Kirat Singh: Passion and determination personified

There is always risk in pursuing your passion as a career. Doing what you love, and being successful with it, often amount to two very different things. But for the determined and the lucky they can go hand in hand. With hard work, perseverance, and risk-taking, it is possible to find professional success pursuing your passion.

Kirat Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of Beacon Platform, broke stereotypes to pursue his passion of building software. His path has led him to become one of Wall Street’s premier technologists and the co-founder of an award-winning organization that helps some of the world’s biggest and most innovative financial institutions develop the flexibility, security, and scale they need to gain a competitive edge in today’s technology-driven capital markets.

Kirat Singh, CEO, Co-Founder, Beacon Platform

Childhood Fascination Sets the Path

Singh developed an interest in software at a young age. Growing up he understood that he could potentially leverage this interest for commercial opportunities, and was fortunate enough to build a successful career from it.

Singh’s life took a life-changing turn when he received a scholarship to attend Harvard University in 1992. At 17-years-old, Singh moved from India to the U.S to study mathematics. After graduation in 1997, he joined Goldman Sachs to work on the J. Aron commodities trading floor in the firm’s New York headquarters. Surrounded by like-minded people, they looked to solve complex transaction and reporting problems with technology and software. “In hindsight, it was an extremely entrepreneurial environment,” shares Singh.

Singh’s early years on Wall Street were challenging for someone not born in the U.S., but they helped to push him out of his comfort zone and allowed him to meet and learn from many different people. “I’ve always felt very fortunate that I can work in a field which I love, so while it’s been hard at times, it’s been intellectually rewarding,” says Singh.

The Building Phase

Singh started Beacon with almost 20 years of software development expertise, assembled at some of the biggest names in the marketplace, giving him the background needed to steer his venture to success. Working at Goldman Sachs’ provided him with a detailed understanding of how a platform encompassing data, analytics, and computing can help make financial service firms in the derivatives markets more efficient and help navigate around the potential risks of inaccurate market data. 

But this was just the beginning. After Goldman Sachs, Singh joined J.P. Morgan in 2006 to build the strategic trading platform Athena, followed by a stop at Bank of America in 2010 to build Quartz, that bank’s next-generation platform. Running on a compute grid of 40,000 CPU cores, in less than four years, Bank of America’s Quartz platform was utilized by more than 5,000 users across the bank. Achieving successful results first-hand from these major projects gave Singh confidence that a highly flexible, cloud-based, cross-asset platform was the future for capital markets and many other financial sectors. Singh approached his former colleague and friend Mark Higgins in 2014 and proposed the idea of starting Beacon Platform, and a new company was born. 

Beacon Becomes Industry Leader

Beacon Platform is the only transparent, multi-cloud native, enterprise-scale trading and risk management platform on the market. It contains integrated development, deployment, monitoring, and infrastructure capabilities, as well as a full suite of applications and analytics for advanced front-to-back trading and workflow automation. Transparent source code licenses, a broad range of plugins, and an App Store for distributing third-party applications gives quants and developers the tools they need for in-house customization and integration with existing systems, data, and models. Beacon was recently named an innovation leader in energy trading and risk management for 2022 by Chartis Research and awarded the US FinTech Innovator of the Year in 2021 by FinTech Intel.

Beacon Platform fosters an open and transparent culture where all employees are supported and encouraged to collaborate and share ideas. The company provides employees freedom to take the time to give back to the places and causes that matter to them. Singh nurtures an environment where diversity and inclusion are addressed with utmost importance. Operating a true “flat structure” work environment, employees at all levels of the firm are welcomed and encouraged to contribute to the success of Beacon and its customers. The result is a company that was named as one of the Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in 2021, according to the National Association for Business Resources.

Building on Core Values

Besides Singh’s passion for building software, his personal values are a significant part of his success. “Empathy for your clients and team, transparency, accountability, and respect for people’s time are some of the most important values to me,” says Singh. He believes an entrepreneur must be inherently flexible and possess the curiosity, passion, and drive to always be learning and seeking to understand new things. A successful entrepreneur should also be open to new ideas and never feel ashamed about admitting when you’re wrong, or when you don’t have the right knowledge over certain matters.

“You need to become really good at something you love, it doesn’t really matter what it is.  And then share your enthusiasm for it,” says Singh. He stays grateful for the opportunity to continue doing what he loves and looks forward to learning and growing with the Beacon team. He is excited about the new opportunities customers bring forward and the possibilities created by new technologies.