Shawn Edwards

Although a roaring business success, the Bloomberg network of financial data and news terminals had long been derided by competitors as a closed system that goes against everything the Internet stands for.

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(Previously Not Ranked) Although a roaring business success, the Bloomberg network of financial data and news terminals had long been derided by competitors as a closed system that goes against everything the Internet stands for. But five years ago the company completed construction of a gleaming 54-story headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side, and the glass tower’s transparency was more than symbolic.

Consider Bloomberg Open Symbology, a code-sharing initiative spearheaded by the privately held company’s 41-year-old chief technology officer, Shawn Edwards. The Bloomberg Professional Service securities identifiers are now publicly available on the BSYM Web site, leaving the old proprietary model behind. “It frees people from having to pay for instrument codes or translating between different closed systems,” explains Edwards, who holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University and who joined Bloomberg in 2003 after stints at Bear Stearns and IBM Corp.

Five years later, after working in technology development, in programming and as co-head of R&D, Edwards was named CTO by Tom Secunda, the founding partner in charge of all financial products. Edwards also oversees the look and feel of the Bloomberg dashboard. Launchpad 2010, the latest upgrade, is being rolled out now. “Workflow is a big, big topic for Bloomberg,” notes Edwards. He is also looking to exploit Bloomberg’s technology through its managed infrastructure platform, providing an outsourced data storage service for large financial companies.

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