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The 2016 Tech 50: Sebastián Ceria

The Axioma CEO jumped from No. 43 to No. 35 on this year’s ranking.

  • By Peter Vasiliev

35
Sebastián Ceria
Chief Executive Officer
Axioma

There is only so much financial or performance information that a privately held company like Axioma will publicly disclose, but the momentum it is building as a global supplier of portfolio optimization and risk management software is transparent enough. New York–based Axioma’s workforce has nearly doubled in a year, to 200, says CEO Sebastián Ceria. That includes high-profile hires like CFO Amaury Dauge, who previously held that title at Euronext, and Standard & Poor’s veterans William Morokoff and Sunil Rajan to head research and the EMEA region, respectively. Axioma also added 20 from the recent acquisition of regulatory- and risk-reporting businesses from fund servicer ConceptONE, which Ceria considers a natural extension of the multiasset, enterprisewide Axioma Risk platform. The latter, after a proof-of-concept and showcase installation with Sweden’s Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, announced last year, “is currently being implemented or evaluated by the largest asset management firms on earth,” Ceria boasts. A win announced in May: Bank of New York Mellon Corp. managed-accounts subsidiary HedgeMark International. “These organizations don’t change risk systems very often because it is very hard to do,” says the 51-year old, who founded Axioma as a consulting firm in 1998 and started selling optimization software three years later. “They understand and have the wherewithal to look at the next generation.” Axioma muscled its way into the risk-and-analytics niche — a stronghold of BlackRock Solutions, IBM Analytics (formerly Algorithmics) and MSCI — by aggressively developing and deploying cloud technology with partner Microsoft Corp. Longtime incumbents are hard-pressed to match the agility, flexible costs and capacity of cloud computing, Ceria says, adding: “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the cloud. We are harvesting results of some very hard work” and significant capital investments over the past five years. “Just moving an existing system into the cloud has limited benefit,” he advises. “To get full advantage, our enterprise risk system needed to be built from scratch — truly born in the cloud.”

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The 2016 Tech 50
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

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