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The 2016 Tech 50: Adena Friedman

The president and COO of Nasdaq is No. 8 on the Tech 50 ranking, up from No. 10 in 2015.

< The 2016 Tech 508Adena FriedmanPresident and Chief Operating OfficerNasdaqLast Year: 10

In a move to harness disruptive technologies and “future-proof” market operations and infrastructure, Nasdaq in May unveiled a business model that president and COO Adena Friedman describes as a modular portfolio of offerings across the trade life cycle. Dubbed the Nasdaq Financial Framework, it is a significant R&D initiative by the Nasdaq Market Technology unit, whose systems are used by more than 100 marketplaces around the world. Customers gain the flexibility to tailor various applications and emerging technologies — blockchain, for one, is fully integrated in the framework — to their needs. “What we hadn’t done in the past, and what the Financial Framework will do, is create a completely standardized, common messaging layer, a resiliency layer and infrastructure in a much more flexible way for people to add components, including things from other players and their own homegrown technology,” says Friedman, who last December was named COO, responsible for all global business operations and reporting to New York–based Nasdaq’s CEO, Robert Greifeld. The framework’s components are a high-performance communications and operations hub called Nasdaq Core; Core Services, which include connectivity, a data store and blockchain functionality provided by Nasdaq’s partner Chain; and an array of business applications. “The messaging framework will allow the blockchain to persist across each of the components, so as you go end to end, it will track the blockchain all the way through the life of a trade to settlement and depository,” notes Friedman, 47. The idea for the new approach came after two years of working on a trading platform overhaul for Borsa Istanbul that involved 18 Nasdaq technologies. “We realized how great it is to have all the components able to talk to each other,” Friedman says. She expects the framework to be ready for production by the beginning of next year, with the earliest adopters finishing installation about 18 months after that. With a BA in political science from Williams College and an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Friedman started at Nasdaq as an intern in 1993 and rose through the ranks until 2011, when she left to become CFO of Carlyle Group. She returned to Nasdaq in 2014 as president, overseeing nontrading businesses including listing and information services and technology.

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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