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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Rumi Morales

No. 21 Rumi Morales, Executive Director, CME Ventures

  • By Peter Vasiliev

21. Rumi Morales
Executive Director
CME Ventures
Last year: 23

In mid-September, Rumi Morales of CME Ventures sat onstage at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart alongside Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his London counterpart, Sadiq Khan, discussing what government can do to encourage entrepreneurship and technology development in the two cities. Executive director of the venture capital arm of derivatives exchange operator CME Group, Morales talked about the important role that financial innovation has played in the Windy City. “In this regard, it’s a very exciting time to be an entrepreneur, a very exciting time to be an investor, and a very exciting time to be in Chicago,” says the 40-year-old, who joined CME in 2010 to work on international business development before becoming a member of its venture team. The core mission of CME Ventures has remained the same since the unit’s January 2014 inception: to invest in emerging technologies that can have an impact on CME and, more broadly, financial services in three to five years’ time. “This is really very much looking at the future of our industry,” says the Wellesley College grad and New York University Stern School of Business MBA. “It’s about transformational innovation.” CME Ventures, which will invest as much as $5 million in an early-stage company, has focused on three general themes: digitization, which incorporates real-time payments and blockchain; advanced or adaptive security systems employing techniques like behavioral analytics; and what it calls “the next generation of big data,” including quantum computing and neural networks. CME has grown its portfolio from six to 11 companies in the past 12 months, adding investments in Digital Asset Holdings (blockchain applications), Digital Currency Group (blockchain and Bitcoin), Fortscale (cybersecurity), Orbital Insight (big data), and SparkCognition (security analytics). The group enjoyed its first financial exit this year when chip maker Intel Corp. reportedly paid as much as $400 million for Nervana Systems, a California-based deep learning company that CME funded in 2015. “What’s great about Nervana is not only that they were acquired by Intel, but we are actually working with them in-house, at the CME, exploring some use cases,” says Morales. “This is an indication of what we’re trying to do as CME Ventures, which is to inform the organization.”


The 2016 Fintech Finance 35

1. Jonathan Korngold
General Atlantic
2. Matthew Harris
Bain Capital Ventures
3. Jane Gladstone
Evercore Partners
4. James Robinson III & James
Robinson IV
RRE Ventures
5. Steven McLaughlin
Financial Technology Partners
6. Amy Nauiokas & Sean Park
Anthemis Group
7. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital
8. Gerard
von Dohlen
Broadhaven Capital Partners
9. Darren Cohen
Goldman Sachs Group
10. Hans Morris
Nyca Partners
11. Meyer (Micky) Malka
Ribbit Capital
12. Maria Gotsch
Partnership Fund for New York City
13. Barry Silbert
Digital Currency Group
14. Jay Reinemann
Propel Venture Partners
15. Mariano Belinky
Santander InnoVentures
16. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSena
SenaHill Partners
17. François Robinet
AXA Strategic Ventures
18. Vanessa Colella
Citi Ventures
19. Michael Schlein
Accion International
20. Kenneth Marlin
Marlin & Associates
21. Rumi Morales
CME Ventures
22. Alastair (Alex) Rampell
Andreessen Horowitz
23. Steve Gibson
Euclid Opportunities
24. Fabian Vandenreydt
SWIFT
25. Vladislav Solodkiy
Life.SREDA
26. Gardiner Garrard III
TTV Capital
27. Nektarios Liolios
Startupbootcamp Fintech
28. Lawrence Wintermeyer
Innovate Finance
29. Bina Kalola
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
30. Hyder Jaffrey
Fintech Innovation
31. Calvin Choi
AMTD Group
32. Janos Barberis
FinTech
Hong Kong
33. Jalak Jobanputra
Future Perfect Ventures
34. Sopnendu Mohanty
Monetary Authority of Singapore
35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
Rakuten
FinTech Fund

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