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Michael Spencer
Chief Executive Officer
ICAP
Last year: 4

ICAP chief executive Michael Spencer achieved a long-anticipated milestone in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012: Traditional voice brokering accounted for a minority of income, while the electronic transaction and posttrade risk and information businesses produced a combined 59 percent of the London-based firm's £372 million ($590 million) operating profit. "We are now, realistically, more of an electronic broking and posttrade firm," proclaims the 57-year-old billionaire, who started a modest interest-rate-swaps venture in 1986 that has since evolved organically and by acquisitions into the No. 1 interdealer brokerage. The slow economy and euro zone troubles contributed to a 3 percent drop in revenue, to £1.7 billion. But the high-tech strategy that Spencer has been pushing for a decade — the 5,100-employee, 50-office firm spent more than 13 percent of fiscal-year revenue, or more than £200 million, on technology — is bearing fruit. The CEO sees over-the-counter transparency and reporting requirements like those of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as "potentially a very big opportunity for us in terms of taking the OTC market to a more electronic environment." ICAP controls derivatives platform iSwap Euro, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as minority partners.