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The 2016 Tech 50: Phupinder Gill

CME Group’s CEO comes in at No. 4 on the Tech 50 ranking.

Phupinder Gill
Chief Executive Officer
CME Group

Financial industry CEOs typically don’t throw their caution to the winds of technological change. They are content to wait and see, hedge their bets or adopt fast-follower strategies. Phupinder Gill plays it differently. “We have to be on the bleeding edge to understand emerging technologies,” says the CEO of CME Group, the $3.3 billion-in-revenue parent of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, New York Mercantile Exchange, Commodity Exchange and a leading central counterparty clearing operation. The 55-year-old, who has been CEO since 2012, is no wild-eyed radical. He says it’s a given that CME is leading-edge by virtue of Globex, the pioneering electronic trading platform that was launched in 1992 and handles 89 percent of average daily volume (which totaled 14.9 million contracts in May, up 6 percent year-over-year). He believes change is evolutionary rather than revolutionary but says that “evolution will be constant” and its cumulative effects make familiarity with the bleeding edge imperative. Gill and CME go there via formal vehicles — an innovation lab and a strategic investment fund, CME Ventures — as well as through awards and other programs that encourage rank-and-file engagement in innovation. Gill has visited London fintech incubation space Level39 as part of “trying to figure out what all this means.” And he meets regularly with Rumi Morales, executive director of CME Ventures, whose portfolio ranges from big data (Powerlytics) to cybersecurity (Fortscale and SparkCognition) to quantum computing (1QBit) and includes cryptocurrency and distributed ledger companies Digital Asset Holdings, Digital Currency Group and Ripple. “The technologies are evolving, and many things are connected,” says Gill, a Singapore native and Washington State University MBA, who was president of CME Group and its predecessor, CME Holdings, for eight years before becoming CEO. “We have several use cases of blockchain across the firm to help us understand if it actually makes life more efficient.”

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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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