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The 2015 Tech 50: Michael Spencer

The ICAP CEO jumps to No. 13 on this year’s Tech 50 ranking.

< The 2015 Tech 50: Racers to the Edge13Michael SpencerChief Executive OfficerICAPLast year: 14

There was never anything tentative about Michael Spencer’s careerlong drive into the automated future of finance. He says that even 30 to 40 years ago he saw that leadership in financial services goes hand in hand with “technology enablement,” which in turn is “essential for disruption and innovation.” By the early 2000s he was in a position to act on those ideas, having created and climbed to the top of the biggest interdealer brokerage, London-based ICAP. The Internet bubble had burst, but Spencer’s vision of an industry transformed by electronic trading motivated a series of strategic bets — an early tone-setter being the $240 million acquisition of fixed-income platform BrokerTec Global in 2003 — that he has never hedged. “We didn’t cut back on investments in technology, even in hard times,” says the 60-year-old CEO — and the recent postcrisis years of economic and regulatory uncertainty were hard on trading businesses. “We are always thinking long-term.” Since 2007, ICAP has spent a total of £1.6 billion ($2.3 billion) on technology. In the 12 months ended March 31, new-initiative investments in electronic markets, posttrade and information services rose by £1 million year-over-year, to £43 million. New-wave business lines, including EBS BrokerTec (combining fixed income and foreign exchange) and risk-focused Traiana and TriOptima, are generating three fourths of group profits, which were £229 million pretax in the last fiscal year. As far as ICAP has come in a decade, “we still have a long way to go,” says Spencer. He uses Euclid Opportunities, a strategic incubation fund ICAP formed in 2011, as a lens on what’s next in fintech. So pleased is he with portfolio holdings like OpenGamma (see Mas Nakachi, No. 48) and hedge fund analytics provider ENSO Financial that “we’d consider investing more, even at higher valuations.”

See the full story, “The 2015 Tech 50: Racers to the Edge.”

 The 2015 Tech 50 Click below to view profiles
1. Jeffrey SprecherIntercontinental Exchange2. Catherine BessantBank of America Corp.3. Phupinder GillCME Group4. Lance UgglaMarkit5. Robert GoldsteinBlackRock
6. Shawn Edwards &
Vlad KliatchkoBloomberg
7. R. Martin ChavezGoldman Sachs Group8. Deborah HopkinsCiti Ventures9. Stephen NeffFidelity Investments 10. Adena FriedmanNasdaq OMX Group
11. David CraigThomson Reuters12. Daniel ColemanKCG Holdings13. Michael SpencerICAP14. Michael BodsonDepository Trust & Clearing Corp.15. Charles LiHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris ConcannonBATS Global Markets17. Christopher PerrettaState Street Corp.18. Antoine ShagouryLondon Stock Exchange Group19. Kevin RheinWells Fargo & Co.20. Neil KatzD.E. Shaw & Co.
21. Lee OleskyTradeweb Markets22. Richard McVeyMarketAxess Holdings23. Seth MerrinLiquidnet Holdings24. Robert AlexanderCapital One Financial Corp.25. Frank BisignanoFirst Data Corp.
26. John MarcanteVanguard Group27. Joseph SqueriCitadel28. Lou EcclestonTMX Group29. Claude HoneggerCredit Suisse30. Chris CorradoMSCI
31. David GledhillDBS Bank32. John BatesSoftware AG33. Michael CooperBT Radianz34. Gary ScholtenPrincipal Financial Group35. Sunil HiranitrueEX Group
36. Hauke StarsDeutsche BÖrse37. Brian ConlonFirst Derivatives38. Jim MinnickeVestment39. Lars Seier Christensen & Kim Fournais40. Tyler KimMaplesFS
41. Jim McGuireCharles Schwab Corp.42. Steven O'HanlonNumerix43. Sebastián CeriaAxioma44. Yasuki OkaiNRI Holdings America45. Stephane DuboisXignite
46. Mazy DarOpenFin47. Brian SentanceXenomorph Software48. Mas NakachiOpenGamma49. John LehnerBNY Mellon Technology Solutions Group50. Jock PercyPerseus

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