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The 2016 Tech 50: Yasuki Okai

The president of NRI Holdings America drops to No. 45 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

< The 2016 Tech 5045Yasuki Okai PresidentNRI Holdings America Last year: 44

The longtime head of Nomura Research Institute’s financial technology solutions group, Yasuki Okai, relocated to New York last year to spearhead the Tokyo-based systems consulting company’s international growth. But Japan remains NRI’s center of gravity — the ¥421 billion ($3.5 billion)-in-revenue firm began life in the 1960s as a Nomura Securities International think tank — and the site of its most globally significant projects. Nomura Securities is still a top customer, and Okai says a milestone last year was the brokerage’s replacement of its in-house retail and capital markets back offices with NRI’s STAR and I-STAR hosted, or application service provider, platforms. The conversion both lowered Nomura Securities’ costs and simplified its technology architecture. “This highlights the trend that major broker-dealers are focusing more on technology-cost reduction because of issues such as regulatory compliance,” says Okai, 53, who has worked for NRI since it entered the tech solutions business in 1988. He points to a posttrade outsourcing deal with UBS Securities Co. in Japan, announced last September, as “a very significant achievement for us because it was the first utility service in Japan for investment banks.” At a time when many firms are trying to reduce fixed costs, “this implementation signifies that NRI was able to join the competition to make utility service happen for investment banks’ entire back-office operations.” NRI in June acquired Hingham, Massachusetts-based investment operations consulting firm Cutter Associates, which has more than 200 asset management, insurance and pension fund clients worldwide. In April, NRI launched the second phase of what it termed a “proof of concept to examine the applicability of blockchain technology for securities markets,” with collaborators including Japan Exchange Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Nomura Securities and SBI Securities. “We are excited to be leading the charge with great partners,” says Okai, though he believes it could take ten years for the “big change” of distributed ledger to take hold.

Visit The 2016 Tech 50: Making Financial Serivces Faster, Cheaper, Bigger for more.


 The 2016 Tech 50 Click below to view profiles
1. Catherine
Bessant
Bank of America Corp.2. Jeffrey SprecherIntercontinental Exchange3. Lance UgglaMarkit4. Phupinder GillCME Group5. Shawn Edwards and Vlad KliatchkoBloomberg6. R. Martin ChavezGoldman Sachs Group
7. Robert GoldsteinBlackRock8. Adena FriedmanNasdaq9. Deborah HopkinsCiti Ventures10. Daniel ColemanKCG Holdings11. Stephen NeffFidelity Investments12. David CraigThomson Reuters
13. Michael SpencerICAP14. Michael BodsonDepository Trust & Clearing Corp. 15. Charles LiHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing16. Chris ConcannonBATS Global Markets17. Blythe MastersDigital Asset Holdings18. David RutterR3CEV
19. Neil KatzD.E. Shaw & Co.20. Lee OleskyTradeweb Markets21. Richard McVeyMarketAxess Holdings22. Seth MerrinLiquidnet Holdings23. Robert AlexanderCapital One Financial Corp.24. Brad KatsuyamaIEX Group
25. Antoine ShagouryState Street Corp.26. David GledhillDBS Bank27. Lou EcclestonTMX Group28. Andreas PreussDeutsche BÖrse29. Dan SchulmanPayPal Holdings30. Scott DillonWells Fargo & Co.
31. Mike ChinnS&P Global Market Intelligence32. Craig DonohueOptions Clearing Corp.33. Gary NorcrossFidelity National Information Services34. Steven O'HanlonNumerix35. Sebastián CeriaAxioma36. Michael CooperBT Radianz
37. Tyler KimMaplesFS38. Neal PawarAQR Capital Management39. David HardingWinton Capital Management40. Chris CorradoLondon Stock Exchange Group41. Brian ConlonFirst Derivatives42. Jim MinnickeVestment
43. Stephane DuboisXignite44. Mazy DarOpenFin45. Yasuki OkaiNRI Holdings America46. Kim FournaisSaxo Bank47. Jock PercyPerseus48. Robert SchifelliteBroadridge Financial Solutions
49. Brian SentanceXenomorph Software50. Pieter van der DoesAdyen