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The 2016 Tech 50: Jeffrey Sprecher

The Intercontinental Exchange chairman and CEO drops from the top spot to No. 2 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

< The 2016 Tech 502Jeffrey SprecherChairman and Chief Executive OfficerIntercontinental ExchangeLast year: 1

Nineteen years ago Jeffrey Sprecher paid $1 for Continental Power Exchange. Growing that test bed for electronic energy trading into Intercontinental Exchange, which in the first quarter of 2016 set records for revenue ($1.2 billion) and net income ($369 million), required quite a few leaps and bounds, not least the 2013 acquisition of NYSE Euronext for $11 billion. But the journey was methodical, if not entirely linear, as Sprecher assembled his global complex of 11 exchanges serving nine asset classes, along with six clearinghouses. Methodical, too, is the ICE chairman and CEO’s approach to the blockchain technology that many financial industry executives are trying to make sense of. “A lot of institutions in financial services are talking about how to deploy blockchain,” Sprecher, 61, says. “But the real value may be in the work toward common standards, a common vernacular.” Among the obstacles that blockchain, or distributed ledger, technology must overcome are laws and processes predicated on the existence of a definitive “golden record” for any transaction, he notes. “We will see an evolution rather than a revolution, but the work being done is interesting, as it has the industry talking about how to take costs out of the settlement system,” he explains. “To do that, the first thing we have to do is agree to a common set of standards.” In the here and now, the New York Stock Exchange in May officially launched Pillar, its unified technology platform for equities and options. “We’re getting better matches, better uptake from the industry, and we’re growing our market share,” Sprecher says. “Equity trading has evolved to the point that people thought more complexity would help. Frankly, we didn’t understand the complexity, and we said, ‘Let’s not do it,’?” opting instead to build a simpler architecture from scratch. ICE is also implementing an instant messaging system — for traders to communicate within the bounds of compliance requirements — and developing clearinghouse risk models. In June, six months after acquiring Interactive Data Corp. for $5.2 billion, ICE combined IDC and other data and analytics assets in an expanded ICE Data Services subsidiary “to offer clients a more complete, consolidated view of the markets,” according to Sprecher.

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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