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The 2016 Tech 50: Phupinder Gill

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

< The 2016 Tech 504Phupinder GillChief Executive OfficerCME GroupLast year: 3

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 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