To the person on the street, Man Group is most associated with its sponsorship of the UK’s Booker Prize. But for anyone even remotely associated with the capital markets, it’s a powerhouse, and Man GLG is even more so. Charged with running the hedge fund group’s technology is no small task, which is why Kirsten Achtelstetter, the firm’s CTO, has been voted the technology leader of the year in the Women in Technology & Data Awards held in London on March 8.
As expected, Achtelstetter’s career has a rich vein of technology running through it. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, with a Master’s in computer science, she later gained a second Master’s in management studies from the university’s Judge Business School, during which time she worked as a summer analyst at Merrill Lynch. She later joined the firm in 2007, working as a business analyst focusing on software development. Stints as a consultant at RiskCare, a salesperson for the Marco Polo Network, and an account manager at Diligent Board Member Services followed from 2010 to mid-2013, before she joined the buy side at hedge fund Mandara Capital.
She stayed at the commodity derivatives shop for around three years, initially as a program manager, before shifting her focus to technology in her final year as acting head of technology, based in London. From there, Oak Capital, a proprietary commodities trading firm, hired her on as its head of technology and operations. There, she was responsible for building and running the firm’s technology platform.
Achtelstetter joined Man GLG in 2017 as its head of technology strategic initiatives, and was promoted the following year to CTO. At Man GLG, she runs a team of 25 technologists and works closely with the business, to the extent that hers is effectively a front-office role. People familiar with her work at Man GLG point to her ability to understand how engineering teams can work together effectively, and her leading role in ensuring that staff not only collaborate, but are properly socialized within their environments. To that end, she also promotes engagement within the wider business, having launched and run the popular “Bytes and Beer” internal meetup group at the firm, which hosts flash talks on current projects and emerging technologies, to which external speakers are often invited.
Achtelstetter is the second recipient of this award, after Wendy Redshaw, then-CIO for collaborative technology solutions at Deutsche Bank, who now works as the head of digital distribution at RBS, won this category in the inaugural Witad Awards last year.
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