As Credit Suisse First Boston’s fixed-income division COO in the mid-1990s, Lee Olesky helped to mold one of e-finance’s enduring successes.
(Previously Ranked 14) As Credit Suisse First Boston’s fixed-income division COO in the mid-1990s, Lee Olesky helped to mold one of e-finance’s enduring successes. A CSFB colleague, James Toffey, founded Tradeweb, initially for electronic trading of U.S. Treasury securities, and Olesky created its joint-venture structure as its first chairman.
In August 2008, ten years after the system launched, Olesky succeeded Toffey as CEO of Jersey City, New Jersey–based Tradeweb, but his route to the job was circuitous. In 1999 Olesky went to work for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley to develop and manage BrokerTec, another dot-com-era start-up now owned by ICAP (see David Rutter, No. 19). He joined Tradeweb in 2002 as its London-based president, spearheading both product and geographic expansion.
Today 2,000 clients in 50 countries are trading more than 20 fixed-income and derivative products on Tradeweb. One of its hotter items is interest rate swaps, whose volume was up 71 percent in the first four months of 2010, exceeding $4 billion a day. European credit trading has grown ninefold in a year. Now with 550 employees, and owned since 2008 by a consortium of Thomson Reuters and ten dealers, Tradeweb’s understanding of fixed income, says Olesky, 47, extends across three tiers of the market — interdealer, institutional and retail. “We are applying technology to deliver price transparency, risk reduction and cost reduction,” he says.
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