The 2014 Trading Technology 40: Jerry Dobner and James Toffey



Jerry Dobner
Chief Technology Officer
James Toffey
Global Head of Electronic Markets
GFI Group
Last year: Dobner 19
(Toffey previously not ranked)

With over-the-counter trading volumes flagging, GFI Group’s $699 million in revenue through the first nine months of last year ran 2.5 percent behind 2012. But the technological heart of the New York–based interdealer brokerage — a 270-member team led by CTO Jerry Dobner — skipped no beats. “The conversations at the top of this organization are all about technology,” says Dobner, 43, explaining his steady funding for IT and his strategic mandate for the past 13 years: to develop proprietary systems and thereby outcompete rivals that have fewer in-house resources or depend on outside vendors. Intent on capitalizing on swaps execution facilities and other opportunities arising from derivatives market reforms, CEO Colin Heffron doubled down last spring, hiring fixed-income veteran James Toffey as global head of e-markets. Toffey complements the IT group’s R&D and idea-generation strengths with “his financial services background and understanding of markets and market structure,” Dobner says. Toffey, 52, had a hand in two market-structure breakthroughs in the 1990s: single-dealer bond platforms when he was at Credit Suisse First Boston and the multidealer revolution while he was at Tradeweb, which he founded in 1997 and ran for 11 years. Now Toffey says he foresees “more change in markets over the next 24 months than we’ve seen in 24 years. Using technology to win amid market-structure changes is the No. 1 priority.” Because of GFI’s “breadth and depth of trading technologies and protocols” across multiple asset classes, he adds, “I’m like a kid in a candy store.”

See also Dobner’s profiles in the 2013 Trading Technology 40 and the 2012 Trading Technology 30, as well as Toffey’s profile in the 2012 Tech 50.

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