimize risk and cost for the client’s full portfolio.

Hari Godoble, Vice President, Engineering

Hari Godoble, Vice President, Engineering

Hari Godbole, Vice President, Engineering: Clear Street’s mission is the overarching vision that forms our values, which we aim to achieve by taking concrete actions every day. Our mission is to build a single source of truth platform that can handle every asset class globally. Every step we take and every action we do, albeit big or small, we never waver from a razor-sharp focus toward our grand vision. Our mission is like a lighthouse that guides us toward our ultimate goal!

How does Clear Street’s mission help the business stay on track?

Prerak Sanghvi: Our mission to replace the outdated infrastructure used across capital markets serves as a north star in everything we do. It tells us that we must always focus on client needs and how we can add value on a daily basis.

Prerak Sanghvi, Vice President, Engineering

Prerak Sanghvi, Vice President, Engineering

For example, when building products and services, we think beyond the core features we must implement - we also consider the interactions between various Clear Street systems and external entities. We assess the ergonomics of the product or service and build designs that fit seamlessly into existing industry workflows. In technical terms, we think about the APIs exposed by our system so that our products and services can integrate and add value in innovative ways.

Emilio Schapira, Vice President, Engineering: Our mission is the reason we have been able to assemble a best-in-class team with top talent from both the finance and tech industries. The vision of one modernized brokerage ecosystem is broad and ambitious, and it keeps the team motivated to know that there is so much to grow and accomplish. At the same time, we can focus our resources on specific areas and build compelling offerings for our institutional clients.

What practical strategies can jobseekers employ to find a mission that resonates?

Hari Godbole: Jobseekers can begin by reflecting on their own values and interests and defining their personal mission and vision. From there, they can investigate potential employers aligning with their values. It’s essential to look beyond blanket mission statements and evaluate whether a company’s actions and innovations show that it is mission-driven.

I advise professionals at every level to make an effort to attend networking events and engage with professionals on platforms such as LinkedIn. Analyze job descriptions carefully, and remember that finding a mission-aligned job is a continuously evolving process. Candidates should be open to exploration and adaptation as their own goals evolve. Taking intentional and concrete steps to stay true to one’s mission can lead to a fulfilling career.

Emilio Schapira, Vice President, Engineering

Emilio Schapira, Vice President, Engineering

Emilio Schapira: Hopeful candidates should look for a company mission with a successful path that pursues a significant opportunity. Often, this answer requires knowledge of the industry or the domain, so try to find experts who can help. For example, I was new to the financial industry when I learned about Clear Street, but I connected with industry experts in my network who could validate the company's mission. This gave me the confidence to move forward.

Consider recent investments to see if a company is truly committed to solving large problems and moving its industry or society forward. It’s a good idea to evaluate if the company leadership and investors are interested in and committed to making long-term commitments to achieve those goals.

At Clear Street, our clearly defined mission and vision align with the three pillars of our company: business, operations, and technology. Ambitious goals and constant realignment help us progress toward our common strategic goal. We connect these business goals with employee goals to ensure we all work towards the same outcome.

Clear Street is hiring across engineering, trading, and corporate services. Explore career opportunities here.

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