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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.

Adena Friedman
President and Chief Operating Officer

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

1. Catherine
Bank of America Corp.
2. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
3. Lance Uggla
4. Phupinder Gill
CME Group
5. Shawn Edwards and Vlad Kliatchko
6. R. Martin Chavez
Goldman Sachs Group
7. Robert Goldstein
8. Adena Friedman
9. Deborah Hopkins
Citi Ventures
10. Daniel Coleman
KCG Holdings
11. Stephen Neff
Fidelity Investments
12. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
13. Michael Spencer
14. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
15. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris Concannon
BATS Global Markets
17. Blythe Masters
Digital Asset Holdings
18. David Rutter
19. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw & Co.
20. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
21. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
22. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
23. Robert Alexander
Capital One Financial Corp.
24. Brad Katsuyama
IEX Group
25. Antoine Shagoury
State Street Corp.
26. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
27. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
28. Andreas Preuss
Deutsche BÖrse
29. Dan Schulman
PayPal Holdings
30. Scott Dillon
Wells Fargo & Co.
31. Mike Chinn
S&P Global Market Intelligence
32. Craig Donohue
Options Clearing Corp.
33. Gary Norcross
Fidelity National Information Services
34. Steven O'Hanlon
35. Sebastián Ceria
36. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
37. Tyler Kim
38. Neal Pawar
AQR Capital Management
39. David Harding
Winton Capital Management
40. Chris Corrado
London Stock Exchange Group
41. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives
42. Jim Minnick
43. Stephane Dubois
44. Mazy Dar
45. Yasuki Okai
NRI Holdings America
46. Kim Fournais
Saxo Bank
47. Jock Percy
48. Robert Schifellite
Broadridge Financial Solutions
49. Brian Sentance
Xenomorph Software
50. Pieter van der Does

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