Christopher R McGuire

Christopher R McGuire

SVP, Head of Applications,
Engineering and Product Management
Expert in UX/UI, Software Design and
Full Stack Solutions. Helping to Bridge the
Gap between Users, Designers and Developers for


Application Development

Frontend Development - Not Just Making Pretty Websites: Christopher McGuire

Frontend Development

It’s not just about a “pretty” website

28 Dec 2022

Frontend development is often misunderstood as either web development or the process of making an application look “pretty,” but it is so much more than that. There is also often a perception in businesses that frontend developers are not as strong as developers on the backend of the application stack. However, a strong frontend development team is complex and consists of people with expertise in multiple disciplines. It encompasses the development of any type of frontend experience-web, mobile, desktop and more.

The Mythical Full Stack Developer: Christopher McGuire

The Mythical “Full Stack” Developer

The frontend unicorn created by complacent managers and recruiters

22 Feb 2023

As a manager in the frontend development space, I understand the difficulty in recruiting for key roles. On one hand, candidates may lack any knowledge of graphic design and the tools associated with designing engaging experiences. Then there are those candidates that do have a grasp on layout, fonts, and color theory, but have no understanding of software development. Frontend roles bring an interesting challenge to a business. Though few will possess strong development as well as design skills, having deep knowledge in one area, while a cursory understanding or experience in the other is essential. This is the balancing act that many in the business world get wrong. Managers and recruiters alike believe a frontend engineer or developer needs to be an expert in all things frontend. They have developed the “unicorn”.

The Impact of Job Titles in Software Engineering: Christopher McGuire

The Impact of Job Titles in Software Engineering: Pitfalls and Solutions

How the focus to normalize titles benefits employees and firms

12 Apr 2023

Job titles have a long and important history in engineering, but this has become ever more crucial in modern software engineering. With the range of engineering titles available, people can be easily identified for their skills and experience when it comes to recruiting for a software engineering position. In recent times, layoffs due to economic, external, or pandemic factors have regrettably become far too commonplace, leaving engineers needing to find new positions again. By having clearly defined, industry aligned job titles, whether traditional like frontend software engineer or project manager, or something more custom tailored, those searching for work will be better able to market their experience and position themselves in the engineering workforce.

The Impact of Job Titles in Software Engineering: Christopher McGuire

20+ Years  /  Engineering  /  Graphic Design


SVP of Software Engineering,
UX, and UI
Full Stack Experience

Accomplished SVP of Software Engineering & UX/UI Design, recognized for pioneering the front-end transformation at Citadel with the creation of the first UX/UI Frontend Design and Development team that set a benchmark for user-centric development with a thoughtful full-stack architecture. Adept in building and leading global teams to innovate, architect, and execute multiple real-time and data-intensive applications, fortifying software with scalable, secure infrastructures. Expertise in merging technical acumen and strong architecture with intuitive design to accelerate product cycles by 25%, bolster user engagement, and drive operational excellence aligning team roadmaps to firm defined OKRs.

𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒅𝒓𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝑼𝑿/𝑼𝑰 𝑫𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒈𝒏, 𝒐𝒓 𝑺𝒐𝒇𝒕𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝑫𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔, 𝒍𝒆𝒕'𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒄𝒕!
✉️ Contact me at


SVP, Head of Applications

2024 - Present

As Senior Vice President, Head of Applications at Mesirow, I spearhead the comprehensive application development strategy for the multiple business lines, ensuring the delivery of secure, high-quality software solutions. Focused on leading and mentoring a talented team of developers, enforcing rigorous coding standards, and maintaining software security the teams collaborates with business stakeholders and vendor partners to align technology roadmaps with business goals, gather feedback, and prioritize project initiatives. Leading the team and business to push the boundaries of technology offerings to elevate the businesses to the next level.

Akuna Capital
Head of UX / UI Design and Development

2021 - 2023

Serving as VP of Engineering, UX/UI Design, and Director of Front-End Development, I started a course of transformation at Akuna Capital. The team initiated the organization of application logs into a single, consolidated dashboard. In the face of team-building, I cultivated an environment of knowledge-sharing, significantly reducing onboarding time and boosting satisfaction. With this strategic and collaborative approach, I accelerated product delivery by 25%, merging speed with quality in a testament to efficient innovation. Firm-wide, I ignited discussions around defining career paths for the technology teams, helping to support the career progression of development and IT individuals.

