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The 2016 Tech 50: Lee Olesky

The Tradeweb Markets CEO jumps to No. 20 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

< The 2016 Tech 5020Lee OleskyCEOTradeweb Markets Last year: 21

Having introduced institutional electronic trading of U.S. Treasury securities in 1998 and added more than 20 asset classes to its now-global platform, Tradeweb Markets did not just overcome the long odds that any start-up faces. The company also survived the turn-of-the-century bubble, when dozens of aspirants failed to gain footholds in online fixed-income trading. Lee Olesky, who had a hand in the original business plan approved by his then-employer, Credit Suisse First Boston, 20 years ago, says he can’t point to any single event or decision that got Tradeweb over the hump. He talks instead about day-to-day consistency and improvement in performance and service, saying, “Every day we come in excited about innovating. There is no endgame.” The founding chairman of New York–based Tradeweb, Olesky left Credit Suisse — a member of the ownership consortium now led by Thomson Reuters — to start another joint venture platform, BrokerTec Global, which ICAP acquired in 2002. He returned to Tradeweb as president and has been CEO since 2008. The 54-year-old espouses a wave theory of market evolution, and Tradeweb caught two big ones: the 1990s Internet-fueled boom and the post–global financial crisis swap execution facility mandate for over-the-counter derivatives. “Change creates opportunity,” Olesky says, “and each wave produces winners.” Citing a confluence of regulatory, liquidity and cost issues, he adds, “We are the beginning of the next wave of change.” On cue, there is a boomlet in new platforms like Direct Match, Electronifie, Liquidnet Fixed Income (see Seth Merrin, No. 22) and Trumid Financial. The CEO says Tradeweb, which has more than 275 technology employees and 850-plus overall, is “uniquely situated” across three segments: institutional, or dealer-to-customer, on Tradeweb; wholesale, or interdealer, through its Dealerweb unit; and retail through Tradeweb Direct. In February, Tradeweb launched its U.S. marketplace for exchange-traded funds after handling more than €200 billion ($226 billion) in notional ETF volume in Europe since 2012. In March the company acquired trade-data and workflow-management software company CodeStreet, part of a bet Olesky is placing on data science as increasingly crucial to “finding the other side of a trade” and other analytical needs.

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 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