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The 2016 Trading Technology 40: R. Cromwell Coulson

< The 2016 Trading Technology 4034R. Cromwell CoulsonPresident and Chief Executive OfficerOTC Markets GroupLast year: 37

Over-the-counter trading is for stocks too small or otherwise unready for exchange listing. OTC Markets Group offers these companies a systematic and economical way upstream, operating three platforms that are progressively more disciplined and less “exchange lite,” says CEO R. Cromwell Coulson. With 10,000 securities, including a growing cadre of community banks and international companies’ American depositary receipts, on his firm’s systems, he’s like a proud parent. Running the company and continually upgrading its technology since 1997, Coulson over the past five years has seen nearly 400 companies, including 60 in 2015, graduate from his platforms to “main boards” operated by Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange. Comparable figures from two peer markets, Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange and London Stock Exchange Group’s AIM, were each in single digits. An equally significant point of pride for a corner of the securities markets historically snubbed as substandard: “We had 100 percent core system reliability last year,” says Coulson, 49, who’s more than happy to be in the too-big-to-fail league, even if his company is below the most elite tier. The CEO sees New York–based OTC Markets filling a void for entrepreneurs left behind by Nasdaq’s upgrade to exchange status in 2006. The firm’s objectives center on the transparency of data and the connectivity of market participants. “There are risks in this market,” Coulson explains. “We drive transparency so risk is appropriately priced. Our platform makes it easier for dealers to build clout around the liquidity they offer.” For young companies OTC Markets offers “a place to go when you’re trying to figure it out.” Among those launched last year on the top-level OTCQX platform: Bitcoin Investment Trust. “We are an open market where entrepreneurs like Barry Silbert [CEO of the trust’s sponsor, Grayscale Investments] are welcome without a lot of pain, cost and complexity,” Coulson says.

 

 2016 Trading Technology 40Click below to view profiles
1. Raymond Tierney IIIBloomberg2. Richard PragerBlackRock3. Chris IsaacsonBATS Global Markets4. Jonathan RossKCG Holdings5. Bradley PetersonNasdaq
6. Brad LevyMarkit7. Dan KeeganCiti8. Ronald DePoaloFidelity Institutional9. Raj MahajanGoldman Sachs Group10. Ari StudnitzerCME Group
11. Mayur KapaniIntercontinental Exchange12. Gerald O’ConnellCBOE Holdings13. Nicholas ThemelisMarketAxess Holdings14. Gil MandelzisEBS BrokerTec (ICAP)15. Bill Chow and Richard LeungHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Rob ParkIEX Group17. Philip WeisbergThomson Reuters18. John Mackay (Mack) GillMillenniumIT19. Robert CornishInternational Securities Exchange20. Paul HamillCitadel Securities
21. Eric NollConvergex22. Tyler Moeller and Joshua WalskyBroadway Technology23. Rishi NangaliaREDI Holdings24. Veronica AugustssonCinnober Financial Technology25. Alasdair HaynesAquis Exchange
26. Manoj NarangMana Partners27. Gaurav SuriArcesium28. Robert SloanS3 Partners29. Anton Katz and Stephen MockAQR Capital Mgmt30. Stu TaylorAlgomi
31. D. Keith Ross Jr.PDQ Enterprises32. Donal ByrneCorvil33. Alfred EskandarPortware34. R. Cromwell CoulsonOTC Markets Group35. Masayuki HosakaRakuten
36. Peter Maragos and David KaratDash Financial37. Amar KuchinadElectronifie38. Jennifer NayarSR Labs39. Dave SnowdonMetamako40. Dan RajuTradier