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The 2015 Tech 50: Michael Spencer

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

Michael Spencer
Chief Executive Officer

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

1. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
2. Catherine Bessant
Bank of America Corp.
3. Phupinder Gill
CME Group
4. Lance Uggla
5. Robert Goldstein
6. Shawn Edwards &
Vlad Kliatchko
7. R. Martin Chavez
Goldman Sachs Group
8. Deborah Hopkins
Citi Ventures
9. Stephen Neff
Fidelity Investments
10. Adena Friedman
Nasdaq OMX Group
11. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
12. Daniel Coleman
KCG Holdings
13. Michael Spencer
14. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
15. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
16. Chris Concannon
BATS Global Markets
17. Christopher Perretta
State Street Corp.
18. Antoine Shagoury
London Stock Exchange Group
19. Kevin Rhein
Wells Fargo & Co.
20. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw & Co.
21. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
22. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
23. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
24. Robert Alexander
Capital One Financial Corp.
25. Frank Bisignano
First Data Corp.
26. John Marcante
Vanguard Group
27. Joseph Squeri
28. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
29. Claude Honegger
Credit Suisse
30. Chris Corrado
31. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
32. John Bates
Software AG
33. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
34. Gary Scholten
Principal Financial Group
35. Sunil Hirani
trueEX Group
36. Hauke Stars
Deutsche BÖrse
37. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives
38. Jim Minnick
39. Lars Seier Christensen & Kim Fournais
40. Tyler Kim
41. Jim McGuire
Charles Schwab Corp.
42. Steven O'Hanlon
43. Sebastián Ceria
44. Yasuki Okai
NRI Holdings America
45. Stephane Dubois
46. Mazy Dar
47. Brian Sentance
Xenomorph Software
48. Mas Nakachi
49. John Lehner
BNY Mellon Technology Solutions Group
50. Jock Percy

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