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The 2015 Trading Technology 40: Steven Randich
#18 Steven Randich, Chief Information Officer, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
Those who assume that regulators are too understaffed and underequipped to keep pace with the companies they supervise haven’t reckoned with Steven Randich. Executive vice president and chief information officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Washington-based self-regulation and market surveillance agency, since March 2013, Randich, 52, believes “our regulatory effectiveness will equate to technological effectiveness.” To that end, he is tackling large-scale number-crunching problems not unlike those his counterparts in the industry face. He has as much access as they do to transformational big-data and cloud computing capabilities, while overseeing 1,000 tech employees and contractors — 25 percent more than the comparable total of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “If anything, we are ahead of the game,” asserts Randich, a University of Chicago MBA who since 1996 has been CIO at the Chicago Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market, Citigroup and FINRA. “Broker-dealers who are straining to complete new regulatory initiatives have asked us to slow down,” he says. FINRA, which collects data on more than 30 billion transactions a day to detect potential abuses, has been working with Hadoop big-data software tools for two years — longer than many private sector companies, Randich notes. That experience helped make FINRA a finalist to run the most ambitious of financial market monitoring systems: the SEC’s consolidated audit trail.