SpiderRock Platform
Director of Application Engineering

2021 - 2023

During my tenure as SpiderRock's Director of Product Design and Engineering, I kicked off a process to modernize our application designs, nurtured a productive development team, and effectively transitioned our work processes amidst a global pandemic. A firm believer in the power of good design, I also implemented a design system library transforming UI/UX strategies across the firm.

Citadel, LLC
Director of UX and UI Design and Development

2005 - 2019

At Citadel, I held several roles, where I notably built and led a the largest UX/UI team with frontend engineering focus within the firm. I reduced UI development time by 50% by introducing styled control libraries that promoted consistency across applications and intuitive workflows. Additionally, the team increased performance with a scalable microservices architecture. I facilitated cross-departmental communication, fostered vendor relationships, and laid the foundation for effective product marketing and training campaigns.

GE Medical
Lead Tools and CM Engineer

2001 - 2005

At GE Healthcare, I designed various software tools and automated processes, significantly improving the efficiency of design and testing procedures. Apart from testing Radiology Information Systems and PACS software products, I was instrumental in implementing a digital document management system and advancing common design and test processes.

Lead Quality Assurance Engineer

1997 - 2001

During my time at Motorola Mobility, I supported all stages of the software lifecycle for Motorola's GSM, GPRS, and UMTS products. I provided robust field support, designed an in-house GPRS IP Network, automated testing efforts, and contributed significantly to the testing of key functionalities within the telecommunication systems. As a team lead in Vancouver, I also coordinated cross-location test efforts and conducted training sessions for the local test team.



Purdue University
B.S. Computer and Electrical Engineering


Programming Language Skills

  • CSS   

  • HTML   

  • Java   

  • JavaScript   

  • .NET   

  • SQL


Software Skills

  • Adobe CS   

  • Balsamiq   

  • Figma   

  • Git   

  • Grafana   

  • Greenhouse   

  • Tableau   

  • VS Code   

  • Visual Studio   

Adobe CSBalsamiqFigma
TableauVS CodeVisual Studio

Technical Skills

API DesignData AnalysisData Visualization
Design SystemElectronFrontend Dev
Full Stack DevGraphic DesignMacOS
MS WindowsMobile DevNode.JS
Quality AssuranceSDLCSoftware Dev
System ArchitectureUser DesignUser Research
UI DesignUX DesignWeb App Dev
Wireframe DevWinFormsWPF
  • API Design   

  • Data Analysis and Visualization   

  • Design System Libraries   

  • Electron   

  • Frontend Application Development   

  • Full Stack Development   

  • Graphic Design   

  • MacOS   

  • Microsoft Windows   

  • Mobile App Development   

  • Node.JS   

  • Object-Oriented Programming   

  • Prototyping   

  • React.JS   

  • Quality Assurance   

  • SDLC   

  • Software Development   

  • System Architecture   

  • User-Centered Design   

  • User Research   

  • UI Design   

  • UX Design   

  • Web Application Development   

  • Wireframe Development

  • WinForms

  • WPF

Leadership and Soft Skills

Active ListeningAgileBusiness Acumen
Business StrategyChange MgmtCommunication
Cross-Fun. LeaderConflict Res.Cross-Team Collab.
MentorshipPeople MgmtProduct Mgmt
Stakeholder MgmtStrategic Plan.Strategic Think.
Team BuildingTeam Leader.Tech. Interviews
Tech. SupportTech. TrainingTraining
  Vendor Mgmt
  • Active Listening   

  • Agile Methodologies   

  • Business Acumen   

  • Business Strategy   

  • Change Management   

  • Communication   

  • Cross-Functional Leadership   

  • Conflict Resolution   

  • Cross-Team Collaboration   

  • Finance   

  • Innovation   

  • Management   

  • Mentorship   

  • People Management   

  • Product Management   

  • Stakeholder Management   

  • Strategic Thinking   

  • Strategic Planning   

  • Team Building   

  • Team Leadership   

  • Technical Interviews   

  • Technical Leadership   

  • Technical Support   

  • Technical Training   

  • Training   

  • Vendor Management

Respected Colleagues

Chris Herringshaw

Chief Technology Officer at Janus Henderson Investors

"Chris is a game-changing UI/UX expert and team leader, with a rare combination of modern technical skill on the best platforms, ability to partner with key business stakeholders, and a great instinct for workflow efficiency." - via LinkedIn

Jason Eplawy

Owner at World Headquarters, Inc.

