The 2017 Tech 40: Peter Brown & Robert Mercer

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< The 2017 Tech 40

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27. Peter Brown &
Robert Mercer
Co–Chief Executive Officers
Renaissance Technologies
Last year: PNR

Last fall a Bloomberg story calling hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies “the blackest box in all of finance” quoted MIT Sloan School of Management finance professor Andrew Lo as saying the firm is “the commercial version of the Manhattan Project.” Lo also said the 300-employee, $48 billion firm is “the pinnacle of quant investing.” Both descriptions are apt.

Founded in 1982 by mathematician and former intelligence-community codebreaker James Simons, Renaissance rose to fame despite its unstinting secrecy thanks to the outsize returns of its Medallion Fund, long closed to outside investors. The fund generated annualized returns of nearly 80 percent, before fees, from its inception in 1988 through late 2016, according to Bloomberg. Simons retired in 2009 but remains non-executive chair; today the firm is run by co-CEOs Peter Brown and Robert Mercer, whom Simons recruited in the 1990s out of IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Both Brown, 62, and Mercer, 71, maintain low profiles, though Mercer’s has risen in recent years, particularly after he emerged as an active supporter of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Sponsored

In a rare public appearance in 2014, Mercer, accepting an award, described himself as “simply a computer programmer.” He added that in nearly 50 years of coding, he has “taken great pleasure in writing programs that do remarkable things.”


The 2017 Tech 40

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1. Adena Friedman
NASDAQ

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2. Catherine Bessant
Bank of
America Corp.

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3. Robert Goldstein
BlackRock

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4. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange

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5. Lance Uggla
IHS Markit

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6. Shawn Edwards & Vlad Kliatchko
Bloomberg

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7. David Craig
Thomson Reuters

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8. Michael Spencer
NEX Group

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9. Don Callahan
Citigroup

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10. Elisha Wiesel
Goldman Sachs Group

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11. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

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12. Terrence Duffy
CME Group

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13. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing

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14. Sean Belka
Fidelity Investments

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15. Chris Concannon
CBOE Holdings

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16. Guy Chiarello
First Data Corp.

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17. Steven Lieblich
Citadel

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18. David Rutter
R3CEV

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19. Blythe Masters
Digital Asset Holdings

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20. Alfred Spector
Two Sigma Investments

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21. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw Group

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22. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets

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23. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings

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24. David Gledhill
DBS Bank

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25. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings

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26. Antoine Shagoury
State Street Corp.

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27. Peter Brown &
Robert Mercer

Renaissance Technologies

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28. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group

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29. Peter Cherecwich
Northern Trust Corp.

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30. Mike Chinn
S&P Global Market Intelligence

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31. Chris Corrado
London Stock Exchange Group

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32. Neal Pawar
AQR Capital Management

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33. Gary Norcross
Fidelity National Information Services

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34. Steven O’Hanlon
Numerix

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35. Sebastián Ceria
Axioma

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36. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives and Kx Systems

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37. Tyler Kim
MaplesFS

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38. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz

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39. Robert Schifellite
Broadridge Financial Solutions

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40. Jim Minnick
eVestment


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