MANA Partners: Launching a cloud-native financial services company

About MANA Partners

MANA Partners is a trading, technology, and asset management firm based in New York City. The firm combines high-speed trading strategies with statistical arbitrage to create value for customers.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: United States

Supported almost entirely in the cloud with Google Cloud Platform and G Suite, MANA Partners gains a competitive edge, enabling it to complete quantitative research 4 times faster for better investment decisions.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Lays foundation for more scalable, secure infrastructure with Google Cloud Platform
  • 4x faster time to market for quantitative research that informs investment strategies
  • Reduces costs by 50% compared with other cloud providers

4x faster quantitative research

In ancient languages, the word “mana” often has a similar meaning: mind, spirit, or life force. MANA Partners seeks to bring this force to financial trading by combining two strategies: high-speed trading and a more traditional stock-picking technique known as statistical arbitrage. The company specializes in high-performance trading in global markets and offers quantitative and algorithmic asset management services.

Before MANA Partners launched with approximately $1 billion under management, it had to decide on a technology approach that would allow it to scale while maintaining consistently high performance for large financial analytics. As with any high-frequency trader, some of MANA Partners’ systems need to be located in the same data centers as financial exchanges. But for its business-critical software development and quantitative research infrastructure, it could consider on-premises or cloud-based environments.

Viewing on-premises infrastructure as an operational and competitive liability, MANA Partners decided to launch on Google Cloud Platform. With Google Cloud Platform, MANA Partners avoids vendor lock-in and reduces costs while improving time to market for the quantitative research that informs its investment decisions.

“Many financial services companies are hesitant to move to the cloud, either because they’re concerned about security or committed to legacy systems and contracts,” says Brian Goldberg, SVP Infrastructure and Engineering at MANA Partners. “We stay with Google Cloud Platform because it helps us sleep better at night. Google can help secure and manage data centers better than anyone.”

“We stay with Google Cloud Platform because it helps us sleep better at night. Google can help secure and manage data centers better than anyone.”

Brian Goldberg, SVP Infrastructure and Engineering, MANA Partners

More nimble financial services

By using Google Compute Engine to quickly deploy high-performance virtual machines (VMs) and storing petabytes of financial data on Google Cloud Storage, MANA Partners can scale to support even the largest financial simulations. Storage never runs out. The company uses compute resources only when needed, without having to purchase, deploy, and maintain a large infrastructure only to have it sit idle during periods of low demand. Development teams and researchers can begin working with data right away instead of waiting for systems to be provisioned.

“Google Cloud Platform allows us to be nimble and fast with a small IT team, and we don’t burden our data scientists with operational tasks,” says Brian. “The user interface makes it easy to provision VMs, and we get excellent throughput pulling data from Google Cloud Storage onto our compute nodes for analysis.”

MANA Partners also uses Google Cloud Identity & Access Management (IAM)—a free service for all Google Cloud Platform customers—to control role-based access to compute and storage resources and create authorization keys for programmatic access.

4x faster quantitative research

Instead of being limited by on-premises resources, MANA Partners can scale out in the cloud.

For example, when researchers need to analyze half a terabyte of market data using Slurm workload manager on Lustre file system, they don’t need to wait in a queue to run their grid computing jobs. MANA Partners can spin up hundreds of Google Compute Engine instances and return results in approximately two hours instead of eight, allowing analysts to formulate strategies faster and identify investments that are likely to perform well.

“With Google Cloud Platform, we spend our time solving complex financial problems rather than managing infrastructure. We work faster and can scale easily to support extremely large simulations, which accelerates time to market for our quantitative research fourfold.”

Brian Goldberg, SVP Infrastructure and Engineering, MANA Partners

“With Google Cloud Platform, we spend our time solving complex financial problems rather than managing infrastructure,” says Brian. “We work faster and can scale easily to support extremely large simulations, which accelerates time to market for our quantitative research fourfold.”

Reducing cloud hosting costs by 50%

By using Google Cloud Platform instead of equipping and maintaining its own data center, MANA Partners avoids paying for idle hardware and is saving the cost of at least one full-time systems administrator. It’s also getting more value for its money compared to other cloud providers.

“Google offers a better pricing model that ended up being approximately half the cost of the other cloud provider we considered,” says Brian. “We are also impressed by the stability of Google Cloud Platform—we haven’t had any outages.”

Launching a major hedge fund

To boost employee productivity, MANA Partners relies on G Suite tools, including Gmail, Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Calendar, and Hangouts. The company also uses a Google Jamboard to draw and share dynamic diagrams during meetings.

“Launching on Google Cloud Platform gives us many benefits and a solid competitive advantage. We’re doing what most financial services companies only wish they could do: scale our infrastructure on demand while effectively controlling costs and security. With Google Cloud Platform, we’re well positioned for future growth.”

Brian Goldberg, SVP Infrastructure and Engineering, MANA Partners

“I haven’t come across a company in New York in 10 years that isn’t using G Suite—it’s highly secure and easy to use,” says Brian. “The Jamboard is great for giving presentations and brainstorming. I can bring up diagrams and keep illustrating concepts to show the workflows.”

Creating more value for customers

With high-performance, scalable infrastructure to collect and manipulate data from stock markets and options trading, MANA Partners can gain a better picture of the market and generate positive financial returns for customers. It can also serve as an incubator for other financial technology businesses built on the firm’s infrastructure, creating potential growth opportunities.

About MANA Partners

MANA Partners is a trading, technology, and asset management firm based in New York City. The firm combines high-speed trading strategies with statistical arbitrage to create value for customers.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: United States

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