Board of Directors

Thomas Ascher

Executive Chairman of the Board


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Tom Ascher brings more than 30 years of experience across the financial technology and exchange industries. Tom has served in a range of roles, including President and CEO of pari-mutuel software firm Longitude LLC, Chief Strategy Officer at ISE, and Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Executive Committee at the CBOE, as well as serving on numerous industry boards, including the CBOE and Direct Edge Holdings.

Ben Cukier

Board Member


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Ben Cukier founded Centana Growth in 2015 and is one of its Partners. Before founding Centana Growth, Ben spent over 20 years in growth equity and finance. Ben has developed a keen understanding of the key players, regulatory environment and complexities of the asset management sub sector, as well as the broader financial services world. He previously led investments in companies including Aspire, Cloudmark, ETF Securities, IndexIQ (acquired by NYLife), Powershares (acquired by Invesco), Swan Global, and VelocityShares (acquired by Janus). Ben spent 16 years at FTV Capital, a $2 billion growth equity fund, where he was a partner, served on the management committee, and led investments in financial services. Before FTV, Ben served on the telecommunications and media team at Madison Dearborn Partners in Chicago and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He received a BS in finance and a BA in international relations summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Steven Swain

Board Member


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Steve Swain founded Centana Growth in 2015 and is one of its Partners. Before founding Centana Growth, Steve spent 23 years focused on launching, operating and advising financial services firms. Steve was the President of Global X Management, a sponsor of exchange traded funds; an executive advisor at Aquiline Capital Partners; the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Lyster Watson & Company; and a Senior Vice President at Lazard Asset Management. He began his career as a securities attorney with the Washington DC law firm of Routier, Mackey and Johnson. He received a BA cum laude from Clark University, a JD from Villanova Law School and an MBA from The George Washington University. Steve is the chair of Clark University’s Board of Trustees.

Robert Almgren

President & Co-Founder


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Robert oversees the firm’s quantitative research, analysis of best execution algorithms, and transactional cost measurement. Before founding Quantitative Brokers in 2008, Robert was Head of Quantitative Strategies in the Electronic Trading Services group of Bank of America Securities. He is currently a Fellow in the Mathematics in Finance Program at New York University. Robert has an extensive research record in applied mathematics, including several papers on optimal securities trading, transaction cost measurement, and portfolio formation.

Christian Hauff

CEO & Co-Founder


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Christian oversees the firm’s product and business development. Prior to founding QB in 2008, Christian spent three years at Bank of America Securities as Head of Electronic Equity Derivatives and Head of E-Sales for Global Rates Currencies & Commodities. While abroad from his Australian homeland in 1999, Christian joined Barclays Capital’s IT Graduate Program in London. He spent the following year in Chicago working on electronic order entry with the firm’s Eurodollar and Treasury floor-brokers…and his fascination with futures and electronic brokerage was born. From 2001-2005, Christian worked in E-Commerce helping the firm design and launch electronic offerings in futures, fixed income, FX and commodities.