Financial markets are a complicated jumble of asset classes, to various degrees correlated, liquid and volatile. But all have technology in common, touching everything from investors’ portfolio strategies to the execution of transactions to posttrade settlement and reporting.
For the better part of two decades, trading technology has exploded, both as a line of business and as a critical infrastructure for the global economy. Judging by the Trading Technology 40, Institutional Investor’s annual ranking of the field’s top innovators and visionaries, that long-term trend is accelerating. Building and maintaining systems is only the most basic of these leaders’ responsibilities. They are truly general managers, often overseeing hundreds of employees and, in common with their C-suite peers, dealing with increasing regulatory compliance burdens — all the while staying abreast of, and pushing the envelope with, the latest high-tech advances.
Touching all those bases, Kevin Kometer, chief information officer of CME Group, parent of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ranks No. 1 for the second time in the four years of the Trading Tech 40. More than one third of the company’s 2,000-plus employees work in information technology. Kometer says ultralow latency is not the priority it once was, but he notes that “agility to meet the needs and wants of customers” and “delivering faster” are essential for IT.
The scale is different, but the issues similar, at entrepreneurial shops like Broadway Technology (Tyler Moeller and Joshua Walsky, No. 27) and OptionsCity Software (Hazem Dawani, No. 40), which compete for the same talent and must build compliance, capacity and flexibility into their software.
The Trading Technology 40 were selected by Institutional Investor editors, taking into account nominations and other input from industry experts. The leadership criteria include recent and career accomplishments and contributions to individual companies and to the industry at large; scope and complexity of executive responsibilities; and pure technological innovation.
The ranking was compiled under the direction of Senior Contributing Editor Jeffrey Kutler. Individual profiles were written by Kutler; Editor Michael Peltz; Asia Bureau Chief Allen T. Cheng; Senior Writers Frances Denmark, Julie Segal and Aaron Timms; and Associate Editor Kaitlin Ugolik.