Joe Gits


CEO and Co-Founder

Joe is a pioneer in the emergence and growth of quantitative trading systems.

Prior to launching Social Market Analytics (SMA), he co-founded Quantitative Analytics, Inc. (QAI), a market-leading provider of integrated database solutions for quantitative researchers and traders.

Joe integrated QAI’s technology into Thomson Financial (now Thomson Reuters), after its 2007 acquisition. He oversaw the development and maintenance of the content, analytics and APIs that drove historical analytics.

Joe earned his MBA from DePaul University and his BA from the University of Iowa. He is a CFA Charterholder.

Jeff Blaschak


CDO and Co-Founder

As Chief Data Officer and Principal Researcher, Jeff synthesizes his success leading research teams in the public and private sectors to define and enhance SMA’s analytical process.

He launched his research career at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, where he learned real world principles of signal detection, estimation and signature analysis.

Jeff coordinated teams addressing diverse areas of applied mathematics, computational finance, derivatives trading and signal processing. Results of this work have been leveraged at some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Bank One Capital Markets, Northrup Grumman, and the US Air Force Research Laboratory.

Jeff served as Vice President with Capital Market Systems at First Chicago (now Chase Bank) performing quantitative software development for trading and risk management systems.

He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University, his MS from Purdue University and his BS from the University of Pittsburgh.

Umair Rafiq


Director Software Development

Umair brings with him extensive experience in developing Financial Applications in various platforms and design architectures. Steering his work in the world of Mobile and Web Development along with large scale Server Applications, his portfolio covers delivery of Products that cover all endpoints. His ability to manage teams on and offshore brings out the best of teams efforts to deliver state of the art solutions.

Umair’s previous work involves integrating different financial data vendors onto a common platform while working with QAI and later Thomson Reuters. He established a consolidated framework capable of supporting, maintaining and monitoring coverage of stocks from different data vendors.

Umair brings ample experience in managing Big Data, with his experience in developing Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCiM) solutions with integration to industry standard hardware communication protocols, data collection, monitoring and developing optimization algorithms to maximize productivity.

Bachelors of Computer Sciences from National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES - FAST)

Aditya Sharm


Business Analyst

Aditya handles projects that bridge the gap between the development team and SMA customers. He works closely with the company’s development and research team to make sure SMA customers are getting the most out of SMA data and software. He is also involved in the company’s research efforts.

Aditya has a strong understanding of global trading markets having worked globally in Risk Management and Trading. Aditya has strong experience developing financial models with an emphasis on reducing tail event risk.

Aditya earned his MS in Finance from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from India. He is a CFA Level III candidate.




Kim holds SMA accountable to shareholders and manages the company’s financial operation.

She began her career at Continental Illinois Bank as a credit analyst. Kim has worked in both over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivatives for First Chicago, Bank of Montreal and JP Morgan.

Kim holds an MBA with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Econometrics. She earned her BS from Indiana University. Kim is a CFA Charterholder.

Rob Eckardt


Advisory Board Member

Rob’s focus is building SMA’s sales engines across both the institutional and retail channels.

He has guided technology solutions companies to and through IPO and M&A events: Fusion – IO (IPO 2011), 3PAR (IPO 2007, acquired by Hewlett-Packard) and Cygnet Software (acquired by Weatherford International).

Rob is an Investing Member of the Hyde Park Angels, providing investment and counsel to seed and early stage businesses. He is also on the Advisory Boards at XOEye Technologies and TruMarx Data Partners.

Rob earned his BS in Computer Science from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Managing Director, Sales

Doug has spent his career within investment bank investor services focused on global equities and fixed income having lived in Chicago, London, and Tokyo.

After APAC, Doug returned to NA to focus on Dodd-Frank and mandatory clearing, SEFs, and collateral and balance sheet optimization. Doug is enthusiastic about SMA’s value to clients in predictive market analytics and likens it to a rise in the din on a trading floor. “It’s not necessarily what you know in trading, it’s when you know it!”

Doug earned his BS at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.