16. Bill Chow & Richard Leung
Co-heads of Information Technology
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
Last year: 15

How critical is technology to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing? It is "one of our competitive edges," asserts HKEx co-head of information technology Bill Chow. Without "robust systems," he says, "it would be very hard to remain competitive. Many market participants have a lot of choices now. They will use other markets if we do not provide quality products supported by good infrastructure." Chow, 60, who also has the chief technology officer title and has been with HKEx since 1993, has partnered with co-head Richard Leung, 53, since 2011, when Leung joined the company after serving as Chi-X Global's CTO for three years.

They have delivered numerous system upgrades and supported the international growth championed by CEO Charles Li, including the 2012 acquisition of the London Metal Exchange and the launches of the Stock Connect trading links with Shanghai and Shenzhen that went live in 2014 and 2016, respectively. "We had to have the right technology, processes, and people to launch the Connect program," Leung says. It was not easy to link together markets that have "very different microstructures," he adds, but "we now have experience in operating the only international stock exchange that offers access to the mainland equity market." Among current priorities is "a new trading system for our securities market, scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter," Leung says. "We used open systems technology to give us the flexibility to add new functionality and increase capacity over the next decade."

The executives seek to strike a balance between the drive to innovate and the need to meet day-to-day business and operational requirements. "Innovation, efficiency, and reliability go together," Chow says. "We are committed to continuous introduction of new technology for delivery of new products and services while maintaining a very good track record in system availability."


 
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