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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.

Kim Fournais
Chief Executive Officer
Saxo Bank

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
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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