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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.

< The 2016 Tech 50
5Shawn Edwards & Vlad KliatchkoChief Technology Officer & Global Head of EngineeringBloombergLast year: 6

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 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