"Chris is one of those rare people who gets every step of making a successful digital product. His ability to pair a solid strategy with top-tier design and development is unmatched and shows in the products he successfully creates. We’ve worked with Chris for several years through many types of engagements and have found his critical thinking and collaborative approach always motivates everyone involved to do their best work." - via LinkedIn

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Contact Me


+1 (312) 972-9724

5238 N Wayne Avenue
Chicago, IL

Online Presence

LinkedIn: ChristopherRMcGuire

Twitter: crmcguire74

Medium: crmcguire74

GitHub: crmcguire74

Hard Skills

Agile Methodologies
Applicant Tracking System
Data Visualization
Database Schema Design
Design System Libraries
Desktop Development
Enterprise Software
Frontend Architecture
Frontend Development
Graphic Design
Mobile Development
Node.JS (Project Management)
Pub Sub
Quality Assurance
React.JS (Project Management)
Requirements Analysis
RESTful Communication
User Experience (UX) Design
User Interface (UI) Design
User Interface (UI) Development
Web Application Development
Web Page Design
Web Sockets

Software Skills

Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Atlassian Confluence
Atlassian JIRA
MS Office Suite
Sketch App
Visual Studio Code

Coding Languages


Soft Skills

360 Reviews
Behavioral Interviews
Cross Functional Leadership
Cross-Team Collaboration
Employee Compensation
Highly Motivated
Intellectual Curiosity
Minimal Supervision
Performance Evaluations
Self Starter
Talent Retention
Team Building
Team Leadership
Technical Interviews
Technical Presentations
Technical Recruiting
Technical Training
Technically Savvy
Vendor Management

Christopher R McGuire

Director of UI / UX Design and Development


Seasoned Engineering Director with over 20 years in finance, focusing on frontend, UX, and UI design and development. Proven track record in creating user-centric products, leading large, multi-region engineering teams, and implementing strategic application architectures. Skilled Product Manager, experienced in the overall management of a product’s life cycle from conception to fruition. Experienced in assessing customer desires and requirements and generating a product or feature set that successfully meets those standards. An analytical thinker who works and leads collaboratively across multiple teams to successfully plan, design, build, and deploy products. Expertise in .NET, desktop and web applications, Android, and iOS platforms.

Key Achievements

Strategic Application Architecture

Bridged the gap between software development and UX, UI, and graphic design skills. Built and scaled design systems, and .NET and web application software libraries.

Performance Optimization and Resource Management

Optimized software performance and resource usage, managing client resource usage for optimal performance. Consolidated system logs and real-time analytics into single, accessible dashboards.

User-Centric Product Design and Execution

Led user-centered product design and execution, focusing on creating innovative, user-friendly products. Conducted user research, defined product strategy and roadmaps, built wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and full applications.

Leadership and Team Management

Managed large engineering teams across multiple locations, fostering a supportive and innovative team culture. Devised career strategies and implemented mentoring programs.

Full Lifecycle Software Development

Experienced in all phases of the software development lifecycle, with hands-on experience in both development and management capacities. Applied Agile methodologies to ensure efficient design and release cycles, and effective team management.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Established strong cross-functional partnerships, fostering collaborative relationships with business analysts, infrastructure, help desk, legal, compliance, and service development teams to ensure quality deployments.

Strategic Planning

Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic plans that align with company goals and objectives.

Change Management

Proven skills in managing change within organizations, ensuring smooth transitions during periods of transformation.

Work Experience

Head of UX and UI Design and Development

Akuna Capital, Chicago, IL

July 2022 - January 2023

  • Performed a business analysis of traders by leading visits to 5+ trading desks and the Chicago Board of and then generated user role definitions, use cases and workflows, and business requirements.

  • Improved team satisfaction and formed career development strategies for team members by identifying 3 key areas of discontent, advising the C-Suite of pay compression, career paths, and expertise focus issues, resulting with the implementation of an onboarding and mentoring program as well as a team re-organization to better support the team during new development activities.

  • Directed performance optimization, consolidating system logs and real-time metrics from 20+ applications into a single Grafana dashboard.

