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The 2016 Tech 50: Shawn Edwards and Vlad Kliatchko

The CTO and global head of engineering at Bloomberg move up from No. 6 to No. 5 on this year’s ranking.

Shawn Edwards & Vlad Kliatchko
Chief Technology Officer & Global Head of Engineering

Have a question? Ask the Bloomberg terminal. As a result of several years of research and engineering, 325,000 Bloomberg Professional subscribers can type questions into the search bar and get results that are more in-depth and tailored to their needs than those from a conventional keyword search. The underlying technologies — natural-language processing and machine learning — are “one of our biggest areas of investment,” says Bloomberg chief technology officer Shawn Edwards. While machine learning — systems that iteratively learn from experience and can extract predictive insights from large data sets — is piquing interest in many areas of financial services, “we are actually delivering,” Edwards says. “Machine learning is only as good as the training sets,” and what distinguishes Bloomberg is the “data, domain expertise and technology” it brings to bear. Edwards leads a team of 30 charged with “identifying and prototyping leading-edge technologies to solve our most strategic challenges.” More than 100 technologists are dedicated to machine learning, which is also embedded in such Bloomberg offerings as a liquidity-risk assessment tool and sentiment analysis of news and social media. They are a fraction of the 4,800-plus engineers working on infrastructure, software and web development under global head of engineering Vlad Kliatchko, who like Edwards is 47 and has been with New York–based Bloomberg for 13 years. Kliatchko’s organization is dispersed among 26 offices in 11 countries and has grown by nearly 1,000 in the past year. Look no further than Bloomberg to get a handle on the financial data explosion: On a given day the network processes 100 billion market data messages, or ticks. “Every year we have to be ready for the volumes to jump by 100 percent,” Kliatchko says. Just adding hardware isn’t the solution; the existing infrastructure has to be made “more scalable and efficient.” Although competitive strategy is kept close to the vest, Edwards’s and Kliatchko’s units are increasingly transparent, having recently launched the Tech at Bloomberg website. They are active in open-source projects and even preparing to publish Bloomberg’s database software, which could stimulate innovation in addressing performance and latency challenges. The CTO and head of engineering report to the executive committee: founder Michael Bloomberg, chairman Peter Grauer and longtime products and services head Thomas Secunda (No. 1 on the Tech 50 from 2012 through 2014). Since Bloomberg returned to his eponymous firm in 2014 after three terms as New York mayor, the tone has been “don’t be too conservative,” Kliatchko says. “We are risk takers. We should be investing in trying things out.”

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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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