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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.

Charles Li
Chief Executive Officer
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing

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

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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