The 2013 Tech 50: Ron Levi

‘It’s all about giving the market choice,’ says the COO of GFI Group.

Ron Levi
Chief Operating
GFI Group
Last year: 28

Technology serves a simply stated mission at interdealer brokerage GFI Group: “It’s all about giving the market choice — pretrade, trading mode and posttrade,” says Ron Levi, the firm’s COO since 2006. The jumble of choices can get complicated, but GFI has succeeded over its 26-year existence by helping clients navigate among countless pretrade research, pricing and analytical tools; order types, asset classes and exchanges; and clearinghouse connections. That complexity has been compounded by unfinished Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act regulations affecting over-the-counter markets, yet Levi has been saying “We’re ready” since soon after the law was passed three years ago. Girding his confidence is the commitment to homegrown systems that sets GFI apart from rivals, and what Levi boasts is “the most agile development team on the Street” — some 200 technologists led by CTO Jerry Dobner. Trading volume declines have been reflected in GFI’s revenue, which fell 12 percent, to $200 million, in the first quarter. But software, analytics and data revenue grew 11 percent, to $22 million, much of that from the Trayport subsidiary, which reports to Levi. In up and down markets, GFI invests steadily in technology, and “we can’t stop,” says the 50-year-old, who was director of fixed income at ICAP predecessor Garban before joining GFI in 1993. “We have to be ready for the new market structure.”

< 19. Tom Miglis | Back to Article | 21. Gaurav Suri >