Many have computer science or programming backgrounds. Most occupy business-unit executive positions, often in the C-suite. They are responsible for the high-tech machinery of modern financial markets — engines running at speeds faster than the eye can see.

These are the leading system designers, managers and innovators spotlighted in Institutional Investor’s inaugural Trading Technology 30. They range from, at the top of the list, the technology executives of globe-spanning exchange operators — NYSE Euro­next’s Dominique Cerutti, CME Group’s Kevin Kometer and Nasdaq OMX Group’s Anna Ewing — to, at No. 30, Tom Sosnoff, an options technology pioneer running a new-media start-up.

Eleven of the 30 represent exchanges. Several others are from buy- and sell-side firms and other ventures that run bourselike alternative or over-the-counter markets or trading desks hooked closely into exchanges. Whether focused on equities, fixed income or derivatives, all have evolved into technology companies.