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The 2016 Tech 50: Kim Fournais

The Saxo Bank CEO moves to No. 46 from No. 39 on the Tech 50 ranking.

< The 2016 Tech 50 46 Kim Fournais Chief Executive Officer Saxo Bank Last year: 39

It’s a little lonelier at the top of Hellerup, Denmark–based brokerage and trading innovator Saxo Bank. Longtime co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen stepped down at year-end 2015 (though retaining his 26 percent ownership stake), leaving the reins to Kim Fournais. “Some things become slightly easier when you’re one person,” quips Fournais, 50, who founded the firm with Christensen in 1992, converted it to a bank in 2001 and assembled an extensive menu of online products and platforms for a global retail and institutional clientele. The past year was notable for “a new platform, new technology, new partnerships” revolving around SaxoTraderGO, a multiasset trading system available in 27 languages. In the system’s first 12 months, it delivered more than 55 percent of the bank’s revenue from private clients, Fournais says. SaxoSelect, an open application programming interface launched in January 2016, allows various trading and portfolio management vehicles, ranging from a generic robo-adviser to an actively managed long-only fund, to run on SaxoTraderGO. The bank, which has €13 billion ($14.4 billion) in client deposits and wealth assets under management, partnered with BlackRock this year to combine Saxo’s investment models with iShares exchange-traded funds, also on SaxoTraderGO. Key to the arrangement: Saxo is not offering retail products of its own. “We have only one aim: to service clients in the best way possible,” Fournais asserts. In the spirit of fintech disruption, he adds, “we are not hesitant to distribute products that would cannibalize” those of traditional institutions. Saxo has also gone the partnership route to boost its presence in China; one is with financial news provider Wallstreet CN to deliver content and trading services on mobile devices. “These digital distributors are coming in with much better services than existing banks,” says Fournais, who sees Saxo promoting a “democratized” future that will provide efficient tools for people to control their financial destinies.

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  The 2016 Tech 50 Click below to view profiles
1. Catherine
Bessant
Bank of America Corp. 2. Jeffrey Sprecher Intercontinental Exchange 3. Lance Uggla Markit 4. Phupinder Gill CME Group 5. Shawn Edwards and Vlad Kliatchko Bloomberg 6. R. Martin Chavez Goldman Sachs Group
7. Robert Goldstein BlackRock 8. Adena Friedman Nasdaq 9. Deborah Hopkins Citi Ventures 10. Daniel Coleman KCG Holdings 11. Stephen Neff Fidelity Investments 12. David Craig Thomson Reuters
13. Michael Spencer ICAP 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 R3CEV
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 Numerix 35. Sebastián Ceria Axioma 36. Michael Cooper BT Radianz
37. Tyler Kim MaplesFS 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 eVestment
43. Stephane Dubois Xignite 44. Mazy Dar OpenFin 45. Yasuki Okai NRI Holdings America 46. Kim Fournais Saxo Bank 47. Jock Percy Perseus 48. Robert Schifellite Broadridge Financial Solutions
49. Brian Sentance Xenomorph Software 50. Pieter van der Does Adyen