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The 2016 Tech 50: Charles Li

The Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing CEO holds steady at No. 15 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

< The 2016 Tech 5015Charles LiChief Executive OfficerHong Kong Exchanges and ClearingLast year: 15

Since 2010, when Charles Li moved into the top job at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, he and his board have laid out a succession of three-year plans. The first set a goal of getting into commodities, which was met with the 2012 acquisition of London Metal Exchange (LME) for $2.2 billion. The second was a blueprint for a market linkage to mainland China, Shanghai–Hong Kong Stock Connect, which launched in 2014 and is expected to be replicated this year for Shenzhen. The third plan, released in January, is “our most ambitious yet,” says the 54-year-old CEO. It covers opportunities in fixed income, currencies and commodities, including a “bond connect” to the mainland and, more broadly, establishing Hong Kong as a truly global money and capital market center. “Our new motto is ‘connecting China with the world, reshaping the global market landscape,’” says Li, who has a law degree from Columbia University and served in top China posts for Merrill Lynch & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. before joining HKEx’s management in 2009. On the equity front he will be starting a campaign to attract secondary listings of global companies to the Hong Kong exchange. In commodities he aims to leverage the “connect” model with LME “to create an effective spot trading platform, thereby ‘physicalizing’ the mainland’s commodities market,” he says. “In time, the platform could generate a series of globally influential China price benchmarks and provide a solid foundation for the sustained development of commodity futures trading either onshore or in Hong Kong.” The planned bond connect, Li adds, could “attract investors and liquidity to support the future development of more interest rate and exchange rate derivatives.” HKEx will be building further on investments it made over the past three years to transform its core technology, the CEO says: “We have moved from reliance on proprietary technology to an open systems platform,” which, he notes, has become a “de facto standard” across the financial industry. “We are actively evaluating the adoption of cloud computing for our technology stack, especially for new projects such as the spot commodity-trading platform we plan to launch on the mainland.”

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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