Witad Awards 2023: Rising star (vendor), data, engineering and product development—Jess Ridderhoff, Exegy

Jess Ridderhoff started her career at Exegy as an intern in 2017, while she was still a junior at Washington University in St. Louis. She returned to the company with a double degree in computer science and electrical engineering and hasn’t looked back since. “It started when a professor passed my resume along, and at the time I jumped at any opportunity. But then I totally fell in love with Exegy, fell in love with the industry,” she says.

Her first major solo project was customizing Liquidity Lamp, a real-time iceberg order detection signal for individual exchanges. This meant going through the micro-structures in financial data with a fine-tooth comb, looking at individual orders and slowly scaling up to track reserve orders across days. Her improvements helped result in an update to Liquidity Lamp, the best-selling product in Exegy’s Signum line.“It was fascinating seeing all the different aspects of that project,” Ridderhoff says. “To start small, with just a single piece of data, and then slowly scale it up over time. It was painstaking. But seeing the progress was really rewarding and interesting.”

Ever since her internship, Ridderhoff has combined an analytical, detail-oriented approach to work with this pioneering, open-minded attitude. She’s currently trying to implement a mean reversion strategy on different symbols in the market with the aim of demonstrating how adding intraday reserve order data can improve a trading algorithm.

Ridderhoff has worked in development, improving the delivery of the real-time signal and its distribution channels, as well as in data science, looking for innovative uses of the data created by Liquidity Lamp. But it’s her research work that gets her most fired up. “The thing that gets me excited the most is when I’ve been going off on a tangent and researching some new machine learning algorithm or some facet of data science that’s really unique and powerful,” Ridderhoff says. “If it’s something that I’m learning for the first time, I sometimes can get really engrossed in it. I’ll say to my sister, ‘Oh my gosh, Rebecca, you have to let me tell you about this one thing!’”

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