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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.

< The 2016 Tech 5035Sebastián CeriaChief Executive OfficerAxiomaLast year: 43

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 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