Director of User Experience, User Interface Design and Development

Akuna Capital, Chicago, IL

June 2021 - July 2022

  • Envisioned and executed the application architecture, managing client resource usage for optimal performance.

  • Managed a large engineering team, conducting over 100 software phone screens and interviews, expanding the UX/UI team from 6 to 15 members across 3 locations.

  • Assumed technical leadership for all front-end applications, leveraging Agile methodologies for design and release, as well as the team management role following the departure of the global head of UI.

  • Rolled out solutions for different parts of the stack, leading the development of a business analysis dashboard to monitor user workflows.

Director of Application Engineering

SpiderRock Platform, Chicago, IL

November 2019 - January 2021

  • Managed a team of 5 developers, re-architecting monolithic .NET applications into multi-tiered applications with Node.JS microservices, enhancing scalability and reusability.

  • Developed design system library for use in 10+ firm applications, improving UI and UX.

  • Defined requirements, built wireframes, visual comps, and full prototypes for a web-based dashboard supporting options block trading, and led the development of the application.

Director of UX and UI Design and Development

Citadel Investment Group, Chicago, IL

August 2016 - January 2019

  • Led the largest Equities-aligned UX/UI design and development team, enhancing user satisfaction and productivity.

  • Directed the re-architecture of 20+ WPF into application dashboard modules using React, Node.JS, delivering a user-friendly, scalable dashboard system.

  • Managed data analysis efforts across the frontend product suite, replacing 75% of live data grids within applications with live data visualizations based on data patterns and values.

  • Acted as the de facto Head of Product, facilitating communication with users to gather requirements, and led team efforts in addressing those requirements, prioritizing issues, consulting with vendors and cross functional teams to develop and release a solution to the user base.

  • Participated in vendor identification and contract meetings and pitched new applications to Ken Griffin and the C-suite resulting in business impact.

  • Educated the firm on the value of a user-centered approach and thoughtful frontend architecture, leading the largest equities-focused UX and UI team.

  • Conducted training for new feature and application rollouts, resulting in improved user adoption and satisfaction.

Software Engineering Manager

Citadel Investment Group, Chicago, IL

November 2012 - August 2016

  • Led the user-centered product design and execution of a JavaScript-based mobile platform supporting both iOS and Android for Equities and Commodities businesses.

  • Managed a team to design and develop 5+ iterations of the mobile platform and performed all user-focused usability testing prior to deployment.

  • Spearheaded a user-centered product design approach, conducting over 50 user interviews which led to the design and launch of the first mobile app supporting investor workflow in Equities Research.

  • Played a critical role in reducing development time by creating reusable controls for internal and external facing applications developed with C#, .NET, WPF, and WinForms as well as HTML/CSS.

  • Fostered cross-functional relationships with business analysts, infrastructure and help desk, legal and compliance, and service development teams to ensure quality application deployments.

  • Demonstrated cross-functional leadership by building strong relationships with business analysts, infrastructure and help desk, legal and compliance, and service development teams to ensure quality application deployments.

Senior Software Engineer

Citadel Investment Group, Chicago, IL

October 2005 - November 2012

  • Oversaw and executed the design of the Equities Research Broker Vote and Broker Research platform, serving as the lead UI designer using Java and JSTL, then migrating the code to .NET C# with WPF.

  • Played a crucial role in the rebranding of internal and external facing web and desktop applications, creating a consistent user experience through a Citadel-specific style guide and supporting brand libraries.

  • Developed a real-time data Alpha collection web and mobile application using extJS and Lightstreamer frameworks that became the first data collection app serving live data external to Citadel.

Software Engineering Contractor

Citadel Investment Group, Chicago, IL

January 2005 - October 2005

  • Redesigned an internal research library system, resulting in a centralized, web-based resource catalog improving resource usage by 15%, designing a custom database schema and optimizing SQL queries.

  • Designed and deployed GUI and backend of an internal development portal, including a PHP/XML middle-tier and Sybase database, centralizing all software development.

Previous Experience

Lead Tools and CM Engineer

GE Healthcare, Mount Prospect, IL | January 2001 - January 2005

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

Motorola, Vancouver, BC Canada | March 1998 - August 1998

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

Motorola, Arlington Heights, IL | January 1997 - January 2001


B.S. Computer and Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN | 1996